Boys lax returns experience, talent
The 2017 season for the Parkland boys lacrosse team ended in historic fashion. The Trojans finished with a 20-3 overall record, were crowned Eastern Pennsylvania Conference East Division champs, were runner-up in the league, and won their first ever District 11 championship while qualifying for the state tournament.
As in any year, Parkland lost some key players to graduation, but the amount of experience and talent returning this year trumps the losses of last year.
The squad will be led by captains in Luke Summers (senior) and Alex Albertson (junior). Summers is committed to continue his playing career at the University of Michigan next season, joining classmate Andrew Albertson, who is committed to Division I Highpoint University.
Other top returnees for Parkland include junior goalie James McGlughlin, senior attack Ian O’Neill, junior midfielder Jake Yannes, junior attack Greg Santa-Anna, senior midfielder Andrew Albertson, senior midfielder Summers, junior attack James Cipolla, senior midfielder Braden Groff, senior midfielder Sam Morgan, junior midfielder Austin Sauerzopf, junior defender Alex Albertson, junior defender Dylan Rham, junior defender Zach Fitzgerald, senior defender Ian Haggerty, junior defender Colby Carlson, junior midfielder Liam Wilson, senior goalie Bobby Carlson, senior defender Brent Cassium, sophomore midfielder Max Kistler, sophomore defender Ben Dobbs and junior midfielder Sam Schmitt.
Some key newcomers for the Trojans include junior midfielder Eli Fisher, and a group of freshmen including midfielder Matt Geroulo, midfielder Will Filipovits, defender Garrett Fitzgerald, defender Cole Helmer and goalie Cade Hammer.
The defense will be the backbone of the team.
“We have a very deep, athletic, physical and veteran defense, which will be the heartbeat of this team,” said 10th-year head coach Brad Schifko. “We are returning a number of players with significant varsity time, and are also anchored by one of the best in goal. Junior goalie James McLaughlin needs to take another step forward in his second season as the quarterback of this defensive unit.
“Co-captain Alex Albertson, as well as Dylan Rham, Zack Fitzgerald, Colby Carlson, Ian Haggerty, Liam Wilson, Brent Cassium and Max Kistler, will all provide added depth to a tenacious defensive unit.”
There is also plenty of power to like on offense as well.
“We are returning an explosive offense, and looking for new faces to fill the void left by some significant departures,” Schifko said. “The offense will be led by co-captain, Luke Summers, as well as Mr. Utility, Braden Groff, at midfield. Returning starters, James Cipolla (moving from midfield to attack), Ian O’Neill and Greg Santa-Anna, will anchor the attack, while Andrew Albertson will handle the majority of face-off duties, and will provide added midfield depth, along with Sam Morgan and Jake Yannes, who will also play attack.”
Parkland will have competition in the EPC and District 11 once again from familiar foes, Central Catholic, Easton and Emmaus.