HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC
Key returners from 2019: Senior attack Graham Miller, captain. "One of only two 4-year seniors on the roster, intangibles off the charts. Will contribute as a distributor with scoring chops also." Junior defenseman Joe Schmidt, captain."Will provide great leadership and experience on a young defense." Quotes from head coach Mike Livingston.
The coach said to watch junior midfielder Keyan Schugel and freshman attack Roman Schreiber this year and beyond. "(Keyan is) a shifty midfielder with solid stickwork, will provide balance on an athletic but inexperienced midfield," Livingston said. "(Roman has) great stickwork and lacrosse IQ beyond his years. Will compliment Graham Miller as a shooter who can dodge and create shots for others."
Season outlook: "This season really feels like a brand new start. We had a senior heavy team last year, so even without the pandemic, our team make-up was going to be pretty different. We have only five players left from the last team that took the field two years ago, so getting to know the kids all over again has been daunting, but the players have really come through. Everyone is excited to get back outside, and morale is high!" Livingston said.
Team goals for 2021: "Firstly, we need to turn from a team of strangers into a cohesive unit. So far, the players have really exceeded my expectations for playing together so well so soon, and we need to maintain and build that. Second, as a very young team, I want to try to keep rookie mistakes to a minimum. Clock management, time of possession and good shot selection are going to be big priorities for us this season. Thirdly, I’d like to win a game or two that maybe we shouldn’t win. I really want to show these guys that hard work and teamwork pays off," the Fire coach said.
Key returners from 2019: Senior captains defenseman Carter Braa and midfield Gavin Harvieux, sophomore attack Xavier Harvieux, junior defenseman Dakota Schroeder, and senior midfield Hunter Anderson.
"I'm looking to junior captain goalie Conner Selken, sophomore midfielder Kaiden Atteberry and a number of solid juniors to make their impact this season. Exciting time because only returning five percent of 2019 points, so it will be fun to see how these guys develop together," Chaska coach Chuck Friedbauer said.
How did it feel those first few practices being back? "Overall, very evident that the players and coaches are just so happy to be back on the field together. Attitudes have been excellent and looking forward to having a season. Missing last season was very difficult on coaches and players having something they love taken away. And the impact is seen in reduced participation this year," Friedbauer said.
Team goals for 2021: "Working on specific team goals prior to our first game, but in general, compete at 100 percent of each player's ability and finish a compete season!" (regarding COVID-19 impact) the coach said.
Key returners from 2019: Head coach Thor Benson has 11 seniors on the roster, including senior captain and goaltender Grant Seyller. "Anchor of the defense, returning for his second year in the net, providing vocal leadership and help to the entire defense."
Senior captain Caden Winters, Grant Lindberg, EJ Van Dyken, and Andrew Smith will all contribute to the strongest all-senior, defensive front in Southwest program history, Benson said.
"Junior midfield captain Wyatt Schindeldecker will log in a lot of minutes on the field looking to capitalize on opportunities with senior Henry Baklund, juniors Josh Larson and Nick Burke and sophomore John Davis," the coach said.
As a coach, what was it like missing a year? And how did it feel those first few practices? "685 days since our last game. There were a lot of players that I was super excited to watch step on the field for their senior year. These were guys that we started our program with who worked really hard to improve as a team and who were having a lot of fun playing the game. It was hard not to see them experience the season," Benson said. "On the flipside, in 2021 our first few practices were super fun and high energy. These first few practices were a great reminder of how working with committed student-athletes can be really rewarding and life-giving."
Team goals for 2021: "We have a special group of guys that have gelled well together. Our goal is to play hard, represent our families and Southwest well, and have fun playing as far into the post-season as we can," Benson said.
Returning athletes from 2019:
Senior captain Scott Streff
"Scott is a natural goal scorer that has a knack for finding the net. He is one of the only returning offensive players from 2019 we look forward to watching him lead the 2021 Minnetonka Lacrosse team. Committed to play NCAA Lacrosse at VMI."
Junior captain Kiernan Holmes
"Kiernan has been playing big minutes since his freshman year. Kiernan is a versatile defender with a great understanding of the game. He is poised to take on a bigger leadership role in our defense."
Senior captain Jack Kahlmeyer
"Jack can play both LSM and close defense. He has been apart of the 2018 and 2019 seasons; we will look for him to lead this defensive unit this season. Committed to play NCAA Lacrosse at Hood College next season."
Senior Josh Nelson
"Josh has been apart of the HS program since his 8th grade year. He is an outstanding ball stopper that is ready to take over as the starting goaltender from the Minnnetonka lacrosse all-time wins leader Jack Bayless (2019 grad)"
Comments from coach Josh Yue.
As a coach, what was it like missing a year? And how did it feel those first few practices? "Having my first season cancelled as head coach is something I never could have imagined. It gave me (as I'm sure it did all other coaches) a completely new outlook on how I approach coaching and the game. Every season is priceless and it is not to be taken for granted," the Skippers coach said.
"The first few practices have been exciting. Our guys have done an outstanding job of preparing themselves over the last year and ensuring they would be ready to get back on the field when we could. I am so grateful to for this group of young men and I am equally as excited as they are to continue along this season," he added.
Team goals for 2021: "Our one goal for this year are to enjoy every moment and make the most of our time together. It is so easy to take practices/games etc for granted and as we saw last season, nothing is guaranteed," Yue said.