There is an added bonus to this spring’s high school boys lacrosse season – four extra spots in May’s state tournament.
With the field expanding from 12 to 16 teams, most of the local boys lacrosse teams are hopeful that they can claim one of those four spots.
“This is huge for us,” Middletown coach Scott Brown said. “The four extra spots gives us a chance to get back to the tournament and we want to get there. We haven’t been there in a while.”
Appoquinimink coach Chris Rutter had similar aspirations for his Jaguars, who at 12-3, narrowly missed out on post-season play last year.
“Playing disciplined is what will get us to the tournament,” Appoquinimink coach Chris Rutter said. “We have a tough schedule this year, but we still expect to make the tournament. That’s our goal.”
Rutter is hopeful the Jaguars, with three returning starters and freshman Ryan Kern in goal, will step up this year and improve on their record of a season ago.
“It’s more about showing discipline and learning how to play that way,” he said. “If we are able to deal with those things, we should be fine.”
St. Georges coach Clay Strickland said that despite an 0-3 start to the campaign, the Hawks still had designs on qualifying for post-season play.
“Absolutely,” St. Georges coach Clay Strickland said when asked if the tourney was a goal for his team. “You want to get better each day and each game, but you also want the guys to focus on the bigger picture.
“This wasn’t the start I would’ve liked, but you have to have something to shoot for,” he said. “It’s going to take everyone getting better and playing as a team.”
St. Andrew’s coach Jay Hutchinson had a slightly different take.
“I’d rather play it one game at a time,” St. Andrew’s Coach Jay Hutchinson. “I don’t want to think that far ahead, we’ve still got a lot of work left to do.”
The Saints won five games last year and started the season with games against the state champions, the state finalist and a state semifinalist team this year. The team returns four starters.
Teamwork is also the motto for the Cavaliers, who return several starters and team captains this season.
“The guys will play as one this year, there will be no individual play,” Brown said confidently. “They’ll play as a unit and as a one team.”
E-mail Chris Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org