For this year’s Lambert boys lacrosse team, perhaps the best in the program’s short but illustrious history, the key was trust. Many of the Longhorns’ players had been playing together since elementary school, and they were close off the field as well, hanging out on the weekends and grabbing dinner after practice.
And on that field, that trust and closeness was evident in the team’s deep, multifaceted, relentless offensive attack. A higher-than-typical percentage of the Longhorns’ goals came off assists, and close-up finishes were a common sight as well.
Of the Longhorns’ multitude of dangerous offensive players, Kyle Lewis was the most productive. The senior Lynchburg College signee, the 2018 All-FCN Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year, was as adept at distribution as he was at finishing, leading the team with 86 total points on 48 goals and 38 assists.
“I don’t worry about having to put it in the back of the net,” Lewis said. “Because I know I’ve got a lot of guys who can do it for me.”
Lewis was a key offensive piece of Lambert’s 2017 squad, which was one of the best in the state but fell 10-5 to Lassiter in the state title game.
That defeat drove Lewis and the rest of the Longhorns in 2018, and their offense didn’t come close to a low like it experienced in that game. Lambert scored double-digit goals in every one of its games in 2018, and when they met the Trojans in the state finals again, the Longhorns dispatched them by a 12-6 margin.
Lewis attributed part of that turnaround to the presence and schemes of first-year offensive coordinator Rick Lewis, his older brother.
“We would dodge and then move the ball twice, and defenses can’t play that long,” Kyle Lewis said. “(After) 45 seconds to a minute of defense, they get super confused, and we put it in the back of the net.”
Lewis is leaving a Lambert program that was family in senses literal, with his brother and father both being on the coaching staff, and in the figurative, given the years spent and bond formed with his teammates.
Now, he and former Lambert teammate Donovan Lilly could be the ones to develop a new tradition and pipeline at Lynchburg, where no Longhorns players have gone before.
“It’s going to be a whole different thing,” Lewis said. “(We’ll) start a whole new family next year.”