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Penn-Trafford lacrosse jumping into WPIAL competition

| Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

The Penn-Trafford boys lacrosse team now has more to play for.

Despite playing a WPIAL schedule the last two seasons, the Warriors were considered a club team and were unable to quality for postseason play. Now a member of Section 1 of Division 2, Penn-Trafford could finish as one of the eight WPIAL playoff team.

“I think that is exciting for the kids,” coach Dan Hagerty said. “There is a lot of competition in our division. It will be a pretty tall order to come out on top of the section. But it is nice to know that playing good lacrosse could have a reward.”

Senior Zachary Chrinowski will lead the attack while sophomore Ryan Solomon is expected to contribute.

The midfield may be the strength of the team as juniors Brett Laffoon, Brenen Hada and Tyler Bruno all return after playing together last season. Sophomore Cam Laffoon is expected to contribute at mid fielder.

“I have three midfield lines at the varsity level,” Hagerty said. “In years past that wasn't the case. I am nine players deep at midfield and they are all good athletics with stick skills coming along. It is a good problem to have.”

The Warriors will have a veteran presence in front of the net with senior Alex Martin. Sophomore Bret Schugt will back Martin up at goalie. Junior defender Sam Riffe, who is just returning from injury, should provide support. Zach Manz is a freshman that could contribute to the defense this season.

“We have 45 kids between the three teams,” Hagerty said. “We have varsity, junior varsity and a freshman/sophomore team. It might be hard for younger guys to get playing time so we know have a team for the freshmen and sophomores.”

The players will need to step up if they hope to compete in Section 2. Hagerty said both Indiana – last season's WPIAL Division II runner up – and Greensburg Central Catholic should both be good. But the team has a feel for their rivals after playing them on last season's schedule.

“We have played Norwin, Latrobe and Gateway,” Hagerty said. “We are playing Peters Township and Seton-La Salle outside of the section. That should be good for us.”

Penn-Trafford started the season with an 11-5 win over Gateway on Monday. If it can keep it up, it could end the season by making program history.

“Making the playoffs is the primary objective,” Hagerty said. “It is really about how well we develop with the new kids. We want to win and we want to make the playoffs. We want to continue to grow.”

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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