Freshmen lead lacrosse attack

Zack Blakeman, freshman, shields the ball from a defender in a game against Wakefield on March 21. The team’s attack is led by three talented freshmen who have already made major contributions through goals and assists. (Photo used by permission of Lori Campoli)Zack Blakeman, freshman, shields the ball from a defender in a game against Wakefield on March 21. The team’s attack is led by three talented freshmen who have already made major contributions through goals and assists. (Photo used by permission of Lori Campoli)

The Pride men’s lacrosse team had its most successful season in its five-year history last spring and reached new heights as a team and as individuals. The team reached the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, had three players named as U.S. Lacrosse All-Americans, and graduated 19 seniors. Heading into this season, the team’s future was uncertain, but three promising freshmen emerged to provide a spark and lead the offense.

Zack Blakeman, Brian Fitz, and Sean O’Brien were still focused on middle school promotion when last season’s team had its success. Now the three freshmen are varsity starters on attack, matching up against competition three or four years older.

“It’s an honor to be a freshman and have the opportunity to start. I felt some pressure in the beginning going up against some older guys but now as we play more, I feel more comfortable,” said Fitz.

Two more freshmen also featured on the roster, Carson Potts and Colin Trom, play defense.

Franklin Zirkle, head coach, only has high praise for all the freshmen. “All of our freshmen have stepped in and are making contributions. The attackmen have shown a knack for playing as a unit, which is very important for us.They have shown a lot of poise which is very important as we go down the stretch in the conference play,” said Zirkle.

The freshmen are primed to fill the shoes left behind by the 19 seniors and live up to the high standards set by previous teams. “We definitely have some pretty big shoes to fill especially after what last year’s team accomplished. We just need to keep working and I feel like we can be successful,” said Fitz.

Zirkle is confident the freshmen will continue to have an impact and provide a steady flow of offense the team can rely on. “We are trying to get more balanced scoring from the midfield and attack, these guys can continue to help our offense evolve…We need to continue to teach them some of the nuance of the position, with this they will become even more effective,” said Zirkle.

Overall, the team is 8-1 with their only loss being to Broughton in the season opener. Since then, the team has had marquee wins against Wakefield and Millbrook and is set to have another grudge match against Broughton on March 30.

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