Tolland Eagles lacrosse team is hungry, smoothing out rough edges
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland - posted Thu., Apr. 11, 2013
Tolland High School lacrosse coach Victor Hurtuk said his team still has some rough edges to smooth out, but he's able to enjoy watching his players play. “We're as strong as our weakest link, and we haven't really shown too many chinks,” he said. “It's nice when you can count on any of the 10 players on the field.”
This year's squad is filled with experienced seniors, no juniors, and a slew of sophomores. The team graduated three of its six All-Conference players from last season, but retains goalie Sam Mayer, middie Sean Gannon and attacker Cody Daigle. While younger, the sophomores have been playing together through the feeder program for six years or more.
Daigle and fellow attackers Jeremy Clavette and Peter Mayer spearhead an offense that is very in tune with each other, as was evidenced in Tolland's convincing win over Berlin on April 9.
“They're like brothers,” Hurtuk said. “They know exactly what the other is going to do. It's like they have telepathy. It makes my job very easy. They all have unique qualities and they respect that in each other, so I don't have to worry about someone's ego and trying to get all of the points.”
Key to a successful season will be watching for the “lulls” during games. Hurtuk said that late in the Berlin match, the Redcoats were able to get three of their four goals, because the Eagles eased up on defense. “We were trying some inexperienced defensemen out, and we left some guys open and they capitalized on it,” Hurtuk said. “It's about grinding away those rough edges.”
The players' “hunger” is what will drive them into the post-season. “Every game they're hungry,” Hurtuk said. “They'll savor this victory but come back hungry for the next one. They understand that we can be there, too. They're really fun to watch. This is a nice season for me to be able to sit back a little bit and enjoy what we've put together.”
The Eagles face Ellington on April 13 and host Granby Memorial on April 15. For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.