Quaker Valley boys lacrosse showing ‘grit’ during 3-1 start to season
By: Shawn Annarelli
Friday, April 12, 2019 | 6:55 PM
“Grit” started as a motto for the Quaker Valley boys lacrosse team.
Their tough talk has translated into a hard-nosed playing style.
The Quakers jumped out to a 3-1 start to the season with the lone loss against Canon-McMillan, which plays up a classification.
“I think we’re where I thought we would be,” senior captain David Kraus said. “Canon-Mac is a tough team, but we had a two-goal lead at the half. I wish we could have carried our momentum the whole game, but we looked strong.”
The Quakers are the only team to score at least seven goals on the Big Macs, who have allowed 3.75 goals per game against eight other teams.
“There wasn’t doubt in our minds, and no one was worried about getting blown out,” Kraus said. “We knew Canon-Mac was good, but we believe in ourselves. We believe in each other, and our coach believes in us. That really helps us to go out there and have a mentality that we’re gonna put on a show and have fun.”
Kraus credited coach Chip Hansen with getting the team mentally tough and athletic trainer Derek Clark for preparing the team to physically grind down opponents.
“When you look at that Canon-Mac game, it tested their mettle,” Hansen said. “They just worked harder, harder and harder. They had determination and perseverance. They wouldn’t give up.”
The team didn’t lack in intensity in previous seasons, but with key players graduating last year, Kraus knew more teammates had to step up to have another deep playoff run. Juniors and seniors on the team experienced a WPIAL championship game loss in 2017 and got booted in the semifinals last year.
“Is it going to be tough to go that far?” Hansen said. “Yes, it’s going to be a challenge for us, but this team definitely has the talent to get back to the championship game.”
Their playoff exits fueled an offseason that began last summer for a handful of players.
Other teammates gradually joined in the player-driven, offseason workout program with the last couple getting involved after wrapping up winter sports seasons.
The extra work has paid off in the scoring column, especially for Evan Frund and Kraus. The two have combined for 25 goals.
“A lot of our offensive play starts with really good defense,” Kraus said. “When you have players like Smith Johnson, Patrick Cutchember, Benji Knott and Harrison Bould on defense, it all comes from them and our goalie John Auth. Then our midfielders move the ball up the field and our attackers work together.”
The team’s cohesiveness and commitment to grit are the two keys to every game, according to Kraus.
“To try to get further than we have before, I think it takes hard work and trust,” Kraus said. “I feel a lot of people are rising to the occasion. It’s not just people buying in to our motto. It comes from a personal level to do your best and knowing our bond as a team can get us to where we want to be.”
Tags: Quaker Valley