JV boys’ lacrosse is under new management this year, and so far it’s been a change for the better. Last year’s coach, Henry Niverth, left the position because of the increased responsibilities that came with his promotion to head of the physical education department at Robert Frost Middle School. He is replaced by Jonathan Powell. Niverth will stay on the staff as an assistant coach.
The team participated in three exhibition matches to tune up before the regular season starts. The first official game will be on Mar. 24 against Northern. The first scrimmage was a 5-4 win over Marriotts Ridge on Mar. 8. The boys were able to learn more about how they play together in more authentic ways that they couldn’t get out of preseason practices. The offseason rust was noticeable, but overall the boys put together a winning effort to start the season off on a high note. One of the things the team learned about themselves was their depth. “We have a pretty balanced team,” sophomore attacker and co-captain Caleb Metz said.
Metz and fellow co-captain, freshman middie Evan McLaughlin, have already established themselves as the main playmakers on the team, with an abundance of others behind them ready to make an impact as role players.
The team went on to play Dominion in a 5-4 victory on Mar. 9. With one scrimmage already under their belt, the boys now seemed to be more comfortable playing with each other, but the chemistry still wasn’t up to the standards that it should be. The ball movement was minimal, as throughout the game as individual players would keep the ball for too long resulting in a scoring opportunity being missed. “We need to work on playing as a team, instead of individually,” sophomore goalie Jake Geline said.
Geline had an impressive season as the starter last year, and his presence between the pipes will be integral as this team really gets into the season.
The boys kept their winning streak alive against Lake Braddock on Mar. 11 as they handily took care of business with a 9-4 win. While they were able to convert more on scoring chances, the Patriots’ ball movement – or lack thereof – still lingered as a problem. If the selfishness doesn’t come down by the start of the regular season, the Patriots could be in for a rude awakening.
That said, the individual talent brings a lot of promise. Despite the issues in core parts of their game, the team has been able to grind out wins. “Our athleticism will give us an edge over other teams,” Metz said.
Even though their opponents so far are by no means powerhouses (far from it, actually), the ability to win close games is one of the valuable intangibles a team can possess.
Although the boys have several kinks to iron out before the season starts up for real, Metz says he speaks for the team when it comes to the major goals they have in mind: “We’re ready to get better, and to [beat] Churchill.”
JV Sports Editor