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2019 BOYS LACROSSE PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
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Lambert's Gerard Kane makes a move towards goal during a lacrosse game against Centennial on March 16, 2018 at Lambert High School. Kane led the Longhorns with six goals. - photo by Ben Hendren
West Forsyth

Coach: John Laden, seventh season

Last season: 11-8, lost in first round of the Class 6-7A playoffs

Key returners: A Sam Tuck (Sr.), A Chris Neal (Sr.), MF Josh Bell (Sr.), D Andrew Grohovac (Sr.), GK Logan Schell (Sr.)

Key newcomers: MF Tiernan Pepple (So.)

What to know: The Wolverines’s main strength this year will be continuity — they bring back five seniors from last year’s playoff squad, including All-County defender Andrew Grohovac. Communication on both offense and defense still figures to be an aspect of the game West needs to work on. Still, the Wolverines allowed double-digit goals in just two games last year, and if they can keep that going this season, another run to the playoffs could be in store.

Pinecrest Academy

Coach: Steve Jameson, first season

Last season: 6-10, missed playoffs

Key returners: A Robert Binkley (Sr.), D John (Stone) Brown (Sr.), A Ryan DiFazio (Sr.), GK Drew Hendren (Sr.), A Eli Karaki (Sr.), D Nick Kelhofer (Sr.), MF Hogan Palmer (Sr.), MF David Stubbs (Sr.)

Key newcomers: MF Bryce Balthaser (So.)

What to know: In Steve Jameson’s first year as head coach of the Paladins, he’ll inherit a deep senior class, which figures to be a key strength. All-County attacker Ryan DiFazio returns after scoring 47 goals during his junior season. Goalie Drew Hendren is also coming off an All-County junior year, finishing with one of the top save percentages in the state (59 percent). Depth could be an issue for this team, though, with not many returning players in the junior class.

Forsyth Central

Coach: Josh Hixson, third season

Last season: 4-11

Key returners: GK Jason Mamrick (Sr.), A Jayten Dorvault (Sr.), MF Brandon Spivia (Sr.), MF Evan Gray (Jr.), MF Noah Norrie (Jr.)

Key newcomers: A Drew Dominic (Jr.), MF/FOGO Nick Hyden (Jr.), MF/D Connor Azar (Jr.), D Caden Jacobs (Jr.), MF Devin Hill (So.)

What to know: Experience will be the biggest strength for the Bulldogs, with juniors and seniors on the roster that have played varsity lacrosse since they were freshmen. Head coach Josh Hixson feels that his group has meshed together well, and he hopes that it’s enough for the Bulldogs to buck recent trends and make the postseason.

Lambert

Coach: Rich Wehman, 10th season

Last season: 22-0, won Class 6-7A state championship

Key returners: A Gerard Kane (Sr.), MF Ryan Overbay (Sr.), MF Benny O’Rourk (Sr.), MF Christian Rhoad (Sr.), MF Cameron Story (Sr.), DM Drew Dockter (Sr.), DM Mitch Ganote (Sr.), LSM Mike Ford (Sr.), D Patrick Deans (Jr.), D Alex Robinson (Sr.), D Jack McClure (Sr.), GK Brendan Wehman (Sr.), GK Andrew Tippett (Sr.)

Key newcomers: DM Brody Beauchamp (Jr.), DM Robert Fenters

What to know: Lambert, a program that has a history of being the one of the best boys programs in the nation, steamrolled to a state championship last year with an undefeated 22-0 mark. The Longhorns do lose All-County Player of the Year Kyle Lewis and an All-American in FOGO Phillip White, but bring back a big piece in Ohio State signee Gerard Kane, who scored 79 points during his junior campaign. While Lambert has some areas where it’s young and inexperienced, it has more than enough upperclassmen in place, and there’s no reason to think they won’t be in the mix for another state title.

South Forsyth

Coach: Steve Hurlbut, first season

Last season: 10-8

Key returners: D Drew Childress (Sr.), MF Jake Hale (Sr.), MF Max Kane (Sr.), A Colton Rudd (Sr.), A Will Wyckoff (Sr.)

Key newcomers: N/A

Outlook: South loses some players from last year, but the War Eagles bring back two 2018 All-County selections in attacker Colton Rudd (31 goals, 42 assists) and midfielder Max Kane (51 goals, 29 assists, 53 ground balls). Despite having some young players filling some key roles from last year, head coach Steve Hurlbut says this team could be one of the best squads that South’s ever had.

North Forsyth

Coach: John Garrish, second season

Last season: 4-15

Key returners: MF Dane Tyler (Sr.), MF Anthony Herock (Jr.) A Nick Moskovkin (Sr.), A/MF Chris Smith (Jr.), D/LSM Jackson Rosebush (Jr.) D Andy Dykes (Sr.)

Key newcomers: MF Jackson Lavangie (Sr.), MF Jacob Durant (Fr.), A Michael Dennis (Fr.), D Alex Wilson (Jr.)

What to know: A big senior class looks to be one of the advantages North has this season. As a result, the Raiders feel like they have more depth to play with in John Garrish’s second season at the helm. Garrish has also seen the overall skill level improve, which the Raiders hope can help them compete for all four quarters of games. There’s still some learning to be done, though, with some younger players figuring to see playing time.

Denmark

Coach: Barney Marchand, first season

Last season: N/A

Key returners: N/A

Key newcomers: MF Michael McKenzie (Jr.), MF Robert Lai (Jr.), MF Matthew Minshall (Jr.), D Charlie Gorman (Jr.), D Clayton Hoerner (Jr.), D Chris Hankey (Jr.)

What to know: Barney Marchand comes over from West Forsyth’s girls program, a successful one last year, to lead Forsyth County’s newest boys team. He’ll have some good help: Denmark Director of Lacrosse Mike Ryan started Milton’s program in 2001, has coached in two state championship games and is a member of the Georgia chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The Danes will have some players coming over from South Forsyth’s program, but those players had limited playing time and half of Denmark’s roster doesn’t have any lacrosse experience. This goal this season will be to build a foundation for the future.