Winning has become something of a regularity for the East Greenwich High School boys lacrosse team of late. The team did not lose a single game last season en route to a 13-0 record and their second consecutive Rhode Island Interscholastic League Division II title.
The early spring has been much the same for the 2013 EG squad as they opened their season with a trio of wins in their first three league games. While some might want to project lofty expectations on this year’s Avengers’ because of the program’s custom of winning, head coach Brian Trapani is doing his best to start fresh in 2013 and temper expectations.
“Every year’s different,” said the EG coach. “What happened last year is last year. And those [wins] don’t guarantee anything this year. You have to earn every win, each and every ground ball, and each and every goal.”
Trapani can try as he like to not let folks get ahead of themselves when it comes to their outlook on his team. Even if they lost their first game in some time when they dropped a 9-7 decision to the Barrington High Eagles in a non-league contest on Monday night, based on how they are shaping up for this spring, it is hard to see anything but good things coming from the Avengers.
With 15 returning seniors in the program, Trapani has a strong core of veteran leadership he can rely on and it starts at the back with senior goalkeeper Jack Trutza.
“He is the rock,” said the Avs boss of his veteran leader. “Jack is very experienced. Outstanding goalie and he’s a leader back there. He’s vocal.
“As good as he is, he’s worked on his technique. Improved his technique. Improved his leadership. We’re lucky to have him. Our guys know they can take a little extra chance and work a little bit, knowing they have Jack at their back.”
Despite their track record, the Avengers are not without their work to do if they wish to be successful in 2013. Trapani does not want his team taking anything on the field for granted and will use that mentality to help them continue to take steps forward and develop as a team, particularly up front as the coach tries to find the right combination of forwards he wants to use this season.
“We have to continue to improve our pass and catch,” said Trapani of his team following Monday night’s loss. “Barrington played a great game, super team, fast, but we ran with them. If we get more of those groundballs and pass and catch a little better, shoot a little better, that will bode well for the rest of this season.
“We’re still developing the offense. The offense has to grow. Defense is easy to coach and install. The offense, because of the timing, the power and the speed, it takes more time.”
That development as a complete program will be something in the coach’s mind all season. The program is at an all time high in terms of numbers.
As large and strong as their senior core is, Trapani also likes to point out the more than 20 freshman he has in his program, split between JV and varsity. The coach is not looking at just this season, but also incorporating as many of those younger classman as possible to set his team up to be successful long into the future.
“Just keep getting better,” said the EG coach of his main aspiration for this season. “Another mission we have is to develop those younger players. Not only just try and be successful on the field for this year, but also keep the future going.”
After Monday’s loss to Barrington and a 10-5 win on Tuesday at South Kingstown, EG concludes it second week of play looking to extend their good run of play in Division II playing at Narragansett on Thursday.