Gavin Harvieux likes what he sees this spring on the Chaska boys lacrosse team. More importantly, the senior captain likes what he hears, what he feels.
Eagerness to learn.
"A lot of young guys are really stepping up. I love seeing that. These are the guys that are the future of this program. I just want them to keep bringing the positive attitudes. That love for the team, the love for the program. It's not always been like that, so it's great to see," Harvieux said.
Chaska, with just four seniors -- Harvieux, attacker Alex Miller, defender Carter Braa and face-off specialist Hunter Anderson -- looks for the positives each day out. They look for growth among many players that compete only in the high school season.
Harvieux and his brother, Xavier, a sophomore, are among the most experienced players on the team.
"That first week, Coach (Chuck) Friedbauer was out there, we were getting after it. It was real practice. Way more intense than any of our off-season practice," Harvieux said.
Chaska, outscored 35-3 in the first two matches to top-10 teams Shakopee and Bloomington Jefferson, have won four of the last five games. The only defeat to then No. 1-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret.
The Hawks rattled off one-goal wins over Rochester Century (9-8) and Orono (5-4) before beating newer programs in Waconia (11-6) and Southwest Christian (13-2) last week.
Harvieux netted the game-winner in double overtime at rival Orono on April 27.
"Those games, even for guys like me and brother who play a lot of lacrosse, are intense. They are fun. There's nothing like it. It's what you dream about. It's what you practice for shooting in the backyard. Saying to yourself you scored the game-winner. I just tell myself to play hard, move onto the next play in a situation like that," Harvieux said.
Gavin and Xavier share the team lead in points through seven games with 17. Gavin has eight goals and a team-high nine assists, while Xavier has 14 goals and three assists.
Gavin, a midfielder, is the quarterback of the transition team and offense.
"Playing with X is awesome. I don't think anything beats playing with family. The bond you have with each other. We get to sometimes play together on a national club team. I couldn't ask for anything more," Gavin said.
And Chaska couldn't ask for a better role model captain than Harvieux. So much so former captain, Gabe Friedbauer, who is leading the JV team, asked him to take the No. 9 jersey this season.
A jersey number also worn by former Hawk Joe Chu, a former assistant in the program who played club lacrosse at the University of Minnesota.
"When Gabe was a captain his junior, senior years, he was always like a coach to me. He would take me aside, help me with my game. When he asked me to take the jersey number, all I could think about was this meant I needed to be there for my team, playing for my team. So come to practice every day and have a positive attitude," Harvieux said.
And that's what he does.
Harvieux, who hopes to play lacrosse and attend St. John's University in Collegeville next fall, comes with an attitude for the team of "doing what they can with what they have." And making sure to have fun with it.
Chaska has three straight road games at Mound-Westonka (May 11), at Rochester Mayo (May 15) and at Bloomington Kennedy (May 18).
STARTS WITH DEFENSE
Like Harvieux, setting up the program for future success is something that has been on the mind of senior girls lacrosse captain Sydney Hardy.
While Chaska's last three games have been lopsided, victories over Robbinsdale Cooper (20-0), St. Louis Park (18-4) and Waconia (24-0), there has still been learning and growth.
"It's given a chance for the younger to step up and feel more comfortable with their role on the team. Some games it can feel so intimidating to be out there for someone newer to the team. This season will hopefully prepare them for next year when they won't have much to adjust to," Hardy said.
Chaska has just three seniors on the roster in Hardy, Kaylee Van Eps and Izzy Hohbein. Hardy, Van Eps and Hohbein are all returning defenders, so the entire offensive team was new.
"You could tell that first week we were a little rusty. After those first few games, we've seen really good progress. Our confidence from our first game to now has grown immensely. We're figuring out our plays. Everyone has more knowledge, they're anticipating the next play," Hardy said.
Through seven games, a 5-2 record, top goal scorers are sophomores Josie Lakosky (19 goals, six assists), Kennedy Sanders (14 goals, six assists) and Aidan Hawley (14 goals), and junior Jenna Davis (10 goals).
Chaska is currently on a four-game winning streak that began with a 12-8 win over Orono. A dreary and chilly evening, being able to focus on the task on hand, sparked the solid recent play.
Hardy was able to come up and play some offense, scoring twice versus Robbinsdale Cooper.
"It was really fun. I loved being able to make the pass to Izzy for her first goal. I think almost everyone has scored a goal, which is awesome. It's a great feeling getting that first goal," Hardy said.
While the offense has turned things up a notch, the defense has remained a strength all season. Megan Jirele, a junior, was the starting goaltender two years ago. The experience in the defensive zone has helped Chaska post a pair of shutouts in the win streak.
"I've been really impressed with our team defense. Everyone has really stepped up. We're talking, the communication among girls has really improved. This has really helped in our transition game into the attack zone. We have a bunch of basketball, hockey girls, and the footwork from those sports, especially basketball, really helps prepare you to play defense in lacrosse," Hardy said.
With the season half over, Hardy, who will play in college at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, said while winning is fun, continued improvement is something she hopes for the Hawks.
"I don't want us to settle where we are at. We need to come out each day and be better than the next," she said. "I want us to play as a team, keep our intensity up. And just have fun. Enjoy the season. We are so lucky to have high school lacrosse again. Enjoy it!"
Chaska has a three-game homestand with Mound-Westonka (May 11), Eastview (May 15) and Bloomington Kennedy (May 18) before finishing the season with three road contests.