(March 29, 2013) Worcester Prep boys’ lacrosse Coach Kevin Gates noticed continued improvement in the Mallards’ performance throughout pre-season competitions. He called it “a good sign” as league play began this week.
“We lost some good players and we’re kind of building it back up,” said Gates, now in his 11th season. “We’re getting better and better. We went into Spring Break (last week) with a positive vibe. We’re excited about what lies ahead.”
Eight Mallards on Gates’ 20-player rosters are veterans. Leading the team will be senior attackman, captain Harrison Brennan, who received First Team All-Conference honors in 2012, when the team went 9-6 and captured its fourth consecutive Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference title.
“Harrison is one of the best face-off guys around, maybe one of the best in the country. We won’t see anyone better,” Gates said. “He gives us a great chance every time he faces off to get the ball and that’s huge.”
Senior attackman Gordon Abercrombie (Second Team All-Conference) will assist Brennan with captain duties.
“I think I have an understanding of how Coach Gates wants things done. We have a young team and I feel like I provide good leadership. [In fact,] both of us provide good leadership because we’ve both been around for four years,” Brennan said. “We have the potential to be really good.”
Added Abercrombie, “We’re very young, but we’re very talented, also. I think as some of the younger kids progress during the year they can fill some big gaps.”
Also returning is senior defender Chris Adkins (First Team), junior defensemen Luke Payne (Second Team) and Billy Brittingham, midfielder Jack Marshall and sophomores Jon Adkins (midfield) and Christian Bruder (attack).
Newcomers who have stood out are freshmen Wyatt Richins (midfield), Mike Brittingham (long stick/defense) and Ross Dickerson (midfield), sophomore Sam Deeley (midfield), junior Thomas Buas (attack) and senior Seth Wilgus (midfield).
Freshman Wade Walter has earned the starting spot in goal.
“Our offense is pretty strong. Defensively, we’re trying to do different things to throw teams off,” Gates said. “We’ve got some unbelievable coaches, so they’re going to be well coached.”
The Mallards will compete in the ESIAC again the year, and they have also joined the Metro Independent Lacrosse League’s east division.
“It’s going to be a big challenge. There’s a lot of good teams over the bridge we’re going to face and if we can compete with them, we can compete with anybody,” Abercrombie said.