With baseball season revving up and tennis matches on the way, another RBHS sport is also gaining momentum going into the new season.
Lacrosse, which is a club program under Bruin athletics, began practice last week with new head coach Thomas Scully. After the loss of three coaches and the graduation of 16 players, the culture of the entire team has changed. The team is predominantly made up of underclassmen who have never played varsity lacrosse before, but after a grueling and finely tuned preseason, Scully is ready to move his players onto the next step of rebuilding RBHS Lacrosse.
“We are completely remaking this program, but it’s all for the better,” Scully said. “[RBHS] has always been a good team, but the work in the past has only gotten them to back-to-back losses in the first round of the playoffs. That ends now.”
With help from previous RBHS players and new coaches, Scully is pushing every player to help them achieve their goal of a state playoff win. Even for senior Hunter Wadman, the increased work ethic now required of every player comes as a sign of hope rather than a burden.
“We’ve never had a coach put us through preseason workouts like that before,” Wadman said. “I think it kind of shocked us all, but it was immediately apparent once we started real practices that it had paid off and the workouts had gotten us in the best shape we’ve ever been.”
Wadman, who recently committed to play lacrosse at Missouri Baptist University, has a new, crucial role as a senior and a leader on the defense. After losing two starting defensemen from the previous year, it’s more important now than ever that the slew of underclassmen have the ability to step up early in the season.
“Our seniors have really been helping us to learn and get better,” sophomore Griffin Strong said. “This season we just want to be able to work together to become the best we can be no matter what it takes.”
The current senior class may be small compared to the previous season with only six graduating, but Scully has made it very apparent how important their role will be in the coming season. Not only is it time for them to push their play on the field, but to ensure that incoming generations of RBHS lacrosse players have a solid program. The seniors must begin to build a legacy for Bruins Lacrosse.
“I don’t want us to be a team that goes into the playoffs every year and loses in the first round,” Wadman said. “We need to bring our level of play up so that we can make this team a much higher seed and actually go deep into the playoffs.”
Boys’ lacrosse will begin their season March 5 at the Missouri Scholastic Lacrosse Association preseason jamboree, where they will play a handful of teams. One such team will be Priory, the only regular season undefeated team in Missouri Division Two that beat RBHS in the playoffs last year.
“I don’t want us to focus too hard on anything that’s not directly ahead of us,” Scully said. “It really just comes down to who we play next. If we’re playing Priory next, then we’ll give everything we have to beat them. Same goes for any other team we play this year.”
Editor’s note: Writer is a member of the RBHS varsity lacrosse team.
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