LowcoSports HS Boys Lacrosse Preview: Can Sharks, Bobcats Catch Up To Seahawks?

Hilton Head High has long been the local powerhouse when it comes to boys lacrosse, and the Seahawks hope to maintain that claim even in what appears to be a rebuilding year.

May River and Bluffton, on the other hand, are trending upward and hope to close the gap in 2018.

The Seahawks have had a losing record only once – in 2007 – and have won at least 11 games each of the past three seasons. But they graduated about three-fourths of their scoring and most of their defense from last year’s Lower State runner-up team and will rely heavily on freshmen and sophomores to fill the gaps in new coach Will Callegari’s first season at the helm.

Bluffton is coming off its best season since 2009, as Brian Arpaia led the Bobcats to five wins in his first season leading the program, and the entire starting defense and goalie are back.

The Sharks might be the team to watch in the program’s second year, though, as they didn’t have a single senior on last year’s inaugural squad that finished 5-8. May River also added an impact player in sophomore attacker Braydon Sokolowski, a transfer from Maryland who had three goals and four assists in a season-opening win over Beaufort High.

BLUFFTON

Coach: Brian Arpaia (2nd season)

2017 record: 5-10

2017 playoff results: Lost in first round of Class 4A playoffs

Returning starters: 4

Top returners: GK Owen Latchford (Sr.); D Drew Lee (Sr.); D Decker Paulmeier (Sr.); LSM Evan Blatter (Soph.)

Key losses: Eric Kelson; Jonny Luna; Blake Treadway; Roderick Jones Jr.; Matt McComas

Key newcomers: ATT Carlo Pulido (Fr.); ATT Zach Stevens (Sr.); ATT Caleb Weiss (Jr.); MF Caleb Watkins (Jr.); MF Sam Quiles (Jr.); LSM Gene Hamilton (Soph.)

Coach’s outlook: The program graduated 11 seniors from a team that won five games for the first time in eight years. We will be trying to build upon the success we found last year with a new group of underclassmen leading the way.  The defense returns all four starters, and newcomers Zach Stevens and Carlo Pulido will be looking to lead the offense. The team is led by captains Drew Lee, Owen Latchford, and Decker Paulmeier

HILTON HEAD HIGH

Coach: Will Callegari (1st season)

2017 record: 13-4

2017 playoff results: Reached Class 4A Lower State finals

Returning starters: 3

Top returners: LSM/D Colin Courtney (Sr.); ATT Jake Rader (Jr.); ATT Will Firth (Soph.); GK Chris Valentino (Sr.); MF Whit Molloy (Soph.); MF Kai Liska (Sr.); ATT Max Boyer (Soph.)

Key losses: ATT/MF Logan Johnston; ATT Duncan Marx; ATT Jack Flowers; D Jackson Smitherman; MF Taylor Rozek; GK Noah Flores

Key newcomers: ATT Chaz Renaud (Fr.); ATT Kyle Kirkpatrick (Fr.); LSM/D Garrison Geoffrey (Soph.); MF Reed Parker (Soph.)

Coach’s outlook: Our program graduated the majority of its key personnel from their deep postseason run. Roughly 75 percent of our scoring graduated out, as well as the majority of our defensive players. As a result, we are going to have a number of guys see action that have not previously

played substantial minutes. We are going to have a number of inexperienced  players on the field, which will obviously result in some growing pains early

on. However, these young guys we have are already shaping up to be some great lacrosse players. Their hard work and dedication, as well as that of my coaching staff, has really prepared these young men to step into the limelight. We may be young, but don’t overlook this young team.

MAY RIVER

Coach: Tom Dyer (2nd season)

2017 record: 5-8

2017 playoff results: Lost in first round of Class 4A playoffs

Returning starters: 7

Top returners: MF Jon Boan (Sr.); MF CJ Wajczszuk (Soph.); ATT Seth Eaton (Jr.); ATT Luke Boan (Soph.); LSM Harrison Rogers (Sr.); GK Sean Morris (Soph.); D Hunter Brophy (Sr.)

Key losses: None

Key newcomers: ATT Braydon Sokolowski (Soph.); MF Ethan Sotiropoulos (Fr.); MF Robert Gadomski (Fr.); ATT Hudson Kramer (Fr.)

Coach’s outlook: We’re relying on our senior leadership and captains to

maintain the status quo we have built within the program. Our goals are to finish about .500, finish with a positive goal differential, and win a first-round playoff game. I believe those are achievable and obtainable goals based on year one results as well as the use of summer, fall, and winter conditioning; time spent in the weight room; the addition of newcomers who have played the game before; and an increased focus on defense and transition.

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