Boys lacrosse rides its way toward the upcoming season

Todd+Irwin%2C+coach+of+the+boys+varsity+lacrosse+team%2C+gives+the+players+advice+on++how+to+correctly+position+themselves+on+the+field.

Enzo Carvalho

Todd Irwin, coach of the boys varsity lacrosse team, gives the players advice on how to correctly position themselves on the field.

After last year’s season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the boys lacrosse players are finally starting to practice again.

The lack of competitive play has not prevented the players and coaches from preparing for tryouts. From April 5 to April 8, both new and returning players will demonstrate their skills in hopes of making the team and participating in the 2021 season.

However, because of the recent change in COVID-19 regulations, there will be some lacrosse modifications. Along with players having to wear masks underneath their helmets, there has been a major modification to lacrosse.

To limit contact between players, the faceoff has been eliminated. Out of all the changes for this upcoming season, this one stands out the most. After a team scores a goal, the play will restart by having one player move the ball from behind the goal.

“With faceoffs, you have the opportunity to make it and take it,” said Todd Irwin, the Carlmont boys varsity lacrosse coach. “If you have a really good faceoff player, which was the case for us last season, you can keep scoring and regaining possession of the ball for multiple plays in a row.”

The faceoff specialist is a player designed to excel in close quarter situations and win faceoffs. Afterward, the specialist is then quickly replaced by another player.

Since this rule is not limited to California, it also affects numerous lacrosse teams throughout the United States.

“That position is a real thing that’s constant in the game,” said John Todd, coach of the Hingham lacrosse team in an article regarding the elimination of faceoffs. “It would really be a huge detriment to a good portion of the [players] who participate. It would make them obsolete at this time, which I don’t think is fair.”

Taking away this element of the game will diminish the specialist’s role and force many lacrosse teams to find other ways to be disruptive during games. 

“I’m not a big fan of taking away the faceoff. It takes away an advantage that we had against most teams,” said Trevor Douglis, a senior and Carlmont lacrosse player. “We’ll have to step up our defense and adapt to the situation.”

One way for the lacrosse team to adapt lies in this year’s tryouts. Defense, especially a ride defense, will be an essential concept and skill for players to have. Thankfully, there are plenty of players for coaches to choose from. According to Irwin, 19 seniors, 16 juniors, 10 sophomores, and six freshmen are signed up for tryouts this year.

Ryan Irwin, a senior, runs to the offensive end while cradling the ball. (Enzo Carvalho)

“We’re looking for skill, attitude, how well you play with others, your reaction to certain calls, how you are when you make mistakes, or even good plays. If you’re an athletic person, we’re going to see that,” Irwin said.

Before tryouts, players who want more training can attend optional practices at the Carlmont field. Once they are at the field, players and coaches follow regular protocol: checking temperature, signing in, and making sure to wear a mask.

As the lacrosse season resumes, players are excited to hit the field once again and seize the opportunity after a long break. 

“I’m just really excited. A couple of weeks ago, I didn’t even think we were going to get on the field at all, so having the opportunity to play is just great,” Douglis said.

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