The Smyrna High lacrosse team is in their first season as a varsity program. And while their record of 1-4 isn’t indicative of where the Eagles are as a team, head coach Mike Judy believes the team is where it needs to be as a first-year program.
The Eagles went 7-2 last year as a junior varsity program.
This year, the varsity lacrosse team opened its season March 22 with a 14-2 loss against Polytech in a game in which Judy said the players were shell-shocked and didn’t show who they are as a team.
Five days later, the team crossed their first hurdle as a team — their first varsity win 17-1 over Dickinson.
“It felt great, especially when I saw the looks in the kids’ eyes…they were excited. It is nice when you see hard work get translated to a win on the field,” Judy said.
A few days later, the team played in their first home game as a varsity team. The Eagles lost to lacrosse powerhouse Cape Henlopen 15-1 but Judy was still pleased with the team’s effort.
For junior Bruce Lowman the team’s first home game was exciting.
“I wasn’t expecting nearly as many people as we had. There were so many people out to support us, it felt really good,” Lowman said. “You could tell in the way that we played it was great to have all the home support.”
Thus far in the season, the Eagles may have a losing record but Judy said the players on the team are rising to every challenge the coaches put forth. These challenges aren’t necessarily to beat teams like Cape Henlopen, which has won a few championships, but to get out there and compete.
Junior Jacob Stoner said the team is improving every day and picking up intensity as the season goes along.
“We’re just trying to figure out where we stand right now with the teams that we’re playing against,” Stoner said. “We have some hot competition that we go against in the Henlopen Conference. It gets a little rough but we’ll stick together.”
One thing that stands out to both Lowman and Stoner is the team’s chemistry. The players on the team are really close, which enables them to work well together on and off the field. “That’s one thing you don’t really find a lot in teams,” Lowman said.
While the team works well together, there’s always room for improvement including honing their stick skills and having better communication on the field.
As the season continues on after spring break, Judy said the next few weeks will say a lot about the team.
Page 2 of 2 - “If my guys can take every rep of every drill of every practice and hang their hats on that statement, then we will grow to be a competitive varsity program,” Judy said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at email@example.com.