With a record of 1-4, the varsity boys lacrosse team is on their way to a solid season with some goals in mind.
This year, the team is led by Head Coach Rich Mok. With over 30 years of lacrosse experience, Coach Mok has coached at numerous levels, including the collegiate and club level of lacrosse. “He’s got excellent experience as a coach,” Assistant Coach David Hild said. Led by junior midfielder midfielder Co-captain Michael Bzowyckyj and junior defender Co-captain Alexander Levin, the team is focused on rebuilding with a relatively young team. They started out with around 12 players but were joined by a couple eighth-graders, which puts an emphasis on the need for rebuilding.
With this in mind, the team works hard in practice every day, focusing on different parts of the game, such as disruption and transitions. “We also take care of transitioning the ball ourselves when we have the ball,” Coach Mok said, “making sure we can move the ball to the field from their defense to our offense very efficiently without turning the ball over ourselves.”
Coach Hild agreed. “That’s a big part of the game,” he said, noting the use of mantras before practice and retaining them to grow, along with various skills such as offensive spacing, defensive work, and stick spacing.
During the first two matches of the season, the team took home two tough losses against Greens Farm Academy and Rye Country Day. The team played against Forman School on April 15, and won by a score of 10-1. They lost to Cheshire Academy on April 19 with a score of 5-11, and lost to St. Luke’s School with a close score of 5-7.
One notable player is freshman midfielder Dalton Smith, who has been over 70% during the faceoffs of the games. “Typically if you’re over 50%, you’re a pretty good player,” Coach Mok said. He also highlighted sophomore midfielder Jack Neikrie, who is their leading scorer at the moment, playing strong defense and offense. Another key player is sophomore goalie Will Keegan. “He’s a really good player and shot stopper, and really good at clears,” Bzowyckyj said.
Following these games, the team has set some goals both within the team and within the league. Coach Mok has described their goal of ending up in the top four teams in the Fairchester League, making the playoffs, and hopefully the championships. “We still have a lot of lacrosse ahead in the spring,” he said, “and we’ll see where it goes.” Coach Mok also highlighted their need to work on conditioning skills.
Coach Hild added onto this. “We’ll continue to work on just physical conditioning throughout the season because we don’t have lots and lots of players, so everyone has to be in pretty good shape,” he said.
Bzowyckyj also noted the need for conditioning as many players were gassed by the fourth quarter during the game with Rye. Coach Hild commended the team for making steady improvements. “We definitely have made improvements in the last couple of weeks, and we look for that to continue,” he said.
Both coaches and captains have highlighted the team’s close relationship. “We have a very close-knit team,” Bzowyckyj said, “and I think that’s just really enjoyable because everyone’s friendly with each other.”
The boys lacrosse team has a bright future ahead. “We have a young team with a lot of talent,” Levin said. Coach Mok added to this. “I think this team’s looking really strong and looking forward to a great season,” he said.
The boys team looks forward to upcoming games against King on April 29 and Hamden Hall on May 15. We wish them the best of luck!