Xaverian starts season as boys' lax No. 1

Reigning Division 1 state champion Xaverian begins the MIAA boys' lacrosse season ranked No. 1 in our statewide Top 25 poll.

The complete poll can be found HERE.

Here are a couple thoughts on the initial poll and the season ahead:

Top perch for Hawks: Xaverian begins 2014 where it ended 2013 -- at No. 1.

The Hawks' road to a potential repeat will be not be without peril, but they return a strong core from last year's squad, including a Mr. Lacrosse front-runner in Jack Wheeler. But to get to Boston University, Xaverian will first have to contend with its own Catholic Conference schedule. The league starts four out of its five members in the Top 25 to start the season, including No. 8 BC High, No. 14 Catholic Memorial and No. 17 St. John's Prep.

D1 new-comers: The Division 1 tournament field figures to become that much more difficult this year, as several former Division 2 powers have made the jump to the top division in the state's redistricting plan in the offseason. The introduction of sectional tournaments sees Wellesley (No. 12) and CM jumping up to play in Div. 1.

Can anyone unseat the Lancers?: Longmeadow begins the season in the same position it shared last season as the No. 2 team in our poll.

Coming off an undefeated run at the Division 2 state title, the Lancers are again a favorite. St. John's of Shrewsbury (No. 13) will be a front-runner in Central, while Medfield (No. 7) and Hingham (10) will vie for supremacy as the two top-ranked teams in Eastern Mass. after the departure of some of the traditional powers to Div. 1.