‘Composure’ the motto for Boys Lacrosse


Lane huddles up in a timeout during their 16-6 loss to Mount Carmel on March 27. (Photo courtesy of Benjamin Sides)

By Bradley Hills, Sports Editor

When he started playing lacrosse, Conor Farrell was far from the player he is today.

“When I first started freshman year, I was terrible,” Farrell, Div. 982, said. “I couldn’t even pick up the ball or anything. I feel like I’ve developed into a fairly skilled player and have an impact on the team now that I didn’t really have my freshman year.”

Senior captain Grant Adams, Div. 953, also started playing lacrosse when he arrived at Lane in seventh grade, first playing with the LTAC lacrosse team, which was founded that year.

“I didn’t really have any athletic skills that would be required to play on any of the other competitive sports and since lacrosse was very new I thought I’d give it a shot,” Adams said.

According to the New York Times, nearly 1.1 million boys and girls now play the sport in youth leagues, and the impact of this grass-roots growth has powered a westward expansion, as the sport has been traditionally played on the east coast.

Defenseman Jaylen Sanders, Div. 952, who has been playing lacrosse as long as Adams, estimates that the proportion of players on the varsity team who played before coming to Lane is about 30 percent.

Despite many of the players being relatively new to the sport having joined their in seventh grade or freshman year, they have experience playing with each other, which Adams says gives the team good chemistry.

“Our team has been working with each other for three or four years,” Adams said. “The seniors on the varsity team have been playing with each other for four years. All the juniors were on the same JV team as most of the seniors.”

Lane opened their season on March 11 on the road with a 7-6 victory over Brother Rice, fueled by performances by Noah Adams, Div. 160, who tallied three goals, and goalie Thomas West, Div. 953, whose clutch late-game saves helped Lane escape with a win.

As a four-year member of the program, Farrell stressed the importance that beating teams like Brother Rice has.

“We’ve kind of been the joke of city lacrosse compared to suburban schools that don’t take us very seriously,” Farrell said. “But this year we came out and beat Brother Rice. They’re one of the Catholic schools who don’t really respect city lacrosse so it’s good to put some respect on our own name.”

Despite the victory, there were a multitude of things that need to be improved upon, according to Farrell.

“We really did a good job on the defensive end but we kind of got too relaxed as a team,” Farrell said. “We were getting too relaxed too early and didn’t keep putting the pressure on them, so it only ended up being a one-goal game and kind of came down to the wire.”

One game doesn’t define a season though, and the Lane team has used a single word to help their mentality this season.

“This year, one of our big words at practice and at games is ‘composure,’” Farrell said. “If we take a loss, that’s fine. We’ll get back out there for the next one and just try to get the W.”

According to Sanders, “composure” means the ability to face adversity with a level head.

“If you stay composed you win the game,” Sanders said.

A big advantage that staying composed gives Lane is the ability to control the tempo of the game, according to Sanders.

“We slow down the game to our tempo and our pace making us the better program altogether,” Sanders said. “We don’t rush the ball and turn it over as much as we did last year. We play our game and have the composure level that we need. Even if we need a few goals we don’t rush the ball like we used to.”

This composure mindset is used to help the team through games and the rest of their season, according to Adams.

“I feel like we’ve had a good start this season and if we keep our composure in all the other big games we can have a really good season,” Adams said.

Other strengths to the team include their tactics and depth, according to Adams and Sanders.

“We have a system where instead of moving the ball through one player we move it through everyone, same with our defense,” Sanders said. “All of us are relatively the same size so we don’t have one player, we switch off defending.”

Additionally, according to Adams, the pass-first system has meant that the majority of Lane’s goals have been assisted, which emulates the best teams in the sport.

With an influx of new players on the team, depth has increased.

“Our depth helps us because we always have fresh legs on the field,” Sanders said. “It always pushes us to get better in practice because you know your spot is always on the line. You have to work for every minute you get on the field.”

Additionally, depth helps teams stay fresh throughout games because they have a larger player pool to rotate in.

“We’ve got a lot of people on the team and when the other team starts to get tired because they don’t have as many players,” Adams said. “We always have fresh legs and are pushing as hard as we can.”

As the season goes on, the goals for Lane remain to beat Whitney Young and win the City Championship, according to Adams and Farrell.

The need to beat Whitney Young stems from past results against them, most notably a City Championship loss last year.

“We’ve wanted to beat Whitney the entire time I’ve been at Lane and we’ve come up short all the times we’ve played them,” Adams said. “The best thing for us would be if we could beat Whitney.”

The currently 4-2 Indians will get their chance to do that on April 2 at Lane Stadium at 7:00 p.m.