Varsity lacrosse starts off hot

The Rams are currently undefeated

Rams+junior+varsity+goalkeeper+Jon+Richard+tirelessly+guards+the+goal+giving++Marian+Catholic+Central+Spartans+to+score%2C+11-5+Rams+win.+Richard%27s+intense+defense+strongly+contributed+to+the+domination+of+the+Rams+over+the+Spartans.+Photo+provided+by+Chris+Ridella.

Rams junior varsity goalkeeper Jon Richard tirelessly guards the goal giving Marian Catholic Central Spartans to score, 11-5 Rams win. Richard’s intense defense strongly contributed to the domination of the Rams over the Spartans. Photo provided by Chris Ridella.

The varsity lacrosse team officially published their seventh-straight win. The Rams picked up a win versus the Crystal Lake South Gators by a score of 15-4 on May 25. The lacrosse team has dominated their first seven games of the season and is now continuing to get their way through their journey as they reach their mid-season games. 

Head varsity lacrosse coach, Chris Ridella, shared his game plan and preparations they made before the seasonal spring sport started. He pointed out that this year is “a little bit different… We got bumped technically from a spring sport to a summer sport, which puts us a little bit further back to starting and ending our season compared to when we normally would start at. It was the first time we’ve actually had the opportunity to work with our players, due to contact days and actually practice with them and provide some instructions that go through and start to work on building and teaching concepts that we want to tell,” said Ridella.

With the season being pulled-back to a later date, Ridella identified the challenges he encountered as a coach and as the program. “We had to pause this season for a little bit due to some COVID impact as well. The biggest challenge [is] trying to navigate and make sure that everyone is staying safe, making smart decisions to make sure that we’re able to have a good season in terms of health, and making sure that we have everyone available,” stated Ridella.

According to Ridella, the committee did their job for the players to have as much peace of mind as possible from the current pandemic. He gladly mentioned that “quite a few of our players now have been fully vaccinated, which is great to help increase the safety of everyone that they’re coming in contact with as well as everyone at our practices and games.”

Senior defenseman Jeff Stevens highlighted some of the best moments from the season so far. “We’ve had a couple of close games, and being the team to come out on top is just a testament to us for being able to get the job done,” said Stevens.

Despite adversities coming their way, Ridella specifically shared their main goal as the program and as the coach. ”One of the things that we talk about every day with our team is getting one day better every day, focusing on small incremental growth so that by the end of the season, if you add that up, there’s a big cumulative effect overall. We haven’t been able to play sports for very long. One of our goals is to win [a] state tournament game. We also want to try and compete for a conference championship or conference title. One of my goals too is to have everybody healthy at the end of the season,” said Ridella.

In order to achieve their goals, Ridella stated that “the most important thing is that we just want to make sure and instill sense of discipline in the players to make sure that they’re doing things the right way, working hard in practice, [and making] sure that they’re able to pick up the concepts that we’re teaching. One of the other things [is] to just talk about what [they can] do to give themselves an edge, beyond just showing up and working hard in practice as well.”

Senior attackman Chris Brown has some big ambitions for this season. “As a team, we want to win [the] conference and go as far as we can in the playoffs,” said Brown. Brown believes the right pieces are falling into place. “Our team chemistry is great, I would describe it as a huge group of friends which makes playing the game so much easier and enjoyable,” said Brown.

Ridella showed gratitude along with his experience with this season’s roster. “It was an interesting year. We graduated a lot of seniors with a lot of playing experience last year. We’ve seen a lot of players who’ve been able to contribute and step up and have a lot more experience playing and doing well playing at the varsity level… We’ve obviously had to rely on a lot of new varsity players, and we’ve been really happy to see everyone step up,” said Ridella.