Boys, girls lacrosse teams prepare for new season
McDonough boys lax rebuild defense, possess strong offense for 2017 season
As McDonough head coach Michael Ferriter and the boys lacrosse team took the field for practice on Thursday they were glad to get back to full-field outdoor work.
After not being able to practice last Tuesday due to the inclement weather in Charles County, the Rams were contained to practice indoors on Wednesday, but were back outdoors the next day.
Whether they were working indoors or outdoors, the Rams expectations are high for 2017 as they are scheduled to open the season at 5 p.m. today at Lackey.
McDonough’s biggest emphasis entering the season is getting a consistent defense in place. While the team returns eight players, including four on offense, the Rams lost their entire defense to graduation that featured Alpdogan Johnson, Jaylen McDuffie, Damien Hock, Alex Gillissen and Darin Gardner.
Aside from returning starting sophomore goalie Camdin Edge,
the defense will be a new group.
“It is great to be back on the field and we are going to try to get our defense rolling in the right direction,” said the 6-foot4 Edge. “Communication will be very important. Practice has been going well and I believe we are ready for our first game.”
McDonough, which finished with a 6-9 overall and a thirdplace 4-2 in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference’s Potomac Division last season, has 17 varsity players on the roster and 14 junior varsity players in the program.
“We are very young and inexperienced,” Ferriter said. “We have four first-year players and four youth-league experienced freshmen and we’ll be starting three of them. This is the first time that we had a [junior varsity] in three years, so the future is bright for our program.”
Despite losing attacker Nick Leverich, its leading scorer with 27 goals last season, McDonough will still possess solid offensive firepower with junior Nick Wright and senior Dillon Paton at attack. In the midfield, senior Gunner Kerig and Ferriter’s son Brady, an incoming freshman, will bring versatility for the offense.
“It was disappointing last year and I’m happy to be back,” said Wright, who missed the entire season in 2016 due to a torn ACL injury in his right knee. “We have a lot of young talent and we want to set an example. With the offense we have we will be able to score goals.
Paton, one of McDonough’s team captains, will be looked upon to help provide leadership and be a vital asset on the field.
“Along with the other captains we help manage and lead the lacrosse team,” Paton said. “That includes warm-ups, running, drills, conditioning and keeping the team focused. I am very excited about the upand-coming season along with all new players we have gained this year. The program at McDonough has has a huge gain of incoming freshmen that have had experience with lacrosse. We area all itching to start the season and bring home a regional championship.”
Coach Ferriter added: “It will be a shootout for most of our games until we get our defense in proper form. Midway through the season our defense should be better as we try to push through he playoffs.”
When asked about the competition level within the county and SMAC, the coach said: “La Plata is still the team to beat in the county and we are not going to be able to close the gap with the out-of-county games. All the Calvert County teams like Huntingtown and Northern are tough, but we have to continue to develop and compete.”
McDonough head coach Michael Ferriter speaks to his boys lacrosse team in practice on Thursday as they prepare for the 2017 season. The Rams open the season on the road at 5 p.m. today versus county foe Lackey in Indian Head.