Seniors to play key role in Comet Lax success

Matthew Smith | Staff Writer

Head coach Jim Davis talks about the players on this season’s team.

It’s go time for the Mason Girls Lacrosse team.

A one point loss in last year’s state tournament is in the rearview mirror and now the team has set their sights on a new challenge, including coming out on top of their inaugural season in the Greater Miami Conference.

Lacrosse is an official GMC sanctioned sport, and with an established program, the Comets hope to flex their muscle on the conference scene. The team has a lot of returning talent and will be lead by senior defenders Madisen Bangs and Megan Elko. On offense, they will be led by Ellie Lefton and Julia Block at attack.

With a new season comes new goals, and Block said that the team has high expectations for the 2019 season with the added motivations of standing atop the GMC.

“Now that we are a GMC sport, winning the conference is a big goal,” Block said. “But a big thing we want to do is win regionals and go as far as we can at state. The team is really excited for the season because we all know we can have that much success.”

The Comets believe that developing culture is what separates the good from the elite. Head coach Jim Davis said that teaching his girls to always have each other’s back is key for the bonds between his girls and to reach their full potential.

“Culture is a big part of our program,” Davis said. “Everyone in the program is equal and valuable, and we tell our girls to look out for each other and make each other look good. No matter how it happens or how it plays out, always look out for your teammates.”

Junior Riley Brannock and the Comets look to take control of the GMC in the inaugural conference season.

Leadership from the seniors will be vital to show responsibility and understanding of the program to get the most out of a talented team. Sophomore midfielder Kate Cooper said that the older girls on the team have done an excellent job of leading the team, as well as involving the younger girls.

“We have a lot of seniors this year, and they all have been great for the team,” Cooper said. “Not only are they great players for the team, but the leadership they provide is great. Last year and this year, I’ve really bonded and grown close to them, and I’m just like anyone else on the team.”

Seniors will be a critical piece of the puzzle this season, but so will younger players. Junior attack Cate Millard will need to be a huge contributor and big time scorer this season, and rising star sophomore Sammy Connors will look to provide a spark at midfield. Millard said that it will be important for all the girls to find their place on the team, for this year and next.

“It’s important for all the younger girls to figure out what their role will be for this season,” Millard said. “We have plenty of girls who will be able to contribute to the team and we’ll need everyone. Not many of our players are seniors, either, so learning where everyone fits on the team will help us a lot for next season as well.”

As the season creeps along, all eyes will begin to turn towards the state tournament and pressure on the players will reach its peak. Block said that although the players are always nervous when the tournament comes, it isn’t unwelcome.

“When the playoffs start and the regular season ends, that’s when there is the most pressure,” Block said. “We feel a little stressed, but I don’t think that it’s a bad thing. The team plays well like that, and everyone is excited to see how far we can go in the bracket.”

Click to enlarge and view in slideshow mode.

Photos by Tanner Pearson.

Video by Matthew Smith.

msmith.chronicle@gmail.com