Boys lacrosse: Win over South Elgin was huge for Huntley's program
The Huntley boys lacrosse team has a lot to be excited about these days.
The Red Raiders won their first two games, which included a key win against South Elgin.
"The win over South Elgin was big for the program because we have struggled with them in the past," Huntley coach Dominic Saccomanno said. "The team is playing in midseason form with limited turnovers and ball security. Additionally, I feel we have a complete team."
Attacker Ian Watson had 9 goals and 6 assists on 16 shots in the first 2 games. "Ian is going to go off this season after losing last year to COVID. He's bought into the importance of the ride, and as a result is going to continue to add the goals," Saccomanno said.
Midfielder Sean McCamant also has been key for the Red Raiders, who have 27 assists attached to their 33 goals in the first two games.
"The ball is being shared very well," Saccomanno said. "Guys are giving up good looks for great looks."
Also off to a hot start is the Geneva Vikings squad under the direction of coach Lucas Rojas. Geneva was 3-0 overall to start the week, which included a 21-12 DuKane Conference win against Wheaton Warrenville South.
"I have been impressed with the team's willingness to adapt this year," Rojas said. "Aside from all the COVID-19 protocols, this team has a new set of coaches, new practice routines and locations, a new offense and many more changes. Throughout it all they have stuck together and bought in."
Rojas has been particularly pleased with his attack unit comprised of Johnny Marietti, Tyler Costello and Andrew Close. "These three juniors have been great to work with and watch play," he said. And that trio has already combined for 40 goals.
The Golden Eagles' win over Grant last week was "a big confidence booster," Jacobs coach John Bigler said.
"The biggest thing that impressed me the most is the guys' willingness to be good teammates," Bigler said. "The seniors are helping the freshmen fit in and understand team concepts, players are making unselfish decisions in both practices and games, and much of the conversation is about getting better. Losing a whole season affected these players tremendously, and they're committed to making every day count."
Colin Gretz, slated as a long-stick middle, has moved into a more traditional defenseman role due to people missing time and provides multiple takeaways, clears and scoring opportunities every game, Bigler noted. Justin Gretz also has been notable for Jacobs, "he plays all over the field, creating turnovers on defense and being a catalyst on offense."
Bigler added 75 percent of Jacobs' goals so far have been scored off an assist, "emphasizing the unselfish and team-oriented play of these young men," he said.
The Chargers scored a recent 11-4 non-conference win over Prospect. "We finally have the whole team together after missing a few key players," D-C coach Dylan Maule said. "We're looking to make a run."
Junior goalie Aidan Didier has a .700 save percentage so far, and logged 22 saves in the Prospect triumph. Freshman Nolan Wienbenga leads the team in scoring with 10 goals. He had five of those against Grant.
Crystal Lake South update:
The Gators' win against St. Francis on April 20 was the first in school history as an IHSA sport. South also recently upended Hoffman Estates 5-4 after trailing 4-2 in the fourth quarter.
"There has been an increase in the overall level of play," South coach Jim Krol said. "We have made progress on offense, defense and in transition."
Krol labeled Griffin Baker has a "groundball machine." AJ Fattori also is excelling as the team's leading scorer. Krol pointed out that two years ago the team's leading scorer had 14 goals for the season. This year, that person has 12 goals through the first 4 games.
St. Charles North update:
The North Stars opened up play earlier this week with a 14-6 DuKane win over Wheaton North. "Some of our players haven't played in over a year," North coach Kyle Pepich mentioned. "The team has been juggling injuries and our players missing practices due to being two-sport athletes, but we have players stepping up playing multiple different positions and doing whatever the team needs to be competitive."
Jack Marquette (12 saves in goal), Ryan Doherty (9 groundballs and 3 takeaways on defense), Kyle Sundara (19-5 on faceoffs, 6 groundballs), Dom Cesarone (2 goals, 2 assists, 8 groundballs) and Nick Schrepferman (3 goals, 1 assist, 3 groundballs) were notable against Wheaton North.
South Elgin update:
The Storm downed Grant 18-2 after losing 17-3 to Huntley in their season opener.
South Elgin coach Dylan Butler said he's impressed with the overall youth in the program, "and how quickly they are maturing, learning and developing," he said. "The players are picking up a lot of stuff quickly, and they are trying to make up for lost time. It's been awesome to see so many young guys step up."
Freshman attack Zach Catania and sophomore midfielder Alex Wegrzyn are part of that youth movement. "Zach has been an absolute sponge when it comes to development and learning the game at the next level," Butler said. "Alex is a student of the game and is always asking questions. He also has earned the first line for midfielders, also a task not easy to accomplish."