By Tamas Mondovics
For the delight of coaches, players and fans, local high school boys and girls lacrosse programs begin their fourth season as an official Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) sport.
In a single Class standing, area teams assigned to District 14, includes Newsome, Bloomingdale, Durant, All Saints’ Academy and Tampa Bay Tech.
The official 2016-2017 season began following the annual preseason jamboree which according to coaches and players always helps to see how their programs measure up.
For its season opener game Durant led by program head coach Andrew Madden, hosted the Freedom High School Patriots for a non-conference game at Cougars Stadium.
Madden called the game a “good measuring stick” to start the season when he said, “This game helps us to see how we are doing, what we are doing well and, of course, what we need to fix.”
While the boys team played a solid settled defense, its offensive turnovers led to transition opportunities for the Patriots, ending the game with Freedom’s 7-6 win.
“All in all a good first game with some easy to fix mistakes,” Madden said.
The Lady Cougars, led by fourth-year program head coach and Durant graduate, Kiara Klinger, the night ended on a much higher note after the girls defeated Freedom 21-6.
“I am proud of the girls,” Klinger said. “We will only improve and play better at each game.”
Ready for its first conference game of the season, Bloomingdale High School welcomed its district rival Newsome, for a pair of games, both of which revealed the need for the host team to tighten the belt.
Newsome’s strength was unquestionable, as both boys and girls teams led by coaches Eric Blackburn and Chris Crusey respectively, dominated the night, right from the start.
“We are off to a great start,” Crusey said, adding that his team lost a number of seniors, but is ready for the season with a balanced roster.
Facing their much stronger opponent, the Lady Bulls led by program head coach, Sarah Ginn, suffered a tough loss, but played all four quarters of the game with so much heart that it was a simply a delight to watch.
“We have a lot to work on and grow, but we will pull through this season,” Ginn said. “These girls are so high spirited. They just love the game.”
For more information about the season please visit www.maxpreps.com.