Penn-Trafford boys lacrosse starts season with a win
If the first game of the Penn-Trafford varsity boy's lacrosse team's 2014 season is any indication, the young program is headed in the right direction.
With a 10-9 win in double overtime against Gateway, the Warriors began the program's sophomore season successfully, their last season before officially becoming a WPIAL member in 2015.
“It was certainly a big one for us. Gateway's very similar to us,” Penn-Trafford head coach Dan Hagerty said. “For us, that's as equally matched as we get so that was a big win.”
After officially becoming a school-sanctioned team last year, the Penn-Trafford Lacrosse Association fielded six teams; under-11, under-13 and under-15 teams, along with freshmen, junior varsity and varsity squads.
According to Hagerty, that influx of talent from the younger teams is already making an impact on the varsity team as sophomore Brett Laffoon completed his hat trick by scoring the game-winner against Gateway.
Laffoon is joined by younger teammates such as fellow sophomore midfielder Brandon Haddad and freshman defenseman Matt McGillick as players who will be counted on for the varsity team early on.
“Now we have folks that were in the youth program last year who are now coming up as freshman this year who I think will contribute significantly to the team,” Hagerty said.
With close to 100 players throughout its system last year, the program has grown to around 110-120 members this year.
“Our program has grown every year at pretty much all age levels,” assistant coach Rob Martin said.
While the Warriors play a schedule filled with WPIAL opponents, they are not eligible to compete in the postseason. But for Martin, the lack of a playoff opportunity is irrelevant for this season, as the inexperienced Warriors are still learning the game.
“Honestly, it really wouldn't matter,” he said. We still have 18 games, pretty much the number that most other teams have and the only advantage would be being able to make the playoffs and we really wouldn't have contended anyway so it really doesn't matter for this year.”
After finishing 2-7 last year, expectations have been raised in 2014 as the Warriors have their sights set on a .500 season before gaining full WPIAL membership.
“Last year we got last place but nobody really held a stick for more than a year,” Hagerty said. “At the highest level that's very challenging.
“This year with another year under your belt, that certainly gives you a little more capability, a little more firepower.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.