• Joel Farrick in Montague on Friday night. February 3, 2017 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Franklin Tech junior guard Tyler Hastings will be one of several guards playing big minutes for the Eagles this season. Recorder file photo

  • Above, Sophomore Bailey Young gets a hand on a rebound over junior Tyler Hastings during the Franklin Tech boys’ basketball practice earlier this week. Below, senior Joel Farrick is back for his third season running the Eagles’ point and will be crucial to the team’s success this winter. RECORDER FILE PHOTOS

Recorder Staff
Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The box score should look a bit different for the Franklin County Technical School boys’ basketball team this winter.

The Eagles graduated 1,000-point scorer and leading-scorer Colin Gould, and with his departure goes a hefty 25.7 point per game average. Gould poured in 30-plus points on five different occasions, and replacing his offense will certainly be a challenge this winter.

“Everybody will score,” explained FC Tech coach Matt Llewelyn of his team. “I don’t expect one kid to put up Colin Gould-type numbers. If they do, it’s because they can’t miss and we are going to keep feeding the fire. But our first seven kids should score anywhere between six and 15 points. We don’t have a 25-point a game scorer this year.”

While Gould’s departure is indeed an early-season storyline, the good news for Franklin Tech this winter is that senior point guard Joel Farrick returns to his familiar position. A three-year starter at the point, Farrick will once again set the table after finishing second on the team a year ago with 11 points per game.

“It’s my third year as boys’ coach and it’s his third year as starting point guard,” explained Llewelyn of Farrick. “He knows how to run my offense. We need him to handle the ball and not turn it over. We thrive when he thrives.”

The rest of the starting lineup appears to be coming from the junior class. The Eagles will employ what essentially amounts to a five-guard offense, with juniors Jared Bergmann, Tyler Hastings, Max Charest and Cole Littlewood joining Farrick on the floor.

“The best thing is that we only lost two kids (from last year),” Llewelyn said, referring to Gould and Corey Johnson who was the team’s fourth-leading scorer. “We are very young but we return a lot of experience. We have a good chance to win some games.”

Sophomores Bailey Young (guard), Jared Vielmetti-Perusse (guard) and Garrett Cole (forward) all return to the fray this winter, while seniors Seth Aldrich (forward) and Scott Martin (guard), and junior Sim Maniatty (forward) round out the varsity squad.

The Eagles finished 13-9 overall a year ago, losing on the road at Monson High School, 62-49, in the WMass Div. IV opening round. The Mustangs wound up as the Div. IV runner-up. Tech did go 11-5 in the Tri-County League, placing it in a tie for third place with Hampden Charter School of Science.

The TCL has shifted this winter, however, splitting into two divisions. The Eagles will play in the difficult North, which features the top four teams from last year’s standings (McCann Technical High School, Pioneer Valley Christian Academy, Hampden Charter and Franklin Tech) along with newcomers Bay State Academy and Duggan Academy. That combination means the North will have five teams that qualified for the Div. IV Tournament a year ago.

“It’s going to finally challenge Franklin Tech to play up. No more cupcake games,” explained Llewelyn. “We are going to get tested mentally and physically, which is good for us as a whole for years to come.”

The Eagles open their 2017-18 season tonight in the annual Eagles’ Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament in Turners Falls. Franklin Tech will meet Mohawk Trail Regional High School in the nightcap at 8 p.m. The TCL North slate opens Jan. 5 with a home game against Hampden Charter.