Enthusiasm and power fill the field as the men’s lacrosse team gets ready for its first season since 2003. After taking two years off for a number of reasons, the men’s team is now eagerly preparing for a new season on a new turf field.
After enduring three losing seasons in the years before the program was discontinued, this year’s 21-man squad, led by head coach John Levis, hopes to take the team to the PAC Championship.
The team has many young faces, including four first-years in starting positions. Levis says that he is building a foundation for future years of Eastern lacrosse to build upon. In addition, the four seniors on the team only have, at minimum, one year under their belts. Nevertheless, they hope to leave Eastern with a strong season and a shot at the playoffs.
Coach Levis has assurance that every single one of his players has what it takes to contribute highly to the team. When asked what he feels his men’s strength and weaknesses are going into the season, Levis responded, “We are weak in experience seeing as how there are only four seniors, but the enthusiasm of the players is definitely there.”
Having two practices a day for the first week of practice and then varying between 6:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. practices daily, Coach Levis feels that the improvement is absolutely coming along.
“The men are starting to click as a team,” he said.
This gives them the ability to learn each other’s personalities and skills, and pick up where one is lacking. Levis’ dedication and determination has spread into the hearts and authority of his four leading captains, seniors Ryan Hamidi and Tom Gibson for the offense, and junior Ben Peddicord and sophomore Chris Franklin for the defense. The job of these four captains is to push the team a little bit harder in order to exceed the goals set by every single player on that field.
The fact that the team lacks experience does not mean they lack talent. Players on the team held outstanding high school records, and one player, first-year Pat Dempsey, transferred from a starting position in a Division One league at Saint John’s.
The first game of the season is February 24 against Gordon College at noon. The team offered a taste of the upcoming season at their alumni game, held on the newly cleared turf field on February 18.