By Brent Miles
The Eagle lacrosse team is a young and upcoming program that is showing a lot of promise. After a riveting set of games last year, the team is hungrier than ever for the start of the 2014 season.
This season, a lot of changes are being implemented with the entrance into division two play and a new head coach being signed on.
Coach Jeff Brown coached for twelve plus years at a Hobart and William Smith Colleges in St. Geneva, New York, a small town in upstate New York, prior to joining the program at St. Thomas. This is impressive because New York is a state that is known for their level of competition, so he is clearly well-versed on the ins and outs of lacrosse.
Coach Brown is the catalyst that the St. Thomas lacrosse team needs to get the ball rolling in order to win a state title.
Senior midfielder Alex Perez is very confident about the teams upcoming season and believes they have the potential for a state title run.
“Honestly, I really think we can. We have the skill to do it, and now that we’re competing on an even playing field against teams with equal skill,” Perez said.
“Having Coach Brown pushing us to be the best we can be, I feel like we’re going to come out on top.”
However, a lot of positive feedback is being brought forth by the players; they are ecstatic about moving to division two because the teams there are mostly school-based and have a more comparable level of size, skill and talent.
“Division two is a much better fit for us because division one consisted of the best teams in Texas,” senior captain Daniel Farley said of the old and new levels of competition.
“Division one is all the 5A public schools and club teams, and division one is mostly TAPPS teams.”
One of the main focal point for the team heading into the new season will be its defensive play. The Eagles have struggled mightily in the past several seasons on the defensive end but luckily, that is about change.
Brown, who once played lacrosse at the collegiate level, is a very experienced defender with a wealth of knowledge to pass along. Hopefully his defensive expertise will help guide the Eagles past their defending woes.
There is no doubt that the lacrosse team has a lot of work to do before they join the illustrious ranks of athletic excellence like rugby and baseball has, but these series of events certainly put them on the right track.
“Coach Brown really needs to stress the importance of team chemistry; that’s what we lacked last year,” Perez said. “We have the size and athleticism to compete with the other [teams], but our biggest roadblock this year will be learning how to play together as a unit.”
The future looks bright for Brown. He has the complete support of the lacrosse players and from the entire St. Thomas community to make a return on his investment into the program.
It looks like after years of futility, a turnaround is finally now in sight.