Uptick in skills sparks RHAM lacrosse squad
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., Apr. 17, 2012
The start of the season has been rocky, but RHAM High School boys’ lacrosse coach Kyle Bowler is confident that his squad can better last season’s 12-5 record. And he’s counting on his players’ experience base to do the trick.
“We’ve had a tough couple of games,” he said during practice on April 13. At that point, the Sachems had dropped their first two games of the season, losing 13-6 to Avon and 10-7 to Hall, two of the toughest teams on their schedule. Even so, Bowler said, the scores for those two matches were “very good, considering last year.” The Sachems beat Fitch 8-7 on April 14, leaving their overall record as of press time at 2-1.
Bowler, who’s in his third year at the helm of the Sachems, has 13 seniors in his 25-man varsity line-up. Three of them (Colin Davis, Sawyer Hill and Brendan Akers) serve as co-captains; junior Mike Luby is also a team captain.
Senior Kyle Gentile said he’s seen a marked improvement in the team’s skills over last year. “We’re definitely communicating better as a team,” he said. “There’s a lot more pressing, a lot more team unity. The stick skills of every one of our players have improved. It all works in our favor.”
Gentile said there’s no one single element the Sachems are focusing on as they plunge into their season. Instead, they try to prepare for whatever improvements their opponents have developed. “In lacrosse you can’t really work on one thing,” he explained. “It’s a constant growing thing. You always try to change, always try to get better at center skills.”
With the vibrant local youth lacrosse program, many of the RHAM players come into the high school program with a solid background, said Gentile. He’s one of the newbies, having picked up the sport as a sophomore, but “it doesn’t take long” to get the hang of the game, he said.
The Sachems start a home stretch this week against Waterford on Saturday, April 21, with the varsity match starting at 11 a.m. and the JV game at 12:30 p.m. Rocky Hill will visit RHAM Tuesday, April 24, for a 4 p.m. varsity match, with a JV game at 6:30 p.m., followed by tough competition away against Conard on April 27.