WALES — When the Oak Hill/Lisbon/Monmouth/St. Dom’s boys lacrosse team started practicing for the 2023 season on March 27, it did so knowing it needed to replace 95 goals from last season.

Tiger Hopkins, Travis Caron and DeAndre Daniels combined for that many goals for the Raiders, and along with defenseman Sean Moore helped the team reach the Class C state semifinals last season, and the Class C state championship the year before.

This year’s team is still aiming to have another long playoff run in 2023.

“Every year we make it far, and now we want to make it further,” junior midfielder Lukas Bergeron said. “We are just ready this year, and I think we have a lot of potential this year.”

Coach Joe Hinkley said that despite the graduations of key players — highlighted by two-time Sun Journal Player of the Year Hopkins, who scored the third-most career goals in Maine history — the goals for the program haven’t changed.

“We want to try to get back and make another deep playoff run,” Hinkley said. “Again, I think that’s always in the back of our head, to get back where we were two years ago.”


Senior goalie Nic Michaud said he learned from Hopkins on and off the field.

“I know last year, being a captain with Tiger Hopkins, his voice can definitely be loud and still being there for the kids,” Michaud said. “He impacted me and showed me how to be a really good leader. I realized I have to step up a little more and show the kids can rely on me.”

Adam Hinkley, a returning attackman who has no relation to coach Joe Hinkley, is ready to take over for Hopkins, Caron and Daniels.

“It’s definitely a lot to fill because those guys were great leaders,” Adam Hinkley said. “But, I think stepping up as a leader is definitely something I will enjoy, and being a guy my other teammates can rely on is something that I will enjoy.”

Adam Hinkley, a junior, said the transition from an underclassman to an upperclassman is going smoothly. He saw regular playing time as a sophomore and said it will be different not having the graduated trio on the field, but that there is chemistry between the other attackmen already. It has been forming since their days playing youth lacrosse.

“We have been playing for a long time together,” Adam Hinkley said. “Ever since we were young, we have been playing together, and I think that will help out this season a lot.”


Other attackmen on the roster include Liam Holland, Gage Spier, Dylan Spier and Brady Boone.

Bergeron is the leading returning scorer with 23 goals and seven assists. He said the team worked in the offseason to make up for the loss of the key players. They set up a weekly clinic on Sunday nights, at which they practiced game situations and had scrimmages.

Joe Hinkley said Bergeron improved immensely in the offseason.

“He has hit the weight room quite a bit,” Joe Hinkley said. “He has done a lot of things outside of the lacrosse season, and not waiting until March to play.”

Joe Hinkley said there will be a transition in offensive philosophies because of the switch in strengths of the team.

The past few years, the Raiders have been an attack-heavy team, as Hopkins, Caron and Daniels all played attack. This season, they will be a midfield-heavy team led by Bergeron and Gavin Leet.


“We have always been attack-strong — so we will do things differently attack-wise,” Joe Hinkley said. “Now we are midfield-heavy, so things will definitely be ran through the midfield than usual. It will be a change in the coaching style.”

Leet, a junior faceoff specialist, had 16 goals and seven assists last season. He will likely miss the early part of the season due to an ankle injury, but he has faith in his fellow faceoff men.

“I am the No. 1 guy, but it’s good to know that we have other good faceoff guys,” Leet said. “It’s good to know if I can’t play right now, we have other good faceoff guys.”

Bergeron said the Raiders have a lot of midfield lines this season. He’s also preparing to run a lot.

“Obviously, running sucks, but losing sucks even more,” Bergeron said. “We are putting in the work.”

Adam Hinkley said the attackmen expect the midfielders to be crucial to the Raiders’ offensive success.


“I really trust my guys out there,” Adam Hinkley said. “We have some fast guys, we got some strong guys. I think altogether, generally, our team got everything.”

Michaud understands that he may be relied upon to keep the ball out of the goal more than in years past.

“I think I will step up a little more, but I know I still have some pretty good defense in front of me, along with midis and attack,” Michaud said.

Leet said Michaud is a stable force in the crease.

“Nic is doing a good job; he’s a big help to our team,” Leet said.

Joining the Oak Hill co-op this season is St. Dom’s, just two seasons after the schools met in the Class C quarterfinals, where the Raiders defeated the Saints 20-1.

Joe Hinkley is excited to give the St. Dom’s players an opportunity to play.

“I am really excited. All the kids are great,” Joe Hinkley said. “I think it will be a good thing. I hope they stick with us for the years to come. I just want to see kids play lacrosse, I don’t care where they come from.”

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