Quaker Valley boys lacrosse looking to improve with inexperienced team
Sunday, April 4, 2021 | 11:01 AM
Two years ago, with a team that was filled with experienced talent, Quaker Valley boys lacrosse earned a third-place finish in the WPIAL tournament and punched its ticket to the PIAA playoffs.
But after a canceled season due to the coronavirus pandemic and the graduation of a talented group, the Quakers will be somewhat inexperienced in 2021. Coach Chip Hansen has already had to move a few players around to fill in holes.
“We are only returning a handful of starting players from last year,” Hansen said. “It was only nine days, and we’re just returning six starters anyway and five of those are on defense.”
Patrick Cutchember, who recently won his first WPIAL title in wrestling and started on the lacrosse team as a freshman defender, is moving to the midfield. Owen Wagner will return to his spot at long stick middle. Players like Brody Jones, who hasn’t played since he was a freshman, and Patrick Duggan, who hasn’t played since he was in middle school, are also in line to contribute.
Junior Justin Richey will return at defense, along with fellow juniors Will Campbell and Calahan Bedard, who will return in net. Justin’s younger brother Logan, Kyle Hammond and Tim Smith will take up the attack for the Quakers as well.
“We have a lot of new players playing, a lot of young players, and a small roster,” Hansen said.
One of the biggest obstacles the Quakers will have to overcome is the lack of experience. With only a few days under their belt last season, the current sophomores, who were set to start last season, didn’t get much experience and now are being thrown into the fire.
“A lot of our starters that are sophomores this year were freshmen last year and only played for nine days,” Hansen said. “So now, all of a sudden, you’re no longer a freshman, you have nine days under your belt, you’re a sophomore, and you’re a starter without a year. It’s getting guys up to speed and what the system is. Our returning starters are on defense, so everyone else has to step in, step up and contribute.”
Luckily for Hansen, a few players from other sports have decided to come back out for lacrosse after not playing for a few years, or never playing before.
Duggan is one of those players. He played for the soccer team this past season. Nico Guild, a 6-foot-7 senior, was a forward on the basketball team.
“There are couple guys who are new to the sport. We have a couple hockey guys as well,” Hansen said. “They are very good athletes, and now it’s having them adapt to playing lacrosse, catching, throwing, and I think they are all having fun and working to get better as a group.”
Through the first few weeks of practice and two scrimmages, Hansen has liked what he’s seen from his young team.
“These guys have worked really hard in practice, they’ve had focus, they’ve competed in practice, and they are working to get better every day,” Hansen said. “That’s what we’re focused on. Just getting this young team prepared to play and compete.”
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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