Men’s lacrosse looks to utilize underclassmen players

Emma Hammer, staff reporter

Senior Captain Sam Dale sprints down the field and passes the ball to junior Captain Harry Panagakis. Panagakis carries the ball, and shoots it into the net, scoring South’s game winning goal. Men’s lacrosse is ready to take on Glenbrook North at home on May 3.

Even though the season has just begun, men’s lacrosse is planning for a very successful season, according to Head Coach Will Jeffrey. Jeffrey says their team is hoping for a 14-4 record and to make it further in playoffs than they have in previous seasons.

“We looked through the schedule and thought we could go 14-4,” Jeffrey said. “[The men] circled Glenbrook North on the calendar, and they’ve circled the first round of playoffs as a win.”

In addition to the team goals, Jeffrey says his goal for the season is for the men to realize they can achieve more than they think, and that they are underestimating themselves. He is excited for the men to start playing together and mesh more as a team, according to Jeffrey.

“My goals for the guys are to discover that they can do way more than they expect,” Jeffrey said. “I see them as a state championship team, and I don’t think that’s delusional to even have that expectation for them. We’ve got some really good tools, some really good individual talent, and I’m really excited to see what happens if they can start to play together with team first mentality.”

According to Panagakis, he is also excited for the season because of the different team dynamic with many sophomore starters and leaders. Panagakis says that the variety of ages on the team will affect them in a positive way.

“We have a couple sophomores that are really good that are returning varsity players, so they played their freshman year on varsity,” Panagakis said. “I think it helps bring the entire team closer together because it’s not like historically where you have your juniors or seniors that are better because they are more experienced. We have underclassmen that are just as good, if not better than our upperclassmen.”

Dale is excited to encourage the sophomores and his fellow teammates as captain this season. Dale says he fulfills his captain role on and off the field.

“[I try] to be the loudest person out there,” Dale said. “I play defense, but when the offense scores, I like getting together with the other defensemen and celebrating, even though we are like 50-75 yards away. If you are on the sidelines, just making a lot of noise and being pretty animated and fired up.”

According to Jeffrey, the men are ready to defeat Glenbrook North at home this season for the first time in the past few years. With the help of their friends and fans, the men should be able to bring home the win, according to Jeffrey.

“The guys always get really pumped up for [the GBN] game, and I think we are equipped this year to win,” Jeffrey said. “We’ve come up short the last couple years, and as we know [GBN] is a big rival of ours. The kids really feed off their friends being there, so we’d love to get people at that game.”