By: Jared Capozza
The Seton LaSalle Boy’s Lacrosse season has just begun and questions remain on how the upcoming season looks for the team.
This year the boys have a new coach, Matthew Unger, who hopes to be a positive change for the team and help them return to their championship form. He hopes for this season to be “fundamentally sound,” and have a “hard working, family oriented team.” If they can do this, Unger says, they should be playoff contenders.
Senior Luke Mallon, also shares this view, saying “The expectations of this year are positive. Compared to our last two years, there is plenty of room for improvement. Our section is very competitive, so we will be challenged, but our non-section games are against programs similar to our own.”
Initially it was very difficult to recruit players for the team. This year has proved fairly difficult concerning the amount of players turning out to play. At one point they were not sure if they were going to have a team. Luckily though, they were able to get enough players and are hoping for more to come out. Mallon said that many are interested in playing, but the issue is the expense of the equipment. Also, lacrosse is a fairly new sport to the area, especially to our school, who has only had a lacrosse team for about 6 years. Many kids go into football, basketball, soccer, baseball, et cetera, where they have programs set up in the various townships.
The team itself is fairly senior heavy according to Coach Unger. He will be looking for them to “demonstrate a strong work ethic, bring great energy every time they’re on the field, and put the team above themselves.” There will also be a new playbook and staff so the older, experienced teammates will be relied on to help those players who are younger or have never played before to learn the game of lacrosse and the plays that will be implemented.
Finally, nothing was left untouched when it came to the reorganization of the WPIAL, lacrosse included. This year the team is in a new division for the first time since its inception, and they’re hoping it can help turn the success of the team around. Luke Mallon says that it will help because some of the bigger teams they faced previously have moved up, giving them a better chance of making playoffs and ultimately the PIAA tournament. Unger says they are in the deeper of the two class AA divisions and that every game they play will be a challenge. The tough teams they will face this year include Quaker Valley, Chartiers Valley, and Moon.
These opponents have an advantage because of their youth lacrosse programs, allowing the kids to play with each other for many years and practice more than most of the players on Seton have. However, despite that the team still considers themselves to be a “dark horse” in their section and if a team comes out flat they will be ready to catch them off guard. Despite the struggles of previous seasons, the Rebels are looking to use the new division to their advantage and return to their old championship form.