Spring sports began this week as boys’ tennis and girls’ lacrosse played their first matches of the season on Thursday against Dover-Sherborn. Scores were unavailable at press time.

Boys’ lacrosse takes on Fairhaven today at home at 4 p.m. Track and field hosts Abington in a dual meet beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

What follows is the first in a two-part preview of the spring sports season. Next week will spotlight girls’ tennis, baseball, softball and sailing.

Boys’ Tennis

It will be difficult to top last year’s tennis season, in which the team turned in a perfect 23-0 record, won the Division 3 South Section, and brought home a state championship title. Head coach Ned Fennessy, now in his 23rd year,

Justice Yennie. — Ivy Ashe

said the first thing he told the team this season was to “leave your egos at home. Last year was last year.”

This year, he said “We’re not really worried about the record so much as going forward.” To that end, several new opponents appear on the schedule, including “a real challenge for [the team],” Barnstable and Falmouth. Both Barnstable and Falmouth are Division 1 squads. The team still hopes to repeat as state champs, Coach Fennessy said, and playing the stronger teams during the regular season will help them in the long run.

There are 15 players on this year’s team, and 12 are returning. Senior co-captains Kent Leonard and Justice Yennie reprise their leadership roles from last year, and will play in the number two and number three spots of the lineup, respectively. Senior Natty Schneider, seen last year on the doubles courts, earned the number one spot in the team’s annual round robin tournament during tryouts. His former partner, senior Jackson McBride, pairs with junior Patrick McCarthy in the number one doubles spot. The number two doubles spot has multiple contenders, Coach Fennessy said. Seniors Justin Smith and Kyp Cooperrider teamed up for Thursday’s match against Dover-Sherborn.

Boys’ Lacrosse

Nearly 60 players form the high school lacrosse program this year, head coach Chris Greene said, with 29 on varsity and 27 in the JV group.

“Those are solid numbers for the Vineyard, for an Island team,” he said before practice on Wednesday. And this year’s varsity team, despite some key losses, is shaping up to be a balanced and competitive squad.

Seven seniors provide the core leadership for the group, including captains Cooper Chapman, Nick Costello, Marc Natichioni and Jack O’Malley. Tjark Aldeborgh, Huck Burke and Thomas Wilkins round out the senior members. In a first for the program, the varsity team has three players seeking to take over as goalie, filling the spot of Nelson Dickson, a four-year varsity starter who graduated last year.

Offensive standouts Colby Gouldrup and Charlie Everett, who now plays Division 1 lacrosse at Bryant University, leave a void after graduating, Coach Greene said, but the 2013 team definitely has the “opportunities to be successful.”

“There are a lot of new kids to the game, and kids returning to the sport,” he said. “It’s a good group.”

Girls’ Lacrosse

Just eight players return to the squad this year, but head coach Betsy Dripps said she was excited by the potential and talent of the young varsity team. Over 50 players are in this year’s program, she said, including 24 freshmen.

The varsity team is captained by seniors Alayna Hutchinson, Hannah Moore and Taylor Poggi. Hutchinson and returning juniors Issy Smith and Molly Wallace will hold down the midfield, Coach Dripps said. Last year’s high scorer, Madison Hughes, now plays for Central Connecticut; Poggi and junior Charlotte McCarron will anchor this year’s offense.

Moore and juniors Alex Clark and Mary Ollen are keys to the team defense, backing up freshman goalie Samantha Hargy, who steps into her older sister April’s net. April graduated last year and now plays goalie for Hartwick College. Coach Dripps, now in her 20th season coaching for the Vineyard, is joined on staff by JV coach Laurie Gordon and goalie coach Amy Westburg.

Track and Field

The 2013 team will compete on a newly resurfaced track this year. Head coach Joe Schroeder said the project, completed in October, temporarily brings the surface up to a more competitive grade, but there are still long-term plans to redo the entire track and field facility.

Several individual event champions return to the squad this year, including juniors Joe Turney and Jeremy Alley-Tarter and senior Maggie Riseborough. Turney and Alley-Tarter both earned EAC titles in their respective events of javelin and 800-metre run. Riseborough, competing in shot put, won an EAC title, placed fourth in the Massachusetts All-State Meet, and was the first-ever female athlete to compete in the All-New England Outdoor Track and Field Meet.

Riseborough and junior Katherine Dorr will captain the girls’ squad. Dorr is one of the more versatile athletes on this year’s squad, Coach Schroeder said, and competes in everything from hurdles to jumps. Sophomore Julia Neville and junior Mariah Campbell return as fellow heptathletes.

Three seniors join Riseborough on the team; distance runner Ella Mahoney, sprinter and jumper Dana Jacobs, and newcomer Shavanae Anderson.

The boys’ squad is captained by seniors Jacob Lawrence and Michael Schroeder. Schroeder and fellow seniors Kyle Joba-Woodruff and Sam Oslyn hold down the fort in distance events, while seniors Mike Cutrer and Andrew Freitas anchor the throwing division. Lawrence competes in sprints and is the team’s “jump specialist,” Coach Schroder said. Junior Isaiah Maynard brings multi-event experience to the team; Maynard competed in the state-wide decathlon last year.