By Tamas Mondovics

Supported by a small, but enthusiastic group of parents and fans, Durant High School hosted the Freedom Patriots for a non-conference lacrosse game at Cougars Stadium.

The pair of boys and girls season opener games was the school’s fourth season as an FHSAA (Florida High School Athletic Association) sport.

In the wake of a preseason jamboree, fourth-year program head coach, Andrew Madden and his 22 players that fill the boy’s team roster were ready to face off the Patriots.

Madden called the game a “good measuring stick” to start the 2016-2017 spring season.

“This game helps us to see how we are doing, what we are doing well and, of course, what need to fix,” he said.

While the boy’s team played a solid settled defense, its offensive turnovers led to transition opportunities for its opponent ending the game with Freedom’s 7-6 win.

“All in all a good first game with some easy to fix mistakes,” Madden said.

As for the Lady Cougars, led by fourth-year program head coach and Durant graduate, Kiara Klinger, the night ended on a much higher note.
Immediately following the boys’ game Klinger’s girls defeated Freedom 21-6.

“We played well,” Klinger said, adding that she was able to get all 25 of her players in the game and by the second half all her starters were on the bench giving the less experienced players some much-needed game time.

“With every game we can learn something, whether it is what to do or not to do,” she said.

Klinger emphasized that the game opener did reveal that the girls need to work more on cleaner scoop of the ground balls as well as to settle their nerves and adrenaline.

At the end the score counts and Klinger was pleased with the way things turned.

“I am proud of the girls,” she said. “We will only improve and play better at each game.”

In a single Class, District 14 standing, Durant is facing a tough line-up that includes Newsome, Bloomingdale, All Saints’ Academy and Tampa Bay Tech.

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