Last season, Lambert lacrosse coach Rich Wehman took his team on a summer trip to the National Lacrosse Invitational in Setauket, N.Y., an event that welcomes premier high school lacrosse programs from across the country.
The Longhorns were humbled in their first go-around, finishing with a competition record of 0-6.
This past weekend, the Longhorns returned to the National Lacrosse Invitational and turned some heads in the process. Lambert posted a 5-1 record last weekend, which included more than one landmark victory.
Lambert first defeated host Ward Melville, Wehman’s alma mater (they eventually beat them twice, 6-4 and 6-5), which went into the tournament ranked nationally. The Longhorns then took down the New Jersey Prep A champion Bergen Catholic, also nationally ranked, 10-7.
At that point, college scouts at the tournament began to take notice, which was the goal Wehman had when taking his team back to his old stomping grounds.
“For us to beat my old high school twice, it was just an awesome statement about the state of our program,” Wehman said. “As far as the program goes, one college coach came to us and said a lot of coaches there were taking notice. You want people to know who you are.”
“What happened last weekend will change how people think about our program,” Wehman said.
Lambert also defeated St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) 8-3, as well as Elder Cincinnati by a blowout score of 15-1. Their only loss was a low-scoring, 3-2 result to Bellevue from Washington. Overall, Lambert finished third out of the 28-team field.
Wehman said multiple schools had inquiries about rising junior Eric Overbay, along with calls from Hofstra and Rutgers regarding Jaryd Jean-Felix, brother of Mercer commit Justyn Jean-Felix.
Overbay’s little brother, a rising freshman, even played in the tournament and made a splash of his own.
“We just have a lot of kids developing,” Wehman said. “I think that’s the reason we’ve been able to stay consistent, with our feeder program. It’s ironic, because we’re so experienced, but our rising youngsters are flashing good signs.”
Lambert, which finished 16-3 in 2015, will return a host of talent for next season. Only the Forsyth County News player of the year, goalie Garret Gomez, and midfielder Jake Stanford depart as seniors.
Trey Arnold, Brady Berman, Justyn Jean-Felix, Matt O’Rourk, Eric Overbay and Chris Price—all named to the FCN all-county team—will return as juniors or seniors.
Lambert traveled again this weekend, and will also play in the National High School Lacrosse Showcase in Baltimore, starting July 10. Both tournaments are invite only, and Lambert and Lovett were the only teams in Georgia invited to Baltimore.