Boys lax looks forward to 2021
Marcus Janda grew up playing lacrosse. So when the opportunity arose to become the first head coach of a brand new program, he accepted that challenge. Janda accepted the head coaching position of the Northwestern Lehigh High School boys lacrosse team last year, and enjoyed every minute of it.
“It is an honor to be the head coach of the Northwestern boys lacrosse team and I am extremely grateful to our athletic director Jason Zimmerman and principal Aileen Yadush for giving me the opportunity to build the program,” said Janda. “This community rallies and supports all of its high school athletic programs, and we certainly have felt that support and are very appreciative that our community has welcomed lacrosse with open arms.”
The Tigers won six games in year one last season and finished the season nearing a .500 overall record.
“We benefit from the fact that Northwestern established a feeder program years before we started the high school program,” Janda said. “The majority of our players have experience playing the game before getting to high school, which is pivotal to the success of our team. We also started last season with a very young roster. We graduated six seniors and returned the majority of our starters from last season.
“At the start of spring practice this year we were leaps and bounds ahead of where we were during the same time last season. With so many young players being able to gain valuable experience during the season last year, we were able to pick up right where we left off and start to take that next step forward.”
So what is the next step now for the program heading into the 2021 season?
“Taking that next step,” said Janda. “As a program last year we were focused on the players gaining experience and developing their lacrosse IQ. Although we are still focused on developing those things, we were ready to take that next step forward this year. After a couple weeks of practice, I was really excited about where the team was and felt we were ready to have a very competitive season. Last season we lost a couple of games by one goal, this season, with one year of experience under everyone’s belts, I think we were more equipped to turn those tight games into wins.”
Northwestern had four seniors on this year’s team, including Owen Moloney, Richard Rudolph, Zach Rosamalia and Jacob Dolansky.
“Our senior class may be small in number, but they had an extremely profound impact on our program,” said Janda. “After enjoying a successful first year as a program, our seniors decided that winning a couple of games wasn’t enough for them. They had their eyes set on taking this program to new heights this year, and ultimately the district playoffs.
“They started by leading the team in the fall during offseason practices, consistently pushing the rest of the team to elevate their work ethic. They put their words into action on a daily basis and I am extremely proud of how these young men approached their last season in a Tigers uniform.
“However, it’s not the games and the victories that I was most excited for this season. It was the quality time spent with these incredible young men. The time before/during/after practice, the bus rides, the time spent with players are what coaches remember most. I was most excited to make more memories with these guys and even though they are moving on to the next stage of their lives, I still look forward to making more memories with them as they will always be a part of our NW lacrosse family.”