Proctor's boys' lacrosse team has the potential to experience one of its best seasons since the early 1990s when the program went undefeated, however, its formula for success is one that emphasizes program-wide growth, rather than an influx of talented post-graduate players.
With a 7-5 record heading into its final four games, the team can still finish second in the Lakes Region behind Brewster Academy with a relatively young team. Monday afternoon marked the final home game for the team's ten seniors, all of whom have made considerable contributions to the program during their time at Proctor. However, Head Coach James Beaudoin and senior captains Hunjae Lee and Ryan Powers all acknowledged it has been the mix of younger players and more experienced players that has set the team up for success not only this year, but into the future. Lee notes, "Although the varsity team had a bit of a slump midway through the season, the JV1 and JV2 teams have had tremendous success which demonstrates the strength of the program. There is a lot of buzz around school about the sport, and it is truly rewarding to be part of a team that is paving the way for a very promising future. There is a cohesive group of players of all grade levels and we are all focused on the success of our team as our ultimate goal." Beaudoin adds, " Our varsity team has bonded this year and played beyond their individual capabilities. At the JV level we have two very strong teams that have players that will make an immediate impact for us next year."
The momentum built around this program was amplified during Proctor's second "Friday Night Lights" event held over Spring Family Weekend. Lee describes the impact of the event on the team, "The night game was incredible; the atmosphere was riveting and it was truly a blessing to play in front of so many people. The school spirit was great, and it was awesome to have a special event like that in our schedule that we all looked forward to." Perhaps more importantly, however, this event helped serve as yet another building block for the community as the school prepares for the installation of a synthetic turf field over the summer. Beaudoin elaborates, "Because of the nature of our athletic schedules, rarely do Proctor's teams get to play in front of the whole community. It made us proud to see the elevated school spirit as the whole community rallied together behind this team, just as it did behind the girls' soccer team in the fall."
While it had hoped to win a Lakes Region championship, that goal was made impossible after the team's loss to Brewster last week. Yesterday's loss to Gould Academy added to the adversity the team faces as it heads into the final stretch of games. Fortunately, that desired outcome of a Lakes Region Championship was merely one manifestation of the internal growth they hoped would occur this season. Senior tri-captain Ryan Powers offers the following thoughts about his team's growth, "After our loss to Brewster, instead of walking around with our heads down pointing fingers, we made the decision to take this game and learn from it. We looked at what we did wrong and saw what we needed to work on. Proverbs 24:10 says, 'if you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength,' and we hope to demonstrate our true character during times of adversity as we move forward."
Heading into these final four games, Coach Beaudoin notes, "We want to end the season as we began, with a closeness and family feeling and the knowledge that this season is the start of an amazing time in Proctor lacrosse." Lee elaborates further, "Our goal is to finish strong and to leave our mark on the history of this program. I really do believe that this team can do great things for years to come if players are willing to continue to commit to excellence as they have done this year." Powers acknowledges that the final four games of the season are important, "Our goal as a team, is not only to win the rest of our games, but to grow as a team. With the adversity and the losses that we faced, we need to become closer with one another. These last four games are statement games and will decide how we will be remembered as a team; whether we were the team that fell apart after the one bad loss, or we were the team that came back after the loss, going undefeated and finishing 2nd in the NENLL. The opportunity is in front of us, it's our job to control the outcome, and we very well can."
Best of luck to the varsity boys' lacrosse team as they finish out their season!