By AVI SURA, sophomore
Facing competition from schools around the state, the JP Stevens boys and girls varsity lacrosse teams tackle new obstacles in their fervor to improve not only individually, but as a team. Whether they win or lose, both teams take each game as a learning experience, for there is always an aspect of the game that requires growth. With each sport having its uniqueness, the J.P. Stevens boys and girls varsity lacrosse teams prove to their audience that their passion towards lacrosse has prevailed in their success throughout the 2016 spring season.
From basic drills to team chants before each game, the JP Stevens varsity lacrosse teams consistently encourage their players to have high ambitions. Junior Sean Seneviratne (11), comments, “What makes us unique is the way we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and cater to each other’s game.” During every practice, both Coach Siter and Coach Freeman, the boys and girls varsity coaches respectively, challenge their athletes, making sure they are prepared for the games to come. After a 30-minute warm up, the coaches direct their teams into the New England drill-a drill where players have to think instantaneously. Along with weight room and running practices, the coaches equip the athletes with discipline, strengthening the potential of both teams.
Though physical preparation prior to a game is crucial, fostering strong chemistry between players is equally as important. Despite the school work that the players have to complete before each game, both teams budget time to hang out together and occasionally go to eats. By doing so, the teams fortify their relationships off the field, hoping that those connections will last throughout the season.
With encouragement from Jeff Colman, Noel Negron (12), Robert Distefano (11), and Yvegen Bogutsky (12), the captains of the boys varsity team, as well as Molly Yelencsics (12), Sam Dzema (12), and Lauren Tencza (12), the captains of the girls varsity team, the athletes are taught the importance of being vigilant during each play, as a single mistake can lead to a loss. Referring to players such as Robert Distefano (11), a role model for his remarkable goals, both teams are trained to keep persistent work efforts throughout the season.
Though the teams have come across strong competitors, they do not let a loss interfere with their motivation to win. Freshman Morgan Dearing (9), explains, “Each practice on the field has brought me closer to my teammates and has made me a better lacrosse player.” This mentality inscribed into the minds of players about continuously improving has crafted their enthusiasm for the game.
Both teams started off as groups of timid athletes who were left black and blue after the first few games. But as they began to understand the intensity of lacrosse, they realized what it truly meant to be tough; throughout the season, the players have resonated with the lessons that inspire them to work harder. The JP Stevens varsity lacrosse teams has proven that a positive mindset increases one’s fervor to improve.
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