Spring Boys Lacrosse Preview 2023

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Let’s go outdoors to the nets and check out our preview for boys lacrosse. I will show you which teams look to make a run to state. This preview is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

The Valley Co-Op looking to improve

Starting off with The Valley Co-Op boys lacrosse team, who is coming off a sectional quarterfinal appearance last year. The Valley finished the season with a 9-10 overall record and a 2-4 mark in the DVC. The squad will have some holes to fill, as their top three leading goal-scorers in Tylor Sondker, Jake Meyer, and Paul Knox have graduated. The Valley returns some strong talent with junior Jack Owen, who recorded 19 goals for the team last season. Also coming back is senior midfielder Jacob Sutphen who scored 10 times for the team. Returning in net for the Valley is Ethan Delby. The team will begin its season on Friday, March 17 at Schaumburg High School. 

Naperville Central hoping to turn things around

Moving forward to Naperville Central boys lacrosse, who fell to The Valley Co-Op last year in the first round of the sectionals. The Redhawks are looking to turn things around this season, and there is nowhere to go but up after not collecting a win last year. Central is led by head coach Blake Zinn, who helped bring the Redhawks to three State final-four appearances back when lacrosse was still a club sport. The Redhawks will be without its captain from last year, Mo Totten, but the squad will welcome back midfield attacker Shawn Wilson and junior goalie Alex Bird. Naperville Central will start its 2023 campaign at home against an old DVC foe in Wheaton North.

Naperville North trying to build off of last season

Heading across town to Naperville North boys lacrosse, where the Huskies are looking to build upon a great 2022 campaign. The Huskies fell to Benet in a competitive sectional championship matchup. Head coach Kevin Benages and his boys won’t have to wait long to get another crack at the Redwings.

“We’re opening up against Benet again, so we ended the season last year and we’re looking forward to playing them and opening the season with them this year,” said Benages. “It’s turned into a really nice rivalry with them. So we’re fired up to see them again.”

The team will look a little different this time around, with Midfielder Ryan Gilligen and faceoff man Nate Hanson graduating in 2022 among others. Junior attacker, Maddox Groves, who committed to Cleveland State over the off-season returns as one of the best players in the area. Groves, and Jack Houck should make for an exciting attack for the Huskies. Senior captains Bennet Malley and Luke Chionis are also some notable returnees. The Huskies are hoping with a good mix of experience and newcomers, they can make it a step further to the super-sectionals, or even return to State for the first time since 2018.

Benet Academy looks to continue its momentum

Now heading over to Benet Academy boys lacrosse, who had a great finish to its 2022 season. The Redwings closed its campaign with nine straight wins, including a sectional championship, before falling to Wheaton Academy in the super-sectionals. Benet is coming off arguably its best-ever offensive season, scoring 306 goals, the most in school history. A big help for that came from now-senior Erik Lorenzl, who put up a whopping 83 goals and 120 points, both of which are the second most in Benet season history. The Redwings will also return one of the best faceoff players in the state in Michael Frieri. As a sophomore, Frieri won 78% of his faceoffs and put up 61 goals. Benet will have to fill in for two-time All-State defenseman, Carson Forney, who’s moved on to play at Stony Brook University. The Red Wings take on Naperville North to begin the season.

Neuqua Valley hoping for a deeper run at state

Finishing up with the Neuqua Valley Wildcats, who had another amazing season, finishing in fourth place at state. 

“We’ve had a talented team in the past five or six years with three trips to the semifinals,” said Neuqua Head Coach, Joshua Maluta. “Third was our highest in 2019. Last year, like I said, fourth. I’m really going to push to try to get to that state championship this year. We did lose a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Graduated Andrew Arimborgo and Reece Barron (who) probably had over 200 points combined, which we lost as they graduated and went on to college.”

Returning for the Wildcat defense includes senior defensemen and captain Trevor Torres and long stick middy Bodie Perry. On the offense, Neuqua will bring back Liam Gramza and sophomore Jonah Frank. Also keep an eye out for freshman Ben Stefanski, a new addition to the program. The Wildcats have won three consecutive sectional titles and are looking to make a third trip to State in the last four seasons this spring.

Check out the other previews here!