Lawrence Academy (MA)

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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To view the full list of 2023 Team Previews that we have already completed, please click here.

2023 Spring Team Preview: Lawrence Academy

GROTON, Ma. - Coming off its second Independent School League title in history, Lawrence Academy is looking to continue the success Chris Margraf has brought to the program in his 25 years at the school.

“I like that they’re getting more and more cohesive,” Margraf said about what he likes with this year’s Spartans. “They had the mentality to work hard in the offseason and our captains do a nice job including everybody. I like the fact that last year’s seniors created a great environment and these kids are piggybacking that.”

Margraf, who has a record of 147-86 in his coaching career, is counting on 10 seniors being able to take over for what nine graduates from a year ago helped accomplish in posting a 17-4-1 overall record and 12-3 league mark.

“Am I optimistic?” Margraf asked. “Always. I just want to try to be competitive. I think our pitching can hold up.”

Justin Morris and John Paone form a strong one-two punch on the mound for Lawrence Academy. Morris, the 34th-rated senior right-handed pitcher in New England, is a UMass Amherst commit, while Paone, the 47th-ranked sophomore RHP in the country, has committed to play at Duke.

“We have a couple good pitchers that can throw hard,” Margraf pointed out. “We also have a couple sloppy left-handers that compliment our hard-throwing rights.”

Charlie McLaughlin and Luke Miller are sophomores expected to play major roles on the staff in 2023, with senior right-hander Jacob Ward, an Endicott football commit, and junior righty Micah Bennett, adding depth.

With last year’s two catchers off to play at the next level at Bates College (Liam Yardley) and Clark University (James Webster), Otto McLaughlin will move from outfield to behind the plate. Otto is the brother of 2022 grad Jack McLaughlin, last year’s ISL Player of the Year. Owen Brazee, a junior, and CJ Shuster, a senior headed to the University of Chicago for football, are other catchers for Margraf to use.

Daven Allard, the fourth-rated sophomore first baseman in New England, is moving over from third base a year ago with Tommy Whitlock, the 18th-ranked senior first baseman in New England and a Salve Regina signee, expected to see time at first base and DH.

Senior Matt Morin is going from outfielder to second baseman this season with junior Josh White also fighting for time.

Merrimack commit Brian Downing, the fourth-ranked senior third baseman in New England, is taking over at shortstop this year with sophomore Sam Campbell, another potential middle infielder.

Teddy McLaughlin, Otto’s twin, goes from outfield a year ago to third base this season leaving the outfield to senior Keagan Ryan, junior Kota Marsteiner, sophomore Jack Janowsky and promising freshman Ryan Blaisdell, who could also see time pitching. Ryan, called by Margraf “the fastest kid I ever coached,” had 28 stolen bases a year ago for a Lawrence Academy team that set a school record with 118 steals.

“We’re not quite as fast as we were last year but we have some guys that can still move,” Margraf noted.

As for the keys, Margraf had a number to list.

“Staying healthy is a key, that’s always a challenge for us,” Margraf concluded. “We’ve got to play good defense and in the end get good enough pitching, make the plays and get timely hitting.”


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