Men’s lacrosse remains positive after rocky start

Madaket Chiarieri, staff reporter

After starting out the 2017 season with a few losses, the boys lacrosse team looks to improve their competition and the speed of their game for the rest of the season, according to head coach Will Jeffery.

“We have to compete better in practice,” Jeffery said. “What happens is when we go out at game speed, we make mistakes that we aren’t making in practice, and I think we need to practice faster [and] practice harder.”

After those losses, the players realized they needed to become more of a team, according to freshman midfielder Connor Karsh.

“We felt down [after the losses], but before every practice and on the way home from our games, we started to act like a family and play as a team,” Karsh said.

Over spring break, the team was home, practicing and building up their teamwork. They also took a trip to Indiana to play a game against Bishop Chatard High School, and to visit Depauw University. According to Jeffery, taking time off would be damaging to the team’s season.

“It’s just too important a time to take a week off,” Jeffery said. “We just are starting to find the things we have to practice and giving them a week off would have been detrimental.”

According to Karsh, the team’s strengths include their strong shooters, a cohesive defense, and some great goalies. As far as weaknesses, the team needs to work together as one in order to get shots off and score goals.

“We need to play defense as a team and offense as a team, and it can’t be a one-man show,” Karsh said. “We need to move the ball and communicate as a team.”

This year, varsity is stacked with starting freshman including Karsh, Joe Speers, Liam Roberson, and Gavin Miller, said Jeffery. Other standout players include sophomore Harry Panagakis and junior goalie Cameron Duffy, who had 15 saves in South’s 21-8 loss against Grayslake North, according to Jeffery.

“All four [freshman] can hang already,” Jeffery said. “So it’s encouraging to have those young guys really stepping up into spots.”

Starting their season off by playing the best teams helps the team to improve on their game from the beginning of the season and to find what they need to work on early on, according to Jeffery.

“[By] Playing the best teams we get to see all of our weaknesses,” Jeffery said. “They expose all of the things we have to work on quickly so we get to get those practices in early.”

According to Karsh, playing the best teams has enabled the team to work in practice on moving the ball quickly on offense and working together to get stops on defense.

“Our coach wanted us to put in our offense and move the ball as quickly as possible, so we’re able to get open looks and dodge to score,” Karsh said.

The first three games of the season were against Grayslake North, which was a 21-8 loss for South, Bishop Chatard, a 16-8 win for South, and Highland Park, which was a 14-9 loss for South. The team feels that by working on their weaknesses from these first games, they will have the ability to beat those teams by the time playoffs come around.

“I think since we are new at playing together, we need a little bit more chemistry, but we definitely have the skill set to beat those teams,” Karsh said.

The lacrosse team’s next games are at York High School on April 8th and against Vernon Hills at GBS on April 11th.