The 2019 Mad River Youth Lacrosse season ended with some monumental accomplishments for the girls’ and boys’ lacrosse teams.
The boys’ seventh-and eighth-grade team, coached by Casey Murphy, posted an undefeated season including a state championship win.
“Our team philosophy was to go out and have fun. We had incredible talent – not just one superstar, there were 19 of them. As the season progressed the boys really worked together as a unit. The older boys really emerged as leaders and taught the younger boys to better themselves. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of young men,” Murphy said.
“It is likely you will read about these eighth-graders next year when they begin their high school lacrosse careers. Jack Murphy, Michael Clark, Brian Bechtel, Tim Russo, Kolton Kenney, Pacie McGrath, Jackson Wade, Nate Kudrivetz, Iyah Lavit and Charly Seitz all played key roles in this winning season. As for the seventh- and eighth-graders on the team, Gage Pelletier, Trent Jordan, Josey Rubinstein, Tabor Greenberg, James Westhelle, Quinn Smith, Tyler Gaidys, Noah Pekarski and Evan Andrews played key roles in the winning season as well. We look forward to seeing them for another year or two with the Mad River Valley Youth Lacrosse program,” he continued.
Assistant coaches on this team were Reid Tynan, Steve Andrews and Steven Valadakis.
Murphy said that one player made a special contribution to both the fifth- and sixth-grade boys’ team and the seventh- and eighth-grade team. Evan Andrews stepped up to play goalie when the seventh- and eighth-grade boys did not have one. He played the championship game as the single goalie on the team and in the morning, and he played the field on the fifth- and sixth-grade team to win two championships in one day.
This year, the Mad River Youth Lacrosse program was challenged to pull together a full boys’ fifth- and sixth-grade grade team and ended up partnering with Harwood Youth Lacrosse in Waterbury. These boys were coached by Paul Geary, Chris Parsons, Chris Piatek, Paul Geary, and Steve Andrews.
The girls’ fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade team was coached by Sarah Ibson and Luke Catlin. Ibson said, “There was so much energy in the group each and every practice and game. It was incredible to see the growth they made as the team and as individuals.” Coach Catlin stepped up and not only coached the girls but also supported the lax program making sure the fields were lined properly. Ibson said, “I am very grateful to my employer for being flexible with my schedule, which allowed me to be involved with this team. Getting to know these athletes, watching them work hard, improve and have fun together is incredibly rewarding. I am really excited to follow them throughout their lacrosse careers.”
The boys’ third- and fourth-grade teams (there were two) were coached by Matt Lillard, Josh Staples, Tim Jones, Chris Lamonia and Seth Achilles.
The 2020 Mad River Youth Lacrosse season begins next March. Please keep up to date on all Mad River Lacrosse info at www.madriverlax.com.