The Smyrna High School boys lacrosse team finished their 2013 season with a 10-5 record and 9-4 loss to Tower Hill in the first round of the state tournament.
The season marked the Eagles’ second as a varsity program. The year was capped off when head coach Mike Judy was named the Henlopen Conference Boys Lacrosse Coach of the Year and the State Boys Lacrosse Coach of the Year.
The team’s third season as a varsity lacrosse team hasn’t been as fruitful. The Eagles sit at 1-8 with six games left in the season.
Smyrna lost their eighth game of the season Friday with a tough 21-0 setback to Cape Henlopen at home. The team’s lone win of the season was April 7 with a 10-2 victory over at Red Lion.
Judy spoke about the team’s year prior to the loss to Cape Henlopen Friday. A large part of the team’s difficulties this year has to do with the fact the team lost half of its players to graduation.
“We’ve opened the season by letting our inexperience shine through,” Judy said.
Judy said the players didn’t expect to have only have one win thus far in the season but they were well aware of the difficulty of the 2014 schedule early on.
“Graduating every starter from a playoff team is contributing to our slow start,” Judy said. “Several of our younger players are transitioning to varsity slower than I’d like, but they are working hard and continue to improve despite our record.”
To get better results for the remainder of the season, Judy said the players need to refocus on the fundamentals including ball skills, which Judy said have been atrocious and need their undivided attention. Then he said the team needs to fiercely compete at practice with the intent of pushing each other to get better. Finally Judy said the team needs to be confident in its identity as a program.
“Smyrna Lacrosse is a family who plays tenaciously for 48 minutes and has fun while practicing tremendous sportsmanship,” he said.
When asked about the mentality of the players at this point in the season, Judy referenced a quote from a former coach of his: “sports don’t build character, they expose it.” Judy said these words ring true because when a team is in a tough spot, you can see where one’s loyalty and toughness are.
“When I look into my team’s eyes, I see desire and pride along with frustration and uncertainty. They are tough kids and will right the ship in the next few weeks,” Judy said. “I am looking forward to a great finish by these young men.”