BY SARA ZAKARIA & REBECCA OLIVEIRA
Tryouts for boys lacrosse started on March 20th, and will formally end this week, with their roster finalized. There are about forty to forty-five students between the the varsity and JV teams, due to the sport becoming increasingly more popular each year, but there are still a few other students getting their paperwork together so the team may continue to grow in numbers. The team is moving rapidly, already planning their first official game on Thursday, March 30 at Pinebanks against Pope John’s lacrosse team at 4:00 pm. Since the spring season seems to go by a lot faster than the winter season, Coach Smith believes that by having the JV and varsity teams play a couple of games, that by just “kind of throw[ing] them out there,” the new JV team will learn more “by playing.” It helps that in the beginning of the season some of the team members from the varsity team played with the new members to show them the ropes to lacrosse, so as not to overwhelm them.
Led by longtime coach Brenden Maney, the team is making sure each member grows each day and that the team grows as a whole. According to Coach Maney, he expects the team to “grow as players and as young men.” He adds, “when the last whistle blows and their time is over they will be citizens in this community and others. That is the ultimate goal.” Coach Smith explains that this year, he expects the jv team to “learn the sport, learn the game, and to improve everyday,” and that if each one does his part in lacrosse, then they should do pretty well for the season and that they’ll be, “...going in the right direction.” For the new members on the team, he expects them to give full effort and be coachable, saying new members should, “take great joy in learning the creator's game.” Maney states that he’s “always excited about the prospect of being able to give back what was freely given to [him]. [He takes] ownership of teaching new players about this amazing game seriously.”
The advantages for this season is that the team is larger than a usual senior class. “They will offer leadership and maturity,” Maney says. The disadvantages to the Boys LAX team is that each year the Boys LAX team, “plays catch up with the other teams,” who have youth programs that, “feed the public high school directly.” Malden is different from the other schools, because most of the youth players attend the charter school, so often access to the youth program prohibits the public school youth players. A way they have an advantage over last year is that the team has more athletes than any year before playing from top to bottom. “It will be my challenge to put them in the best place to contribute,” Coach Maney says. It will take a lot of dedication and patience on both the coaches’ and the lacrosse players’ parts to make this year a success.