By: Jake Parks
As winter sports come to a close and the spring sports begin here at Seton-La Salle, Boys Lacrosse is entering its fifth season with a new coach and many new players. Coming off of a 16-1 overall record, Div. 2 WPIAL Championship, and an undefeated section record, the Rebels look to repeat.
The Lacrosse Team has many talented starters returning. Seniors Colin Bashaw, Mike Kalnas, Liam McLane, Kevin Hudson, Gino DiPerna, Anthony Shoplik, Noah Kaib, and Junior Jacob Blahut will be returning this spring. Even with the loss of talented players, others have stepped up in their places. Seniors Michael Pritchard and Sean Rieber have had an awesome indoor season.
The boys will also be under the new coaching of Sam Foreman and Liam Bedortha this year. Coach Foreman is coming from the Mt. Lebanon Lacrosse program, which is a very prestigious WPIAL lacrosse program. He has brought with him Coach Bedortha. Returning coaches are Coach Bob Bashaw, Coach Mike Vaughan, and Coach Pat Vaughan. The coaches coming back have helped Coach Foreman and Coach Bedortha tremendously with getting started here this year. The coaches know of the talent that the team has and is expecting a repeat as well.
Repeating a one-loss season is one goal, but the team has their eyes set on another WPIAL title. When asked, “What was the difficulty of a repeat this year?”
When Junior Defenseman Jacob Blahut was asked about a repeat, he replied: “Naturally winning a championship is hard. Now with a repeat more pressure is on us. Every team is out to knock us off and so we have to play that much harder every game. Also our schedule this year is tougher and we have to step our game up this year to meet our high standards.”
Senior Defenseman Mike Kalnas was asked whether this season would be tougher, and he replied; “There will be difficulty this year and that comes from a couple different reasons. We ended up losing more players than we thought we would, including 2 starting midfielders, and 2 out of our 3 starting attackmen. We also are on our 3rd coach in three years which is never easy, but I think we’re fine. We have a ton of senior leadership, plus we’re returning the 3 starting defensemen and goalie, who led the WPIAL last year in least goals let up per game.”
A key part to winning championships back-to-back years requires hard work, determination, and motivation. The second question that was asked was, “How motivated is the team to repeat last year’s season?”
Senior Goalie Kevin Hudson’s answer was, “We are just as motivated as we are ever; if not more.”
Senior Attack Colin Bashaw said, “The team is a little hurt from the players we’ve lost, but aside from those minor setbacks the team is ready to bring back another WPIAL medal.”
Every season, regardless of the sport, teams look at the schedule and look at which teams are going to be the easy wins and the tough fought battles. The players were asked “What’s the most important game on the schedule and why?”
Senior Long Stick Midfielder, Gino DiPerna agrees that Quaker Valley will be a tough game. When asked the question, DiPerna said, “Quaker Valley; because it’s a known fact they don’t like us and we don’t like them.”
Senior Defenseman Liam McLane replied to this question by saying, “Quaker Valley and Baldwin are always big games but I think the most important game will be Bethel Park…Bethel Park was the only team that beat us last year and it was only one goal so we want to prove that we can beat Bethel this year.”