To say the Seneca Valley boys lacrosse team is in a rebuilding phase is an understatement. The team lost 12 seniors to graduation last season; their starting goalie transferred out of state, and they are playing for a new head coach.
The team lost as many players to graduation as they have on the entire roster this season. The Screaming Eagles are fielding a team of only 12 players. That means just two subs all season long.
“Of course, we are hoping to improve on our 6-8 season from last year, but we did lose 12 seniors, which is a pretty big hit,” said new Head Coach Dennis Whalen, who had been coaching Seneca’s junior varsity for two years. “I’ve had a great working relationship with the previous varsity lacrosse coaches and players at Seneca Valley, so I feel that this will be an easy transition. Since my son also played lacrosse at Seneca Valley, I am very familiar with the program, many of the parents, and the expectations of the Athletic Director.”
With a young team of just six upperclassmen (four seniors and two juniors), the Eagles have had to rely heavily on underclassman, and so far this season the results have shown evidence of that youth and inexperience. Seneca has scored a single goal in their three losses. Most recently losing 20-0 Wednesday night at Quince Orchard.
However, throughout the course of the season youth and inexperience can be molded and as the season rolls on experience leads to improvement. “Last year’s team had some excellent players, but unfortunately, only two of these students will be returning,” said Whalen. “We lost Hunter Bolen, who was an excellent goalie after his family moved out of state. I believe that our goalie this year, Sam Maisel, will be impressive as well. Scott Cunningham did an awesome job last year at attack, as did Philip Michel as a long pole defensive player. I would expect that these players will largely contribute to the team going forward, along with a few other secret weapons that have moved up from junior varsity.”
“Since we only have two returning varsity players, the majority of our varsity team is new. We do have a freshman on the varsity team, Ryan Carroll, who will be starting at long pole,” said Whalen. “He works really well with Philip Michel, and I think Ryan will be a great asset to the team. I have to give a lot of credit to all of the players on this varsity team. They work really hard and keep their head in the game. Everyone gets along well and follows directions. This team will be competitive, but they will also show excellent sportsmanship.”
Top: One of Seneca Valley’s four seniors Francisco Guevara (1) moves the ball in the Quince Orchard zone during Wednesday night’s game.
Next: Seneca Valley’s sophomore defender Phillip Michel (3), is one of five sophomores that are a big part of the rebuilding phase for Seneca’s boys’ LAX team.
Photo by Mark Poetker for Germantown Pulse.