All articles are written by YJDP Student Sports Writers and edited by mentors from The Washington Post prior to publishing.
Lacrosse has been on a national rise for the past 10 years. In the past 5 years, high schools, mainly on the east coast, have seen an upswing in popularity. Lacrosse is starting to gain more of the same caliber athletes as sports like basketball and football, and perennial basketball and Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Virginia is taking advantage of that.
The Paul VI lacrosse program is coached by second-year coach Bob Waters, former assistant coach at Chantilly HS and former college lacrosse defenseman at Delaware University. Coach Waters took the team to new levels of competitiveness, enthusiasm and overall prestige in the 2013 season. Last year, the team finished 20-4 and lost to Gonzaga 13-11 in the WCAC tournament. Although the team lost more than 15 seniors from last year, the team has a strong junior class consisting of Ryan O’Conner, verbally committed to UNC and Ryan Lamb, verbally committed to UVA. The team has a total of five Division I commits on this year’s roster, and 10 seniors from last year’s squad now attend Division I schools. But despite the program’s rapid rise, the Panthers want an even better season this year.
“We have worked harder than ever this offseason” says junior Ryan O'connor.
Last year the Panthers finished 77th in the nation according to Laxpower.com, and are ranked 35 on StudentSports.compreseason Fab 50 this year. The team’s biggest competition includes Landon, Georgetown Prep, and last year’s playoff nemesis Gonzaga.