In the words of the players themselves, "swaggy," "saucy," "relentless," "stalwart," "strong" describe the 2017 Boys' Lacrosse Team. With just one loss during the regular season, and that to Massapequa in New York, the boys went out and convincingly bested Lake Highland Prep for the Florida State Championship, 12-7.
Other teams that challenged the Raiders during the season included Jupiter, Lake Mary, and Benjamin.
A number of the players actually began their lacrosse careers way back in elementary school, as did Kyle Engel who said, "I started playing lacrosse in the second grade for the Davie Broncos because my parents took me there." Also providing opportunities for second and third graders, the Weston Warriors and Parkland Redhawks developed interest and skill in the game, early on.
Ryan Leahy's father, who played for The Ohio State University, and James Harrington's brother Burke, a Raider standout, definitely influenced their decisions to stick with the sport. Additionally, players admitted being inspired by some of their own teammates: Luke Fraser, Michael Costello, Nicholas Yovino, and David Madril, to name a few.
Lacrosse posed some unique challenges for the players. Luke Fraser identified the fast pace of the game and put it this way: "Substitutions are made on the fly, and transitions from offense to defense happen very quickly, so it is necessary to maintain a powerful mental focus." Bennett Braun cited "working on your off hand" as the hardest skill he had to acquire.
Kudos go to Coach Andrew Leddy whose strength and conditioning program contributed to the team's high level in competition, especially when the players had to play tired. Christian Borodiak said, "Coach Leddy played a big role in our success this season as he kept us in great shape and maintained our strength."
"Coach Crowley always finds a way to motivate us to be better people along with being better lacrosse players. He focuses on keeping the integrity of the game and building character," according to James Harrington.
As the team won its second state championship, Ryan Leahy said, "All the hours we spent in the weight room, on the field, and in the classroom were worth the glory!" With back-to-back state titles, the team has truly earned all that glory.