The Varsity Boys Lacrosse team steamrolls into the playoffs, riding high off of an impressive overtime victory vs. Blessed Trinity

Despite losing multiple starters to injury, the varsity boys’ lacrosse team looks strong as they head into the playoffs. Fueled by multiple big wins, including an exciting overtime victory against rival Blessed Trinity, the Boys LaxCats aim to make a campaign for a state championship.

“We had to replace a lot of starters and major contributors from last year due to them graduating,” said head coach Tony Souza. “The coaches and returning players knew that there were many big shoes to fill, but the team did an excellent job overcoming the challenge.”

Even after losing key starters, the team has prevailed because many upperclassmen stepped up and filled the positions.

“During close games, Hunter Wanamaker, Aidan Wooley, and William Maxwell have really stepped up and led by example,” said junior lacrosse player Wilson Ide. “Coach Souza is always drawing up new plays to target the weaknesses of other teams, while Coach Wellford helps guide the defense into how to effectively beat the opposing attackmen.” 

The Wildcats encountered numerous challenges during the offseason, specifically on figuring out how to develop their skills despite GHSA’s restrictions on team practices during the offseason. Even though there were no official team practices, the team still put work in and stayed accountable by working independently. Furthermore, with great leadership from the captains, the team ran unofficial group practices which allowed the team to develop their skills as well as build camaraderie as a team.

“In the off-season, we would get together at the summer camp, said freshman Mason Theis. “We would work on our shots and would run some drills to get back into the swing of things. This time also for new and returning players to hang out and get to know each other. It allowed us to build trust with each other, which is especially important because lacrosse is a team sport, and we need to play as a team to win.”

The teams’ hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed and showed during their first few weeks of official practice.

“They’ve been really working on their stick skills and developing as individuals in the offseason, said Souza.  “They made sure that they can dodge, shoot, play defense, and all that stuff.”

After many independent practices and lifts in the weight room, the players kicked off the regular season, where their efforts during the offseason were shown in full view on the field.

“I think the growth that we’ve been able to achieve has been very noticeable. We started at Walton, and everyone started getting experience from there,” said Souza. “I think our improvement has been really impressive since the beginning of the year. Every game is a new experience for a lot of these guys. Each game allows us to learn what we need to work on as well as figure out what we do well.

The team’s hard work and growth took shape after a strong win against Harrison Highschool.

“After spring break, we played Harrison after only a couple of days of practice,” said Souza. “It’s a big 7A school, and we fought really hard. We were able to make a come back in that game by tying it up and sending it into overtime, where we eventually won it.”

The Harrison game was a hard fought win, but only a starting point for the achievements to come for the boys Laxcats. In early April, the team defeated Blessed Trinity 8-7, a sweet memory for both the fans and the team. The team was anchored by their defense who locked down BT when it mattered most. Similarly, the offense played well, led by sophomore Connor Hodgson who scored three goals. With the powerful offense, the team tied up the game late in the fourth quarter and sent it into overtime. Junior Aidan Wooley dodged down the left alley making an on-the-run shot for the Wildcat victory.

“Aidan really helped us out,” said Souza. “We had contributions from everyone else on the offense, but I think Aidan was a catalyst for the offense in that game.”

Souza also had praise for his defense, who held the previous 3rd highest-ranked team in the nation to only seven goals.

“William, in the cage, had a great game and I think Henry, on the face-offs, had a really strong game as well,” said Souza. “There were also a couple of defenders that held their matchups; Hunter held his matchup to one point, and Denton held his to zero. Reyn did a good job against his matchup, who only scored a couple. However, holding his matchup to only a couple of goals is extremely impressive given that he’s one of the best players in the state. 

With the momentous Blessed Trinity game under their belts, the team has rolled through the playoffs, and continues their campaign with hopes of bringing home the state title.

“Our goals for the season were to beat Lovett and BT in the regular season and to win state,” said Theis.  “While we lost a tough one to Lovett, we still beat BT, and our odds for winning the state title keep increasing.”

The boys LaxCats look forward to showcasing their improvements and efforts from the past few months during the playoffs and ultimately in the state championship. With the leadership from both captains and coaches and an ever-improving team, the Cats are sure to prove themselves in their last few games.