Lakeville lacrosse looking to shake things up
Both North, South young yet agressive
When the preseason poll for boys lacrosse was released, the South Suburban Conference had three teams – Eagan, Rosemount and Eastview – in the top 10.
Lakeville North head coach Jeff Wright hopes to shake up the list soon.
“We have high hopes for the season and we look to play the underdog role for the majority of the season, especially in conference play,” Wright said. “We know that we will have our hands full with a number of teams who are ranked in the top 10 in the state. At the same time, the boys will go out and give them all a battle.”
The Panthers went 6-8 overall and finished eighth in the conference at 2-7 (tied with Lakeville South) last season. If the Panthers can take anything away from last season, it’s defense. The team gave up 65 goals, tied for the lowest in the South Suburban Conference.
The barricade starts with goalie Grant Wilson, who was All-State in 2011. Pat Mines is back to help the defense. The Panthers lost four games by one or two goals, so scoring a few more will be paramount in 2012. That will require a team effort.
“Each and every player knows that it will not be a cakewalk and that they will have to fight in every game to keep their dreams alive,” Wright said. “They know that success will not happen unless the whole team is doing it together. We win together and we lose together.”
The Panthers are welcoming several newcomers after losing seven seniors from last year’s team.
“We have a group of guys that work extremely hard and don’t give up,” Wright said. “We are hoping to be the team that fights strong for all four quarters.”
The key to the Cougars’ success this season will be to improve on last year’s goal total of 52, which was the lowest in the South Suburban Conference.
A number of their top scorers are back, including Aaren Larsen, Weston Baumann, Leo Steinmetz, Luke Ronneberg, Joe Elling and Aarec Larsen.
The biggest unknowns are in midfield and goal, where the Cougars will have younger players.
“One of our biggest strengths this year is the players’ excitement in the game of lacrosse,” new head coach Tim Bohmert said. “We believe this can propel this team a long way.
“We hope to get better with every game. We hope to be at the best of our game by the end of the year and ride that into the playoff season.”
Bohmert is another young addition to the program. He recently played for the University of Minnesota club team.
“We are bringing in a brand-new coaching staff,” Bohmert said. “We believe we will be able to emphasize different aspects that high school lacrosse has not touched yet. With the young coaching staff, we are utilizing skills that we have just learned from playing college lacrosse.”
Bohmert coached in the Lakeville Lacrosse Association in high school and went to coach with the Minneapolis Lacrosse Association in college. Last season he was a junior varsity coach and varsity assistant at Lakeville South.
“This year I got the opportunity to be head coach, and I was able to bring in some very talented assistants,” Bohmert said.
Assistant coaches Danny Peters, Josh Hoffstead and Andrew Larsen hope to give the Cougars plenty of advice on their way to an improved record for 2012 and beyond.
Andy Rogers can be reached at email@example.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.