Boys lacrosse excited to be back on field
The Northwestern Lehigh boys lacrosse team will suit up for just its second season of existence in 2021. Like every other high school in District 11, the Tigers had their season canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. But head coach Marcus Janda and his group are excited to continue to build off that initial season of 2019.
“We are extremely excited for our second full season of play in program history,” said Janda. “This year we have a schedule full of [East Penn Conference] opponents and we are excited to compete with the most established programs in the area. Northwestern has an extremely proud tradition in athletics and we are eager to become a part of that tradition of excellence.
“It goes without saying that we are excited to compete, excited to be back on the lacrosse field. However, I’d say what excites me the most is to just be back around the players. Missing out on last season really put things into perspective. It’s not the wins and the losses, not the goals and big plays that you remember most. It’s the time spent at practice just around the players, the time spent on bus rides conversing and getting to know the young men that put on that Tigers uniform.”
Some of the top returning upperclassmen for Northwestern this season include seniors Reed Conrey, Owen Coffield, Kane Flickinger, Noah Smargiassi and Daniel Fenstermacher, along with juniors Taylor Wikert, Drew Sabo and Andrew Collins.
“We return a very experienced defense with Owen, Reed, Taylor and Daniel all being players that started for us in the 2019 season,” said Janda. “Along with the addition of Jack Coleman, we are loaded with experience, size, and physicality on the defensive end of the field.”
Coleman is a junior transfer from Central Catholic, and he joins fellow newcomers to the lineup in sophomores Cade Christopher and Austin Sosnovik.
Janda still sees a need for experience, and only playing the games will help in that regard.
“Although we do have some guys that are very talented on the offensive side of the ball, the facts are that we only return two offensive starters from our inaugural season and only three players that have ever suited up for our program before,” Janda said. “That group is largely inexperienced and the question will be how long does it take for them to gel and become an efficient group that puts the ball in the back of the net?”
Northwestern is eagerly awaiting the start to the 2021 campaign which begins next Friday, March 26, at home against Bethlehem Catholic.
“As a newer program, only competing in our second season due to last season getting canceled, the goal will always be to take that next step forward,” said Janda. “In our inaugural season we lost a handful of very close games, the goal this year will be to turn those close games into victories. Along with continuing to establish our program, I think the goal will always be to qualify for postseason play which to us is District 11 playoffs. We came very close in year one, and we will look to take that next step forward here in our second full season.”