West Boca Boys Lacrosse


Natan Solomon, Staff Writer

The West Boca boys’ lacrosse team works hard for months on end 5 days a week, 3 hours a day. They spend countless hours running in the blistering heat during off-season conditioning, testing endurance and pushing their stamina to the limits. Lacrosse was originally a method Native Americans used to train the boys in the village for the military and to this day it is one of the most physically demanding sports. The 22 boys that worked hard last year know this struggle better than anybody.

By the time the season started, every single person involved with the team was amped to go out and show everybody what all the hard work was for. This season’s team goals were to have a positive record and qualify for districts. To accomplish the latter, we would need to win two out of three district games. Although this seems very achievable, there is a lack of parity in the system. Many parents and fans who follow high school lacrosse in the region question how we, as a program, are so content with mediocrity. The answer is simple: our roster has declined rapidly and we have to beat at least one of the top ten teams in the state to even make it to districts.

Our district consists of Boca High, Saint John Paul II Academy, American Heritage, Saint Andrews, and Spanish River. The first four teams listed have all been ranked top 10 in the state according to Max Preps, one of the most reliable ranking systems used by coaches around the country. Our division, district 26, is seen as one of the hardest in the state by many and the same teams consistently come up short. One reason for this may be that three of the six schools recruit the best players to compete. This is seen in roster size also; West Boca had 15 people on their roster while Saint Andrews had 37. The extra 22 players would have been helpful due to the injury spell that occurred throughout the season.   

Multiple rebuttals regarding the scheduling process have been offered by parents, coaches, and players in outrage. Solutions include balancing the schedules by creating a power ranking and matching the higher teams and lower teams in different districts. Despite this, the team battled through to achieve a 9-9 record, one win shy of their goal. They came ever so close to achieving a positive record and making districts in their game against St. John Paul II Academy. With a win in this game they would’ve ended the season with a record of 9-7 and a district playoff berth. However, the Bulls came up just short with a final score of 9-6. The game was filled with many controversial plays such as fights, dirty hits, missed calls, and more as the rivalry between the two schools was as ferocious as it’s ever been. Although they didn’t come away victorious, it matured the boys and was seen as the most entertaining game all year by all the parents in the crowd.

Six months from that pivotal game, the fall season starts where the boys get together for tournaments to build chemistry and prepare for the spring season. This year brings many new players and a new coaching staff led by Coach Johnson and Coach Cheedle. The last time Johnson was in administration we had one of the best seasons in our program’s history and nearly won districts against the dominant Saint Andrews. This same energy looks to be replicated in a new group of boys as we look for success.