Comets focused on claiming first GMC title

Matthew Smith | Staff Writer

Senior attack Xander Wells discusses the upcoming season as Boys Lacrosse becomes a GMC sport.

This time, it’s official.

This season, Boys Lacrosse will officially be a Greater Miami Conference (GMC) sport. The team will be lead by senior attack Xander Wells, Mason’s all-time goals scored leader, as well as defender Luke Volpenhein and attack Carson Croy, both potential college lacrosse players. The team will need contributions from everyone, though, including goalie Sam LoPiccolo and midfielder Carson Block, who already scored a game winning goal to start the season.

Volpenhein said that the team is thrilled and looking forward to the first ever season of lacrosse being an official GMC sport, although there will be some changes in the schedule.

“Being an official GMC sport now is something new for the team,” Volpenhein said. “In the past we’ve had a schedule where we play a lot of teams from other cities and states, but this year the majority of our schedule with be GMC schools. It’ll be very a very exciting and interesting twist on the season.”

Now that the season is underway, there are high expectations for this spring. The program will be looking for younger guys like Brett Wexelblatt and Thomas Garvin to step up this year and make an impact. With plenty of players contributing, Wells said that the team expects to be competing with the best, but also enjoying it while it lasts.

“You can’t win a state championship in your first game, and you can’t lose it either. Our goal is to go out and just get better every week and every game.”

Head coach Jeff Bumiller

“We have the talent to compete with anyone,” Wells said. “We’re looking to compete for a GMC title, and after that make a run at regionals and the final four. We want to have a great season, and have fun while doing it.”

In order to be successful, the team knows they can’t just show up for the games. After last year’s playoff loss to Moeller, the team feels like they’ve put in the offseason work in order to make the 2019 season as successful as possible.

The Comets have a new coach in former Mt. St. Joseph University head coach Jeff Bumiller. Bumiller said that a lot of dedication during the the fall and winter has prepared the team for the challenges they might face this season.

“The guys have done a great job all school year to make sure they are hitting the weight room and really pushing themselves in there,” Bumiller said. “They’re always competitive with each other, and a big thing we’ve been saying to them is to be accountable. Always hold yourself accountable and take pride in everything you do.”

Junior Ethan Millheim practices shooting as the team prepares to open their season.

The players push themselves on the field in order to be successful, but what happens off the field can be just as important. Volpenhein said that a huge part of winning as a team comes from the bond between all of the players.

“We’ve have a really close group of guys in the locker room,” Volpenhein said. “We’re together on the field and in the locker room, but also we always hang out together and become closer off the field. I think that we have a lot of team chemistry and it all starts with that.”

Pressure is something that comes with high hopes and goals in any sport. To ease the potential jitters, Bumiller said that he has preached to his players to take it one game at a time.

“There is always expectations, but I think pressure is something people put on themselves,” Bumiller said. “I’ve been telling the players to break everything down into smaller goals to prevent that. You can’t win a state championship in your first game, and you can’t lose it either. Our goal is to go out and just get better every week and every game.”

Photo by Tanner Pearson.

Video by Matthew Smith.