BE boys' lacrosse team swings into season
Throughout the Lowcountry, the annual clinking of metal sticks can be heard as local high school lacrosse teams charge down striped fields of green in pursuit of goals and glory. The 2017 season is well underway, with teams at Bishop England High School, Porter-Gaud, Academic Magnet, and Wando High School joining their South Carolina lower state counterparts in competition. According to Sean Keiper, BE’s head lacrosse coach for the boys’ varsity team, the Battling Bishops are well positioned for a promising season.
“We have had a great start to the year so far, which is a testament to the work ethic and preparation of my players,” he said.
The team is currently 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the region, suffering their only defeat so far to out of state Cox Mill High School on March 11. Stats for the season up to this point include 85 goals, 120 points, 35 assists, an average shooting percentage of 39 percent, and a 70 percent face-off win record. Keiper cited Attack Captain Andrew Pizzo and Midfield Captain Connor Malark, both seniors, and Colin Reich, a sophomore midfielder, as key offensive players. On the defensive side, he credited Captain Ryan Reich, a senior, and Goalie Justin Counasse, a junior, and Faceoff/Longstick midfielder Justin Lively, also a junior, as critical contributors.
“One of our most significant strengths of this team is the leadership of our upperclassmen,” noted Keiper. “They have done a great job of buying into the system that I have put into place early on and then ensuring that the younger players are brought in as well. This team comes to practice ready to work and get better each day and the upperclassmen have been vital in creating that type of atmosphere.”
Keiper said his main goal for the players this season is for them to become a better lacrosse team each and every week.
“Great teams do this,” he added. “If we continue to work in an effort to become a better team every week and avoid the plateau of complacency, then I really believe that we can be successful late in the season. This is what I want our guys to be focused on.”
Their biggest challenge moving forward, continued Keiper, will be to remind the players that “winning lacrosse games is a team effort that includes everybody.”
“It is very detrimental for a team to believe that all of their success is from one or two players. That is why this year our program theme is ‘As One’ so we know that each player is just as significant as the next and that everything we do is as a team.”
Keiper is also looking to see growth and maturity in each player along the way.
“I want this to be a program that is built on more than just lacrosse and in so doing see these students grow spiritually, academically, and socially as well as athletically during their time as a Bishop England lacrosse player.”
The Bishops’ next lacrosse match-up will be an away game against Wando High School (3-3 overall, 1-0 in the region) on Wednesday, March 15, followed by a home contest versus Academic Magnet on Wednesday, March 22. Home games are held on the BE campus on Daniel Island at Jack Cantey stadium. Community members are welcome to attend.