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  • Writer's pictureMichael Dakoske

Mens Lacrosse Pre-Season Overview

The Loveland Boys Lacrosse Season starts in one week. Under the same coaching staff, led by Mike Riggall, the team is anticipating a good season.

Although the season hasn’t started yet, the team has had many opportunities to get familiar with each other and see how they work as a team. This past summer, the team played in a few tournaments, primarily against travel teams. These travel teams are typically exclusive and take the best players from different teams, but Loveland uses their summer team to experiment with the new group of guys. Since early winter, most players have been playing in two separate box lacrosse leagues, one of which is in “The Barn,” a practice field built in a barn donated to Milford Lacrosse by a parent of a former player. For those not familiar with box lacrosse, it is indoor lacrosse played in a smaller, enclosed field. It also tends to be rougher than field lacrosse. Finally, the team has been lifting together for almost the whole school year, with Alex Merkel as the head strength and conditioning coach.

Last season, the boy's team went 19-2, only losing to Mariemont during the regular season and Springboro in the OHSAA Regional Semifinal. The 2022 team even won the ECC Championship, beating Milford 12-4 at home. Throughout the winter, the 2023 team got exposed to some of their ECC competition this year. They have seen Turpin, Little Miami, Kings, Lebanon, and Milford. It is a general consensus around the team that they definitely have the potential to beat most ECC teams this year, but Milford will be trouble. Many of Milford’s starters in the 2022 season were juniors who are now seniors this year. Loveland, on the other hand, lost pretty much all of their starters because they were seniors last year.

This year, the team lost two attack starters, Zach Mulligan (‘22) and Roman Wilburn (‘22), but Jay Christian (11), a sophomore who started varsity last year, remains on the team. Unfortunately, the whole starting defense from last year, including Jackson Noe (‘22), Nathan Schirmer (‘22), Caden Knabe (‘22), and All-American Ethan Lund (‘22) graduated. Remaining in our defense, we have AJ Miracle (11), Chase Crawford (12), Ryan Noe (11), and Josh Dues (12), all of whom are very capable of filling the shoes of last year’s defense. Last year at face-off, Loveland had Sam Neiger (‘22), who ended up being the leader of draw controls in the ECC with 258 draw controls. His predecessor, Reece Kruse (11), has shown great promise as a reliable starting FOGO (face-off get-off). Finally, Loveland will be losing All-American goalie Will Westermeyer (‘22) this year. Last year, Loveland’s junior varsity team built up Sebastian Jordan (11) and Nathan Logan (10) as goalies. Although the lacrosse team has lost pretty much the entire roster that led them to the OHSAA Regional Semi-Finals last year, it’s important for the team and its fans to remember that all other teams that Loveland will play have lost valuable people too.

Thanks to the efforts of the LHS Spirit Club, energetic student sections have formed at many of the sporting events this year. There is a lot of potential with the 2023 team, so make sure to support Mens Lacrosse this year!

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