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Holliston - Local Town Pages

Panthers’ Frassinelli would Welcome Deep Tourney Run Lacrosse Captain A Top-notch Defender

Instincts, technique and intelligence are necessary attributes to stop an attacker and Holliston’s Bobby Frassinelli displays all of those traits on defense.

Write your article here..By KEN HAMWEY

Staff Sports Writer

Bobby Frassinelli is a top-notch defender for the boys lacrosse team at Holliston High and there’s no doubt that his leadership, instinctive nature and intensity has played a key role in the Panthers’ quest for another berth in the state tournament.

Bobby Frassinelli is a National Honor Society student who will attend Purdue University next fall and major in computer science.


A senior captain, the 6-foot, 170-pound Frassinelli wants another opportunity to compete in the playoffs after Holliston split a pair of matches last year. The Panthers, who finished their regular season at 5-13, defeated Lenox, which had a 16-4 record, then bowed to Hanover. The new tourney format allows teams with sub-.500 records to qualify based on strength of schedule and margin of defeat.

At Local Town Pages deadline, Holliston was far better off than last year, not relying on its strong schedule or its margin in defeats. The Panthers’ record was 8-6 and they’re in good position to land a favorable seed in the playoffs.

“At the start of the season, my goals were for our team to improve daily, get to the tourney again and go deeper than last year,’’ Frassinelli said. “We’re a super young team that has freshmen and sophomores in the rotation, but we’re talented. We can not only qualify for the playoffs, but also advance if we continue to give 100 percent, remain cohesive and stay healthy.’’

Frassinelli’s personal goals speak volumes about his team-first nature.

“I want to help the players around me and leave the program in good hands,’’ he emphasized. “Another objective is to improve my defensive ability.’’

Holliston coach John Mulvaney was eager to get Frassinelli back in action last year after he played in only one match as a sophomore. The Holliston native suffered a dislocated shoulder in the opener against Norwood and the injury forced Frassinelli to the sideline for the rest of the season. He underwent physical therapy and it took five months of rehab to regain his health. 

“Bobby has many strengths,’’ Mulvaney offered. “He’s got a strong work ethic, he’s intense, coachable and instinctive. His lacrosse IQ is high, he’s coachable and technically sound. On defense, he’s a step ahead of his opponents. A team-first player, he does what’s needed and he knows how to adapt. When he was injured, he still came to every practice and every match.’’

A captain who leads by example, Frassinelli also takes that role to another level. “I try to be supportive of every teammate,’’ he said. “I’m always positive, encouraging and willing to help our young players to improve.’’

The 18-year-old Frassinelli likes defense — a lot!

“Technique and strategy are always in play,’’ he said. “There’s a reliance on footwork and positioning. Instincts and intelligence are needed to stop an attacker and communication is a must. The key to success is to be disciplined and patient, avoid giving up your position and know that you can trust your teammates to protect your back.’’

Two matches in his junior year remain memorable — an 8-6 loss to Dover-Sherborn and a 7-6 double overtime victory over Assabet Valley.

“Dover-Sherborn is a powerhouse team but we played them close all the way,’’ Frassinelli noted. “I guarded their best attackman and held him scoreless until he got his only goal in a scramble. The Assabet game was a back-and-forth battle. Our midfielder, Nick Cotting, scored, giving us a hard-earned victory.’’

Frassinelli is acutely aware that the Panthers lost 13 seniors to graduation, leaving the team a bit inexperienced. But, he greatly admires three junior teammates and the attributes they possess.

“Co-captain David Villa leads by example and by being vocal,’’ Frassinelli said. “A defender, he’s got great stick skills and is very physical. Sean MacLeod is our goalie and he’s got good composure and instincts. He clears the ball very effectively. Midfielder Harry Smith is quick, good in transition and his shot is fast and accurate.’’

Frassinelli also admires Mulvaney and his son Ryan, who is the Panthers’ defensive coordinator. “Coach Mulvaney is an excellent leader who’s positive, encouraging and motivating,’’ he said. “He knows how to help us improve. And, Ryan has a high lacrosse IQ on defense, knows the technical stuff and he promotes cohesive play.’’

Frassinelli, who started playing lacrosse at age seven in Holliston’s youth program, is a National Honor Society student who will attend Purdue University next fall and major in computer science. He plans on playing club lacrosse there.

Calling his parents (Michael and Katie) role models for emphasizing leadership and showing support and encouragement, Frassinelli relies on an athletic philosophy of winning, reaching one’s potential and having fun. “It’s important to be your best self,’’ he said. “Losing motivates me because I like to win.’’

Life lessons that Frassinelli has learned from playing lacrosse and basketball should be valuable going forward. 

“I’ve learned to stay calm and composed in pressure moments, to communicate with teammates and to overcome adversity, he said. “I’ve also learned to be mentally tough and how to be a leader. Our team has matured a lot and it’s hard work and being flexible that are important.’’

A  deep tourney run would be a welcomed situation for the Panthers. And, it would also be greeted by Frassinelli with great joy and satisfaction. 

Bobby Frassinelli’s team-first approach and the supportive style he so often displays with teammates are attributes worthy of reward.