Lax squad prepares for playoffs

Gavin Cranford, Staff Reporter

If there was one word to describe this year’s boys lacrosse team, it would be “developing.” As the regular season wraps up, the squad currently has a 6-4 record, most recently capturing a 13-7 win on April 25 against Eastern View. The district tournament will begin on May 11. Fauquier’s seed has yet to be determined. However, the team is optimistic about playoff play.
“We’re clicking as a team, and we know how each player on our team plays,” senior Nick Succop said. “We know more plays on offense, and our defense is doing really well.”
Succop and senior Collin Steves brainstormed a revolutionary method to ensure the team’s success in the postseason.
“We’re growing playoff mustaches,” Steves said. “Other sports bleach their hair or shave mohawks, but lacrosse is a man’s sport, and men have facial hair.”
Succop is sure that the team’s effort to grow facial hair will translate into a run for the district title.
“The hardest part of winning will be the mental part,” Succop said. “Growing mustaches will help with the mental part. The look will present the players as leaders.”
The squad faces Culpeper on May 2. The Falcons will conclude their regular season play at home on May 6, facing crosstown rival Kettle Run. The games are critical to postseason success, according to Succop.
“It won’t be easy, but we have to win it out now,” Succop said. “We’ve beaten Culpeper before.We have the idea in our minds that we can’t beat Kettle Run, but we should be able to beat Kettle Run this time.”
The Falcons have experienced their fair share of challenges this season, according to head coach Eric Morrison. Both newcomers and veterans have come together to conquer difficulties.
“Most of our players are young, but I think most are ready for the challenge and the rest will learn quickly,” Morrison said. “We even have two freshmen, Tyler Bane and Jack Liebel, who have had key roles from the start. They worked hard all summer and it shows.”
The team knows how little experience some of the players will have to start, but the senior leaders have a voice on the field and help the younger players.
“A lot of young guys are going to have to play big parts this year,” senior Colin Diehl said. “But they are ready for it.”
The team captains believe it is important to pass on their work ethic, desire to win, and by the end of the season, their leadership.
“There’s a lot of responsibility put on the seniors this year, since there are only four of us,” Diehl said. “We are definitely prepared and can handle the pressure. I remember looking up to the seniors when I was a freshman on varsity, and now it’s my turn to set the example, on and off the field.”
Diehl, who has lettered for four years in lacrosse, embraces being as a leader. Rising varsity players practiced over the summer with older players, to gain experience at a higher level.
“A larger number of players played all summer long, so they are fit and ready,” Morrison said. “Last year’s team lost some close games, and I think we now know how to win those types of games.”
The team was initially disappointed with their performance in the first few games. Despite the slow start, they are building upon working cohesively.
“The season definitely started out pretty rough,” sophomore Robert Morrison said. “But after the first couple games we started to mesh, and now we’re looking really good.”
Robert also adds that the team will continue to develop through the playoffs.
“We’re trying to focus on getting up early in games and holding the lead,” Robert said. “Playing defensively is a lot easier than trying to fight uphill.”
Junior Kenny Palmer says despite their slow start, the team’s hopes are still set high.
“We had a couple bad losses in the beginning but we still had a good start. We won a couple games and started to come together as a team,” Palmer said. “There’s a lot of competition between us, Kettle Run, and Culpeper this year, and we’re still looking to be the top team in the district.”