2016 Charles County high school girls lacrosse previews
Head coaches: Samantha DeNardo (second season) and Toni Ethington (second season) Last year: 1-12, 1-11 (13th in SMAC)
Athletes to watch: M Kayla Nagle (Fr.), D Victoria Martin (Jr.), M Ashley Herbert (Fr.), M Kaya Wade (Jr.), A Kourtnie Yates (Fr.)
Key personnel losses: A Derricka Jackson, D Jessica Nichols, M Killian Hadsell
Strengths: The Chargers’ biggest strength this season will be their youth. DeNardo and Ethington are excited to coach the girls for the second year in a row and the underclassmen are ready to make key contributions to the program this spring. The Chargers coaching staff has high expectations for their team and expects them to work hard on and off the field. With just a few returners, the expectations for the players are quite high.
Weaknesses: While youth is a strength, it is also an area of weakness. With only four returners Lackey have many girls who are learning the game as they go. The Chargers ended up having to dress a returner as a goalie, so finding the right fit in the net is a challenge that they are taking head on. All in all, Lackey is young and inexperienced and have girls who are excited and eager to learn and that is what makes it worthwhile for the coaches.
Head coach: Wendy Walston (fourth season, All-County COY)
Last year: 11-3, 10-2 (third in SMAC) Athletes to watch: M Rylee Otten (Sr., All-SMAC, All-County AOY), A Hope Sine (Sr., All-County), D Kayla Pesante (Sr.), D Courtney Murphy (Sr., All-County), D Taryn Ging (Jr., All-County), A Madison Curtis (Jr.), A Madison Curtis (Jr.), Hannah Lind (So., All-County), A Morgan Leonard (So., All-County), M Kaitlyn Fitzsimmons (So.), D Isabell Shoptaw (So.), A Mia Meiser (So., All-County)
Key personnel losses: M Kayla Getgen (All-County), D Tara Collins (All-County), D Olivia Shanks, D Olivia Shanks, D Jessica Koontz, A Libby Exline
Strengths: After finishing as one of the top-tier teams in the conference and advancing to the sectional finals of the Class 3A-2A East Region playoffs, falling to Calvert, La Plata will be returning eight players who boast a ton of experience and knowledge for the game. The Warriors bring back its leading scorer Otten (41 goals, 18 assists), who will be a huge asset in sparking the team’s high-powered attack. They will have a well balanced attack offensively and defensively and have a good chance to make noise again in SMAC and can possibly make another deep playoff run than last year.
Weaknesses: The Warriors will have to work on the blending of returning players and newcomers on the defensive end, as well as utilizing the experience on the offensive end to increase our scoring opportunities. Players will be looking to others to step up and fill the spots of those that graduated as well as returning players with injuries.
Head coach: James Akers (second season)
Last year: 4-9, 4-8 (10th in SMAC) Athletes to watch: M/A Morgan Akers (Jr., All-County), A/M Maddie Berres (Sr., All-County), D Nikki Dickerson (Jr.), D Elizabeth Kennedy (Sr., All-County), A.M Savanah Paton (So.)
Key personnel losses: M Rachel Elmore, A Mary Pat Albright, A Monica Park, D Jayla Smiley
Strengths: McDonough currently consists of players who play yearround at the highest level of lacrosse in the nation and have players who are new to the game. The more experienced players in the program are assisting with the new players so that the Rams can field the most competitive teams in the future while at the same time working on there own skill sets. Akers is excited at the number of players that they have this year as the program has taken a huge leap this year by fielding both varsity and junior varsity teams.
Weaknesses: With 82 percent of the players in the program new to the game of lacrosse, the focus will be on fundamentals of the game and importance of developing very good habits in addition to increasing lacrosse IQ. Also, they must learn to be a student-athlete and be able to handle the demands both in the classroom and on the field.
Head coach: Paige Attonito (third season) Last year: 11-5, 9-3 (fourth in SMAC) Athletes to watch: A Ali Zedah (Jr., All-SMAC, All-County), M Morgan Knowlan (Sr., All-SMAC, All-County), D Lia Willis (Jr., All-SMAC, All-County)
Key personnel losses: G Lauren Bodamer (All-SMAC, All-County), D Taylor Hightower (All-SMAC, All-County)
Strengths: The Eagles have great leadership on the field with a group of captains who serve as extensions of Attonito. They have a pulse on when the intensity and play needs to be brought up. The leadership of this team also has great chemistry having played together for a couple of years now. The team, in general, is a hardworking and passionate group.
Weaknesses: Overall, the team is inexperienced and young. Sans the captains, players are still relatively new to the varsity game and will have to be brought up to speed.
PRINCE J. GRIMES
Head coach: Mark Stanley (second season) Last year: 2-11, 2-10 (12th in SMAC)
Athletes to watch: M Kaitlyn Harley (Sr., All-SMAC, All-County), M Tamrin Swann (Jr.), D Mariah Queen (Sr.), G Gabby Cleaveland (Jr.)
Key personnel losses: St. Charles did not have a senior class in 2015.
Strengths: This team is a cohesive unit and has a total team concept. With every starter returning from last year, and the entire coaching staff, the Spartans should benefit from the type of stability uncommon in high school. This team will also have more depth and experience, and add in a junior varsity team this year, optimism is high at St. Charles.
Weaknesses: It’s still a program in the early stages of being built up. As far as on-field weaknesses, Stanley doesn’t see any, but the culture of this program is still yet to be established in the conference.
PRINCE J. GRIMES
Head coach: Rich Callahan (eighth season)
Last year: 6-9, 6-6 (tied for seventh in SMAC with Patuxent)
Athletes to watch: G Breanne Sawall (Jr., All-County)
Key personnel losses: D Alyssa Stewart (All-SMAC, All-County), D Catie Collier (All-SMAC, All-County), M Faith Breads (All-SMAC, All-County),
A Mackenzie Garrison (All-SMAC, All-County)
Strengths: Look for the Cougars to take on the characteristics of their mascot, using speed, athleticism and agility to their advantage. When things are going right for Stone, it’ll usually be caused by the team’s overall speed. Weaknesses: Just four players on the team played varsity lacrosse last season. The Cougars are young and inexperienced, which makes for a good outlook in the future, but the group will take its lumps this year. Groundballs are Stone’s biggest source of trouble right now.
PRINCE J. GRIMES
Head coach: Taylor Fleegle (second season) Last year: 1-14, 0-12 (14th in SMAC)
Athletes to watch: M Kyler Wingfield (Jr.), A Tia Clark (Sr.), D Colby Bommer (Jr.), D Jazzmae Munford (Sr.)
Key personnel losses: A Georgia Benson (All-County), D Ashley Marshall (All-SMAC, All-County), G Alyssa Rowland (All-SMAC)
Strengths: This team is young and impressionable. They’re eager to learn, grow and show improvement. The enthusiasm and passion of the Wolverines should show in their games.
Weaknesses: Westlake graduated 12 players from last year’s team. With youth comes inexperience and there will be times when that amateurism is exposed.
PRINCE J. GRIMES