For the 2019 MVRHS Boys lacrosse team, change is the operative word. With a new league, a newly expanded roster, and a renewed dedication to fundamentals, the team has started the season with excitement and determination.
For Head Coach Chris Greene, in his 12th year at the helm, the team’s inclusion in the Cape and Islands League represents a great opportunity for his program. “This is a fresh start for us,” he said. “There’s a lot of excitement about playing in a new league against different teams. It’s also nice that many of them are closer to home.”
A significant roster increase is another cause for optimism. “We have a lot of young players in the program this year,” the coach said. “For the first time, our junior varsity is comprised completely of freshman and sophomores. These kids will benefit from the JV experience.”
Balancing the youth movement is a strong veteran presence that includes 13 seniors and five juniors. This combination of youth and experience convinced Coach Greene and Assistant Coach Terry Lynch to take a new approach in preseason.
“We really took it back to the beginning,” said Greene. “With young kids needing to learn and a veteran core as role models, we’ve emphasized fundamentals in practice. Part of that is helping kids understand our offensive and defensive concepts, why we do what we do. If they understand the concepts, they can perform better.” As volunteer assistant Curtis Chandler put it, “You have to be a student of the game.”
Being part of the Cape and Islands League means a longer schedule and an earlier start. “We had only 10 days of preseason practice, but we got a lot done,” said Coach Greene. “We’ve had outstanding leadership from our seniors, led by captains Sam Wallace, Brendan Morris, and Tristan Scheller.”
With a 12-9 win over Sturgis Charter School in their opener, the team appears to be on the right track. To quote the coach: “All I can say is, stay tuned. I think there’ll be exciting things to see this spring on the Vineyard.”
The team made it two-for-two on the young season with a 15-0 Cape and Islands League win over Sturgis West on Tuesday afternoon at Simpkins Field in South Yarmouth. Colby Zarba racked up five goals and chipped in two assists to lead the Vineyard attack. Aiden Marek netted a hat trick, Eli Gundersen picked up a goal and three assists, and John McCormick, Ivan Shepherd and Hunter Meader each scored twice. Max Smith stopped five Navigators shots and Graham Stearns saved four more in his first varsity game as the two goalies earned the shutout. The Vineyarders (2-0 overall, 1-0 C & I) played Monomoy in the home opener at Dan McCarthy Field on April 3, see mvtimes.com for results.