Big Red Boys Lacrosse: A Season To Remember
There’s been a certain buzz in the air this spring. Amidst the flurry of classes and clubs, Lawrenceville’s various sports teams have taken the fields, water, and courts to compete at the highest levels of high school athletics.
There’s been a certain buzz in the air this spring. Amidst the flurry of classes and clubs, Lawrenceville’s various sports teams have taken the fields, water, and courts to compete at the highest levels of high school athletics. Among all these groups, one has emerged as perhaps the most electrifying on campus: the Boys Varsity Lacrosse team. With a revamped program including talented new players, a newly-formed and highly experienced coaching staff, and an overall revitalized culture surrounding lacrosse at Lawrenceville, expectations could not have been higher. With all eyes on them, Big Red lacrosse undoubtedly lived up to the hype.
First-year Boys Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach Jon Posner was instrumental in this shift. Posner previously coached Culver Academy’s Boys Varsity Lacrosse team, which was the best program in the country in 2019. At the outset, he brought a heightened sense of expectation to the team. “I am eager to work with the young men of the lacrosse program, to help them grow as individual players and as a team, to build on a successful lacrosse history, and to continue to grow as a coach,” he said in an interview at the time of his hiring.
The season started off with a bang: a resounding 11-6 away win against the Penn Charter School, setting the tone for the season. However, back-to-back losses against the Haverford and Brunswick Schools, the 15th- and 10th-ranked teams in the country, respectively, threatened to kill this spirit. Nonetheless, the team’s resolve was unbroken. For Co-Captain William Upchurch ’21, the fighting spirit was palpable: “We have been getting better every single day and pushing each other to be the best team possible. You can see how much this team has changed not only by the offseason, but also through every game we’ve played,” he said. The same sentiment rang true for Co-Captain Henry Murray ’21. “It’s a whole new culture,” he said, “a whole new team and a different level of competitiveness. It’s great.”
Following a disappointing loss against ninth-ranked Malvern Prep on April 23, Lawrenceville Boys Lacrosse went on an absolute tear. Their hot streak started with a commanding 14-2 victory over Princeton Day School, which catapulted the team into a long-awaited rematch against Brunswick on April 28. Early goals from Brooks English ’22 and Hunter Chauvette ’23 sent a strong message to the Bruins, who responded with two scores of their own. Brooks converted on an impressive no-look pass from DJ Clark ’23, taking Big Red into halftime with a slim 3-2 lead. After the break, Chauvette took over the game, scoring two goals in quick succession and a third after Brunswick netted a point of their own. A strong performance from keeper Timmy Piacentini ’23 kept a barrage of Bruin shots out of the net and a quick finish from Clark led to a 7-6 Lawrenceville win, a massive upset and the defining moment of the season.
After Brunswick, it was win after win after win. A 9-5 home victory against St. Augustine was succeeded by a 21-3 domination of Blair. La Salle College High School and The Hun School of Princeton were next, and two wins against The Hill School saw Boys Varsity Lacrosse claim the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) Championship in front of a full crowd on May 22. Finally, Lawrenceville handed Kiski School a 17-6 defeat, and Big Red took a final victory at Bergen Catholic High School, capping off a 10-game win streak to close the season.
The future is bright for the Big Red Boys Varsity Lacrosse team. In addition to the three 2021 All-MAPL League selections—Quintan Kilrain ’23, Chris Matia ’23 and Tyler Mininno ’22—Furthermore, Chauvette and Piacentini were both lauded for stellar performances at the 2021 GEICO Showcase—it’s safe to assume that the team can only go up from here. Spearheaded by a new coach and culture, a spark has been lit under Lawrenceville Boys Varsity Lacrosse, and it will certainly be exciting to watch the flame grow in the coming years.