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Duxbury boys’ lacrosse still at head of the class

The high school lacrosse season is upon us and the Globe Top 20 likely will change numerous times as the season goes on, but deciding who is No. 1 in the preseason rankings is simple: the Duxbury Dragons.

The defending Division 1 champs return a solid core and add new players who look to make a positive impact.

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Returning starter Jack Sullivan is set to lead the midfield, and there are fellow seniors Jack Sullivan, Tucker Hannon, and captain Bobby O’Brien.

At attack, Duxbury looks to senior captain CJ LoConte and classmate John Higgins to lead the way.

On the defense, the Dragons boast a strong crew with four seniors, including captain Jay Walsh.

There is no shortage of talent at goaltender. Coach Chris Sweet considers both junior Nick Marrocco and sophomore Jack Corbett to be very strong Division 1 goalies.

“We will be a much better team as the season goes on,” Sweet said. “All of the players bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm each day at practice and love playing lacrosse. It’s going to be an exciting season.”

At No. 2 in the preseason rankings is the team that fell to the Dragons in last spring’s final, Needham.

The Rockets graduated their entire defense, but enough talent returns to challenge for the championship again.

Senior attackman Nico Panepinto, a Globe All-Scholastic last season, looks to continue his great play. And expect a break-out season for Nico’s younger brother, Mike. He was injured for most of last season and appears to be ready to take that next step.

Coming in at No. 6 is Lincoln-Sudbury, which knocked off strong teams (St. John’s Prep and Billerica) in the tournament before losing to Duxbury in the EMass semifinals.

The Warriors return important senior starters Dan Delaney, Henry Guild, and Chris Giorgio, who look to lead the team to another strong postseason run.

Billerica is strong again and is ranked 13th.

Returning is All-Scholastic goalie D.J. Smith, who has started three straight seasons for the Indians.

Scituate is ranked 15th.

Tucker Ciessau, a returning All-American, already has registered his 300th career point this season. His younger brother, Trevor, is also off to a hot start, with eight goals and four assists in two games.

Jake Reynolds returns for his third year in goal for the Sailors. “He gives us a chance to win every night,” said coach Mark Puzzangara.

Puzzangara says the Sailors will be young at midfield. Sophomore Sean Williams, a skilled player who saw limited play last year, is being given the opportunity to run the midfield.

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