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2020 BOYS LACROSSE PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
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Lambert junior Drew Kotanian celebrates last year after scoring a goal during the Longhorns' state semifinal game against Lassiter. File Photo
Forsyth Central

Coach: Joshua Hixon, fourth season

Last season: 10-6

Key returners: FOGO/MF Nick Hyden, Sr., A Drew Dominic, Sr., D Connor Azar, Sr., MF Devin Hill, Jr., MF Noah Norrie, Sr., D Caden Jacobs, Sr., D Avery Burris, Sr.

Key newcomers: G Cam Kelley, Sr., G Hunter Ransom, Jr.

What to know: Central has a solid foundation to build on with two returning All-County players. Nicky Hyden won 80 percent of his faceoffs as a junior, and last year, defender Connor Azar corralled 54 ground balls and scored three goals with two assists.

Denmark

Coach: Bernard Marchand, second season

Director of Lacrosse: Mike Ryan, second season

Last season: 5-8

Key returners: A Mike McKenzie, Sr., D Danny Shapiro, Jr., MF Ryan Bitterman, So., MF Jake Brown, Jr., D Chris Hankey, Sr.

Key newcomers: MF Jaden Wilkins, Jr.

What to know: Denmark’s second boys lacrosse season will be all about continuing to improve after starting its existence with a five-win season last year. They’ll certainly have some help in three 2019 All-County selections: Berry commit Mike McKenzie (50 goals, 25 assists), Ryan Bitterman (83 ground balls, 30 points) and Danny Shapiro (40 ground balls, 15 turnovers). Cambridge transfer Jaden Wilkins will also enter the fold at midfield.

Lambert

Coach: Josh Sagel, 11th season

Director of Lacrosse: Rich Wehman, 11th season

Last season: 21-2

Key returners: D Patrick Deans, Sr., SSDM Brody Beauchamp, Sr., FOGO Arron Jubard, Sr., D Will Spiro, Sr., D Drew Kane, Sr., G Arjun Viswanathan, Sr., A JD Marston, Sr., MF Aidan Duca, Sr., FOGO Cole Garner, Sr., D Ben Applegate, Sr., MF Will Mangold, Jr., MF Tanner Overbay, Jr., LSM Robert Fenters, Jr., A Drew Kotanian, Jr.

Key newcomers: N/A

What to know: Lambert was right back in the Class 7A state championship game last year, but it couldn’t defend its 2018 title, taking a heartbreaking overtime loss to Walton. Despite losing some key roleplayers on that team, the Longhorns should be in good shape again this year with 21 returning lettermen. 2019 Forsyth County News boys Player of the Year and All-American Patrick Deans returns on defense, as will third team all-state selection Brody Beauchamp. Midfielder Aidan Duca is signed to play college lacrosse at Anderson, while midfielder Will Mangold is committed to Jacksonville.

North Forsyth

Coach: John Garrish, third season

Last season: 8-9

Key returners: A Chris Smith, Sr., D/LSM Jackson Rosebush, Sr.

Key newcomers: FOGO Chris Herock, Fr., LSM Caleb Ollendieck, Fr.

What to know: Head coach John Garrish feels like his team’s numbers are the biggest since he arrived at North, and believes his team’s skills have improved as well. Execution will be the key for the Raiders — They’ve got a mix of players that haven’t played together for long.

Pinecrest Academy

Coach: Chad Whitlow, first season

Last season: 11-7

Key returners: MF Bryce Balthaser, Jr., D William Bradford, Jr., A Henry Borgerding, Jr.

Key newcomers: N/A

What to know: Chad Whitlow will take the reins of the boys lacrosse program at Pinecrest, and he’ll have a well-established team to work with. The Paladins lose 2019 All-County attacker Ryan DiFazio, but have a team that while young, has played together since middle school.

South Forsyth

Coach: Steve Hurlbut, second season

Director of Lacrosse: Patrick Young, first season

Last season: 14-6

Key returners: LSM Nolan McGinley, Sr., A Brendan Connolly, Sr., G Sean Snarey, Sr., MF Zachary Layne, Jr.

Key newcomers: N/A

What to know: The 2019 season was one of the best seasons in the history of South Forsyth’s program, but the War Eagles will have to deal with the departure of three first-team All-County players, including key goal-scorers Max Kane and Will Wyckoff. Patrick Young joins South as its director of lacrosse after a tenure at Mountain View.

West Forsyth

Coach: John Laden, eighth season

Last season: 13-7

Key returners: Tate Snidow, Anthony Mazur, Lamfon Day, Aden Anderson

Key newcomers: Grey Brockman

What to know: The Wolverines lost a good crop of seniors that led them to the state playoffs last year, but West coach John Laden still sees some strengths, particularly in the midfield, in his team’s depth. Rectifying inexperience at attack and building trust as the season goes on will be key goals for West.