The boys lacrosse team faces a difficult challenge this season with only two seniors returning from last year’s team, which had a record of 9–9. The two seniors are Rory Helstrom ’16 and Nick Halliday ’16, both midfielders and co-captains. This shortage of seniors could result in a lack of leadership for the team. However, the co-captains are not too concerned with the small number of seniors on the team this year.
“The lack of seniors just means that the rest of the team has to pick it up,” defender, Tooker Callaway ’17 said.
Helstrom is counting on the junior players to make a big contribution to the team this year. “There are a lot of juniors this year playing, so they will be able to do a lot of work. Not all of them have a lot of experience, but as the year goes on they will get better and better, which will help us for the season,” Helstrom said.
Head Coach Chip Casto echoes his players’ statements, noting the shortage of seniors will not affect the team’s overall performance.“Once the season starts you don’t necessarily classify the players by year. You certainly see different maturity levels,” Casto said. Casto is more concerned with leadership qualities on the team rather than grade levels. “It’s based on the leaders. If they were weaker leaders, I would have to change something, but they have been doing a great job,” Casto added.
The juniors on the team recognize that the two seniors lead by example. The younger players see how hard the seniors work and try to emulate them. “[Nick and Rory] are always going the extra mile and working hard in general. Rory is always one of the first guys in the locker room. You’ll never see them slack off in practice,” Callaway said.
Even though there are only two seniors, Helstrom feels that the team’s chemistry is very strong. “Practice is always fun. We are always laughing and making jokes and having a good time,” Helstrom said. He also believes that team’s unity is key for its success. “Working together and doing what we need to do and staying on task are all things that need to happen to be successful this year. In games, we can’t panic. Everyone just needs to do their own job and we will just come together as a team, and we’ll win games,” Helstrom said.
Even though they are an inexperienced team, there are high expectations for a successful year. The team wants to make sure it sticks together and win games, no matter the sporadic age differences.
“We would love to win state championships, conference championships, and country championships. But, we’re just really working on winning each game and playing hard and just getting better as a team.” Casto said.
While they have several goals for this season, Helstrom and Halliday recognizes the additional pressure he faces this year.
“People look up to the seniors and because this year it is only Nick and I, we have a lot more pressure on us to do the right thing,” Helstrom said.
Callaway added that the team is rallying behind Helstrom and Halliday to give them a great senior season. “We really want to give them a season that they can remember. We always want to give 100 percent effort for that reason,” Callaway said.