Of the 20 players on the field during a lacrosse game, only one has the ball at any given time. Therefore, statistically, people play most of the game without the ball. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a job to do. This spring, the Quince Orchard High School boys’ lacrosse team’s emphasis is on playing team-first lacrosse and “doing the little things” off the ball to help whomever has the ball, Cougars coach David Heiney Gonzalez said.
“We want the guys to make sure they’re moving to where they need to be for the next play, moving where they need to be for the next series,” Gonzalez said. “Are you holding your stick with the proper hand up by your ear or are you going to have to take extra time to fumble around with the stick while the ball is in the air?”
Parity runs deep in Montgomery County lacrosse this season, Gonzalez said. But when the Cougars (2-2) are healthy—they’ve battled some injuries early this spring—they should fit right in among the top tier of teams.
Quince Orchard returned seven starters from a year ago—many of whom have now been playing together for two or three years—including senior midfielder and United States Naval Academy recruit Johnny Hodges, four-year starter and McDaniel College recruit Logan Feuer, third-year starting attack man Brandon Kelly and second-year starting goalkeeper Santo Seminara. A longstick midfielder, Feuer is everywhere Quince Orchard needs him to be, Gonzalez said. The Cougars’ primary face-off man also tends to cover opponents’ toughest players and Quince Orchard often relies on him for the clear.
The Cougars are anxiously awaiting the return of Hodges from a preseason appendectomy. The Cougars’ third all-time leading scorer with 145 points—and 109 goals—brings a contagious confidence to the midfield, Gonzalez said. But his absence has forced teammates—most notably senior Alexander Raines and junior Justin Gold—to take on more prominent roles, which could pay major dividends come playoffs. Raines scored six goals in Quince Orchard’s 10-6 win over crosstown rival Northwest on April 1.
“The experience and chemistry these guys have is always beneficial,” Gonzalez said. “They understand how they work, how each other works and how I work. Our big mantra this year is playing as a team, playing together. We’re focusing on being good teammates first; on being tough and being disciplined for each other.”