Throughout his life, Johnny Lopez-Ona ’17 has been surrounded by lacrosse. Lopez-Ona’s passion for the sport started with his family and was most importantly influenced by his father, who played lacrosse in college. His dad started pushing him to work hard every time he entered the field, and this relationship is what drives Lopez-Ona to put in the most effort on the PHS lacrosse team. Although his father is his biggest role model, Lopez-Ona has been greatly influenced by the camaraderie he has with his teammates on the high school team.
“Everyone on the lacrosse team has a really good connection, and it forms a bond that goes outside of the team,” Lopez-Ona said. “All of [my teammates] are always trying as hard as they can at practice and [to make] each other better.”
The chemistry that Lopez-Ona has created with his teammates has helped him lead the team to success both on and off the field. Looking forward to this upcoming season, Lopez-Ona has set high expectations for the team.
“Every year, the goal is to win counties, but this year especially, I think we have higher goals to go further in States than we have the past few years,” Lopez-Ona said.
Winning the Mercer County Tournament his freshman year was a high point in Lopez-Ona’s lacrosse career, and is one of the most memorable experiences he has had so far playing lacrosse for PHS. In his past three years as a starter, Lopez-Ona has scored 87 goals and tallied 71 assists, scoring a total of 158 points in addition to recording 12 ground balls.
Outside of school, he plays for Team Turnpike, a club team coached by PHS Head Coach Peter Stanton. All of Lopez-Ona’s coaches expect a lot of him, as he scored the greatest amount of points last season.
“My coaches definitely have made me push harder to get better at lacrosse and even continue after high school,” Lopez-Ona said.
Even though a lot of the key players from the PHS lacrosse team have graduated this year, Lopez-Ona and other seniors still expect the team to “rise up” this season.
“[I hope the team will] rise up in the big games. Last year we lost the county tournament, and I don’t think I played that great, so I guess coming out in all the big games … is important,” Lopez-Ona said.
Although Lopez-Ona does not plan on playing lacrosse collegiately, it will still be a lifelong passion of his. He especially loves the feeling of being on the field.
“I enjoy the pace of the game and how throughout the game, you always have a chance to come back because you can score so many goals so quickly,” Lopez-Ona said.