by Connor Andrews
The Western Albemarle High School boys lacrosse team began their season precisely at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 21. More than 60 boys and coaches suited up for the first annual “Midnight Madness” practice, bringing all the varsity and junior varsity players together for the first time since last season. It was also the first official event on WAHS’s new turf field. Players divided up into three teams and played a “round-robin” series of scrimmages.
“Midnight Madness was a great way to start the season and a great way to celebrate the new field,” said Head Coach Brad Haws. “We are a young team with only three seniors returning. With significant graduation in numbers and starters, we will be relying on the younger players more than ever before. We have high expectations that we will continue to be successful in the district, regional and state competitions.”
Last year, the Warriors won both the Jefferson District Championship and the Regional Championship. The team fought their way into the state tournament, where they lost in the quarterfinals. Graduating players included Christophe Drapanas, Turner Whitworth, Stephen Schuler, and Tyler Ward.
This year’s team will look for fresh talent to fill in the gaps left by the graduating class. Haws said he is “expecting the young to step up” and believes that the team will work hard and be very coachable.
Western’s first game is a scrimmage against Albemarle High March 10 at 5 p.m. on the new turf field. Regular season play begins with a home game against Covenant March 15 at 5 p.m. Next will be an away game against Charlottesville High School March 18 at 6:30 p.m.