Lacrosse teams take on new season

Oak Park high school lacrosse teams make changes for the 2017-2018 season

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With a new coach beginning his time at Oak Park High School and the yearly influx of new team members, both lacrosse teams have had to make adjustments for the 2017-18 season. Currently, OPHS’s boys’ lacrosse team has 11 wins and six losses, while the girls’ lacrosse team has nine wins and seven losses.

Girls’ lacrosse has practiced since January, though optional conditioning was available every Saturday starting in the beginning of October and running until winter break.

“As far as strengths are concerned, we have a lot of really good athletes on the team. Our girls are fast and strong, and more times than not we physically match up well against our opponents,” new girls’ lacrosse coach Chris Dotson wrote to the Talon. “We’ve also stressed team play this year, and I think that’s another strength that we’ve developed. We’re much more effective when we play team lacrosse instead of individually.”

According to junior Wyatt Purkowski, boys’ lacrosse has been practicing since December. He credits their successes thus far to their conditioning and rapport.

“The team’s strength would definitely be our leadership and experience as we have 11 seniors that have played with each other for a while. One weakness would be that players on our team always seem to get hurt… our team all season long has been banged up,” senior Adam Julius wrote to the Talon.

The girls’ goal is to make playoffs, and the boys’ ultimate goal is to win the CIF Championship. Each team has been working toward their goal by constantly improving and striving to behave as cohesive units.

“I feel very good about the season because we are playing our best ball right now, which is the end of the season and that’s all that matters,” Julius wrote. “It doesn’t matter how good of a season you are having unless you can play best when it matters, which is right now with the playoffs fast approaching.”

The girls’ team’s philosophy is one item which they have worked to implement this season, both on and off the field.

“The overall attitude at practice is determination. Even after a ton of sprints, you will still find the team smiling and laughing. Our motto this season is ‘attitude is everything’ because hard work and positivity are truly what lead to success,” sophomore Lily Lerner wrote to the Talon.

According to the athletes, communication is vital to both teams, and is built off of a good rapport between team members. Over the course of the season, the team improves partially due to friendships established within the teams.

“Our relationships as a team are great on and off the field. On the field, it makes communication a lot easier to have such a tight group, and we trust each other throughout games. Off the field it’s just great to have so many girls to hang out with and joke around with,” sophomore Julia Winck said.

Dotson believes in three goals: to learn, to have fun and to make playoffs. The goals were set during the first team meeting of the year, and the importance of staying both physically and mentally healthy is greatly emphasized, as well as the need to play hard and live by the team philosophy.

“I’d like to think that with one week to go in the regular season, we accomplished our first two goals of learning and having fun,” Dotson wrote. “We’ve got three games left to solidify our third goal and go do some damage in the playoffs.”

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