By Liam Watson
The varsity lacrosse team is in preseason mode. The Cubs finished last season with a seven game winning-streak and won the Southern Section title game against Corona del Mar High School. Last year, the team was comprised of mostly juniors, leaving a lot of experience on this year’s team. The team has several college commitments to the likes of Maryland and Syracuse, lacrosse powerhouses. Given the surplus of talent on this years varsity team, there are high expectations for a repeat CIF championship in the upcoming season.
With a couple months left until official season play begins with a matchup against St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, the Cubs are already training at a high level. The players began workouts with strength and conditioning coach Andre Woodert two weeks ago. The athleticism gained from the workouts helps players improve their skills on the field.
Senior defensive midfielder Luke Mckenna said, “We begin training early to make sure we’ll have the endurance needed to play games against difficult opponents. Beginning training early also gives us an opportunity to build muscle mass and strength before the season, which also helps us play a more physical style of lacrosse than some of the other teams we come up against.”
The tryouts started a month ago with 60 players. The first cut reduced the team to the 47 man training roster. These are the players who have been training and conditioning for the past month. The team practices every morning beginning at 6 a.m. The team trains with coach Andre in the weightroom for 45 minutes and then practices on the field for an hour. As winter break approaches, the coaching staff will make their final cut to the 33 players that will be on the roster all season.
Sophomores are competing for the few varsity spots available to them. Sophomore player Cameron McNeil said, “As a sophomore player, the competition is tough, especially when competing versus your fellow JV members and the current members of varsity. There are not very many spots to take knowing that only a few seniors graduated last year from our team. This year will be interesting in the way the coaches decide what is best for the team to become repeat CIF Champs.”
The team has all the pieces to be successful this season. Mckenna said, “Offensively, we need to execute the plays our coach gives us effectively and capitalize on any transition opportunities we get. Scoring in transition allows for quick, easy goals and punishes opposing teams for sloppy play and turnovers. Defensively, our zone defense can create turnovers and bad shots for opposing offenses, but we need to communicate clearly and adjust to any shifts in offensive strategy the other teams might try.”