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Sewickley Academy, Quaker Valley boys lacrosse teams enter season with high expectations

Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald - Quaker Valley's Jake Trovato runs with the ball during a scrimmage against Trinity Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald</em></div>Quaker Valley's Jake Trovato runs with the ball during a scrimmage against Trinity Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald - Quaker Valley's Jared Vescio looks to make a pass during a scrimmage against Trinity Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald</em></div>Quaker Valley's Jared Vescio looks to make a pass during a scrimmage against Trinity Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald - Quaker Valley's Mike Clark tries to get past a Trinity player during a scrimmage Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald</em></div>Quaker Valley's Mike Clark tries to get past a Trinity player during a scrimmage Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale.

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Quaker Valley boys lacrosse team members are selling tickets for drawings in which winners will receive use of a luxury box at a Penguins game, or a yard clean-up performed by team members in tandem with a landscaping business.

Tickets are $10, which includes entries in both drawings. Drawings will be May 15 and 16.

For details, email coach Bill Marcotte at QVLaxTeam@gmail.com.

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Karen Kadilak
Thursday, March 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

A speedy, experienced Sewickley Academy boys lacrosse team expects to do better than it did a year ago, when it was eliminated early in the WPIAL Division I playoffs.

The Panthers lost top scorers Rob Kendall (45 goals, 29 assists) and Charlie Carbeau (30 goals, 15 assists) to graduation.

But many players return, including junior C.R. Hrycenko, who had 23 goals and 23 assists a year ago.

“We were pretty quick last year, too,” coach Tim Hastings said. “The boys are getting bigger and faster.”

Senior captains Jake Mulholland and Jack Keller, a powerful left-hander, will play at midfield, where they will be joined by Jack Foley, another senior with outstanding shooting skills, Hastings said.

Senior Hunter Ligo is back after playing in every game as a goalie last year.

One of three juniors besides Hrycenko, Chase Bly is strong in pursuing ground balls as a defender.

Keegan MacDougall, a midfielder, also is strong defensively.

Defender Barrett Fowkes possesses quick feet honed by playing basketball.

“Because (Sewickley Academy doesn't) have a football team, we're not that physical, but we're skilled,” Hastings said. “Jake Mulholland, who played soccer, is nimble, too.”

The WPIAL champion in 2010, Sewickley Academy was upset in the first round of the playoffs by Pine-Richland last season, a loss that still rankles some players.

“We're using it as motivation,” Hrycenko said.

The Panthers have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs twice in the past four years.

In 2011, they were WPIAL runners-up to Mt. Lebanon, which beat them in the first round in 2009.

Sewickley Academy also finished second to the Blue Devils in Section 1 a year ago.

“Mt. Lebanon has become our biggest rival,” Hrycenko said.

“Our first goal is to win the WPIAL title (regardless of the opponent), but beating Mt. Lebanon isn't far behind,” Mulholland said.

After qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs the past four years, Quaker Valley is rebuilding.

“Half our roster was turned over,” coach Bill Marcotte said. “There are a lot of new faces, but I'm optimistic.”

“We're young, but have some good players,” agreed senior captain Garrett Powell.

Quaker Valley suffered major losses when Jacob Puyana and attackman Charlie Wilson graduated.

The team's leading scorer, Puyana had 40 goals and 18 assists last season.

With Powell and sophomore Aaron Cunninghman returning, the Quakers will be strong defensively.

One of the top players in Division II, Section 3, junior Jake Trovato is a stalwart at midfield, Marcotte said.

Junior attackman Jimmy Perkins, another top returnee, joins the team after competing in the hockey playoffs. Perkins doesn't expect switching sports to be a problem.

“Playing hockey or lacrosse, you're always using a stick,” he said.

The Quakers lost to Butler in the first round of the playoffs a year ago, the fourth straight season they were eliminated early.

In 2011, they fell to eventual champion Hampton.

Hampton also beat the Quakers in 2009 and 2010.

“With teams moving up in division, we should be more of a threat,” said senior co-captain Chris MacPherson.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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