The lacrosse program at Jonathan Alder is growing.
The Pioneers are in their second year as a varsity sport and coach Rob Davis’ team is making strides both on and off the field. His team currently sports a 6-2 record and is improving daily, he likes the progress he’s seen thus far this season.
“This year’s team has grown a lot over the last year,” Davis said. “We have a good group of kids and they have put in a lot of work during the off-season playing in indoor leagues, open gyms and conditioning. We have seen positive things from that work. We are off to a good start, averaging 12 goals per game. We are still young on the defensive end but the kids are working really hard.”
A number of familiar faces are back in the mix for the Pioneers. Most of the experience comes on the offensive end of the field and that’s been evident in the uptick in scoring this season. They include senior Nolan Larison, senior Bryan Blacka, senior Dylan Devier, junior Mason Seum and junior Jacob Friend.
”We will count on Nolan to lead the team at the face-off position and provide lots of opportunities for the team on offense,” the coach said. “Bryan will be one of the kids that we expect to provide the offensive punch along with Dylan Devier, Mason Seum and Jacob Friend.”
Building the Alder lacrosse program has been a process, one which has included a partnership with the junior high program.
“We are working really closely with our junior high program and the coaches at that level,” Davis said. “As a coaching staff we see it as one program. We want the junior high kids to feel like they are part of the high school program so as the kids move up to high school they have a really good lacrosse foundation. We also work with our youth program and see that as a vital element to take the whole program to the next level.”
The team has wins over Dayton Chaminade-Julienne (15-4), Xenia (12-7), Fairmont (12-11), Johnstown-Monroe (10-8), Wellington 16-13 and Newark (19-4). The losses have come at the hands of Dayton Carroll (14-6) and Licking Valley (18-5).
“Right now our strengths are on the offensive side,” the coach said.”We have a lot of experienced players on that side of the ball and really good athletes. Our defense is still young. For some of the kids this is only their second year playing lacrosse, but they are coming along. We expect that as the season progresses the defense will get even better.
“Our goal this season is to continue our development and as the season winds down be in a position to get a good draw for the tournament. There are a lot of talented teams in Division II, Region 7. If we can take care of business during the regular season then I think we can get a draw that will allow us to make a good run in the tournament.“
Alder will play at Big Walnut Saturday, April 21.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.