Milford Boys’ Hoops turning back clock
New MHS basketball coach Dana Olson calls in a play during a recent game. Photo courtesy of Milford Athletic Director Peter Boucher
Scarlet Hawks will bring old-school style to floor
By Chris Villani
Milford’s boys’ basketball team has a new coach and a new style this winter.
The Scarlet Hawks are looking to succeed with a style that is new to the program but should be familiar to longtime basketball fans.
“I coached back in the day, I played back in the day, and we want to bring back a tough, physical, old school mentality,” said first-year head coach Dana Olson.
“We are going to play the game a little cleaner, a little tougher, and a little smarter,” Olson said. “We are going to run good half-court sets and different stuff than they have been running. It’s going to take some time, but the buy-in is good, and we will get there.”
Olson takes over a Milford team that is deep and experienced. Junior swingman Andrew Rivera is an all-league player and a strong all-around talent. Milford also returns sophomore CJ Farrell, who started for the Hawks as a freshman, one of many underclassmen who will play a big role this winter.
“When you look at the makeup of our team, it’s about 95% underclassmen,” Olson said. “The future bodes well, but we live in a society where you need to win and win now.”
Senior Jake Soares is one senior who does see significant playing time and Olson praised his play through the early part of the season. Milford will also depend on Luca Testa, a 6-foot-2 forward who Olson is looking to develop into a more complete player.
“He’s always been a shooter, but we are working hard to get him to play better defense and hit the offensive and defensive boards,” Olson said. “We are creating basketball players. We don’t want a kid who is just a shooter or just a defender or just a rebounder. We want them to be able to do multiple things to help us win.”
Tyler Ballard and Ryan Franklin are two more players who add depth for MHS in the post and who are consistently getting better.
The Scarlet Hawks’ promise was on display early in the season with wins over Foxboro and Hopkinton and a strong showing against Sharon, a top-10 team in the state.
“We outplayed [Sharon] in the third and fourth quarters and, right after the game, I said the difference is the culture,” Olson said. “They have played in that system for a long time, and we are in the process of building our culture.”
“We are not going to snap our fingers and beat the top teams until we are completely locked in,” Olson added. “But we are heading in that direction.”