Boys Lacrosse Season Preview

Wayne Hills Boys Lacrosse celebrate making it to the county final

Wayne Hills Boys Lacrosse celebrate making it to the county final

By James Adamo, Staff Writer

Will the Wayne Hills Boys Lacrosse team rise to the occasion and shock the state this season? That is the question the Patriots will have to answer starting Monday, March 14th when they take the field against Lakeland Regional for the first scrimmage of the season. After a disappointing last season with the team going 4-10, the boys hope to climb back this year for an impressive comeback season. 

With 17 seniors on the roster (the most in school history), it will be very interesting to see who excels out of the bunch. Captains this year are Mario Ianelli and Austin Knapp on defense, and Ben Contella and Ricky Iapoce at middies. There is much in store for the Patriots this year, but the question still remains: will they rise to the occasion?

The Patriots will need to formulate a plan in order to excel this season, and senior captain Mario Ianelli believes that the best plan is to work together, “I believe we are going to make a serious jump from where we were last year. We have multiple returning starters and have a bunch of hard-working athletes. I expect us to constantly improve through the season and bring home a county championship.”

Other players to watch include senior defensive middie, Harris LiPuma, senior Long Stick Middie (LSM), Luke Kressaty, senior goalie, Jack Dates, and senior attackman, Michael Campigotto, to name a few. The boys are very excited to get the season started, LiPuma seemed very eager to talk about his anticipation for the season and the game he has circled on his calendar. He said, “I cannot wait to get my senior season on the way, it has felt like forever since we last took the field in a non-Covid season, so it will be a great relief to return to normalcy. What I really can’t wait for is the big games this season, including two that I specifically anticipate playing in: April 16th against St. Joe’s, and the 28th against rival Wayne Valley.”

These promising words mean a lot, considering Mario has been a varsity player for three years, he knows what it will take to be at that county champion stage. Last year the Patriots got all the way to the finals in the county tournament. The Patriots beat Pompton Lakes 10-2 in the quarterfinal round, and then went on to defeat West Milford in the semifinal round. The county final match-up was between Wayne Valley and Wayne Hills where, unfortunately, the Patriots would lose 10-5. Last year’s team, although without many wins, was a very good team that had many talented seniors graduate. Some of these seniors included: senior goalie, Daniel Daly, a 4-star recruit now playing at Navy, senior middie John Cantilli, and senior attackman Jared Kratzer to name a few.

The Patriots have a tough schedule this season, going up against very talented teams including St. Joe’s, Depaul, Tenafly, and Wayne Valley to name a few. It will take a lot for the team to excel this season, Ianelli believes the keys to winning will be, “playing as a team and playing as a unit. We have the talent to take us far, but without working together, our goals can not be reached.” With the young, athletic squad they have, along with their reliable coaching staff, the Wayne Hills Patriots will be a force to reckon with this Spring season.