In typical fashion for a coach, Pete Devlin watched Clapton Marquis’ gradual transformation this year with a proud gleam.
At the outset of the boys lacrosse season, Marquis was expected to be one of the players ready to fill the void left by the departure of three of Alexander Dawson’s top scorers. That list included Marquis’ older brother Sammy, who led the Mustangs with 65 points in 2011.
Sticking young players into new, expanded roles inevitably comes with a measure of trepidation. Marquis, however, quickly allayed those concerns, putting together a stellar season as Alexander Dawson’s leading scorer to earn Times-Call Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year honors.
“He’s definitely one of our better players. We may not have a lot of standout guys, but he’s certainly one of them,” Devlin said. “He came up clutch when we needed him to. We will be looking for him to continue being one of our main contributors. He leads by example and he consistently hustles.
“He was a good player last year, but this year you could really see him start to come into his own. Now he doesn’t shy away from anyone and he plays with a lot of confidence.”
After recording 11 goals and eight assists in a supporting role for his older brother last year, the junior emerged as a consistent scoring threat for the Mustangs this year.
Proving as adept at finding the net as he was at finding open teammates, Marquis finished the campaign with an impressively balanced total of 28 goals and 25 assists.
Marquis produced 10 multiple-goal games and ended the season with a flourish, scoring 13 goals over the final four games. In the Mustangs’ next-to-last game, a 17-10 victory against Eaglecrest, Marquis scored a career-best four goals while notching one of his three four-assist efforts of the year. He matched that goal total in the season finale against Thompson Valley.
Although Alexander Dawson finished out of the state tournament with a 7-8 record, the Mustangs’ lineup was checkered with underclassmen like Marquis who expect bigger things in 2013.
“This year compared to last year, I think our team really stepped up and played better,” Marquis said. “Our attack, a lot of us were able to get a lot of goals and assists. We all were kind of like the quarterbacks of the offense. I feel like our team grew a lot more. (Devlin) and assistant coach Matt Kelley have really helped me realize just how smart of a player I can be.”
Follow Pat Rooney on Twitter: @prooney07