Every team develops its own character based on the personality of its players and the events it faces as a group over the course of a season. This year’s boys’ varsity lacrosse team has encountered its fair share of challenges, but ultimately, the way it responds to those obstacles will determine its legacy at Proctor.
Captains Cortland Begor ‘14, Conor Darby ‘14, and Connor Fries ‘15 and head coach Tucker Prudden reflect this week on their season and the opportunity to sharpen focus, while coming to better understand themselves as a collective unit during the final three weeks of the season. Prudden notes, “Throughout the peaks and valleys of our season, we have learned that we are a gritty, competitive team that continues to battle despite the challenges we encounter. Regardless of our competition, we play teams tough by employing a stingy defense that keeps us in games.” Begor adds, “This season has felt at times like a struggle due to the losses we’ve experienced, but personally, and as a team, we have learned to look at the positives from each game. We are able to identify specific instances where we missed a shot, dropped a pass, etc. that led to a one goal loss. We know after each game, win or lose, we need to get back on the practice field the next day and get back to work on becoming the best team we can be.”
Darby also identifies the way the team’s challenges have led to growth, “Our season has definitely had its ups and downs but I think it has taught us so much about ourselves. It's cliche, but I know I can look to the right and left of me on the field or in the locker room and know that every player has my back, no matter what, both on the field and off. The trust component for each other is huge, and we have definitely used that as a motivator, pushing us into the second half of the season.”
As the team heads into the final three weeks of its schedule, it knows that it can be competitive with anyone in the league. Both captains and coach know, however, the success during the remainder of the season will be contingent on the group continuing to gel as a unit. Prudden notes, “A team that last year had one freshman now has six, and many of them are seeing significant minutes. We have young kids being asked to play a large role for us, and it takes time for them to be completely prepared for this level of play. We have worked to try and put them in advantageous positions so they can be successful within the role asked of them.” Begor echos his coach’s thoughts, “We have an unbelievably talented group this year, but we are still figuring out how to maximize that talent as a group because of the all the new roles people are playing.” Darby adds, “Going into the season, we knew everyone had to step up and maybe play out of their comfort zone, stepping into bigger positions. Everyone has done that and more. Our record may not reflect it right now, but the team is working its tail off day in and day out to make each other better teammates, players, and people. That’s really all we can ask for.”
Ultimately, this team’s legacy will not be defined solely by the final score of each game, but by the relationships formed between athletes and coaches in pursuit of excellence on the field. Best of luck to the boys’ varsity lacrosse team as they travel to face Brewster Friday at 5:00 pm and prepare to finish the season strong.