WESTFIELD, NJ — With the 2014 regular season fast-approaching, the Westfield High School boys' lacrosse team has begun the quest to regain form as it looks to improve upon its 13-7 record from the 2013 season. After beginning practices the first Friday in March, the team aims to capture glory with a very cohesive group of players.
“We have a great group of players that work well as a team. We are dependent on one another, and everyone has a role to play,” said junior Jimmy Hunter.
The players, following a rigorous try-out process that included strength training as well as lacrosse knowledge and athleticism tests, expect to bring the highly touted Westfield defense to the field despite losing standout defensemen Chris Burgdorf and Mike Fitzhenry, who both graduated last year.
“We’ve replaced [the graduating players] with experienced and talented defensemen,” said senior Jake Kaplan. “As a team we simply have three goals—win Union County, win Group IV and be the last team standing in May.”
The team also looks to put its senior leadership to use this season in order for the team to achieve its potential. With returning players Chris Aslanian, Dane Huber, Pat Aslanian, Pat Decker and Luke Prybylski, the Blue Devils have a formidable amount of experience that will continue to foster the team’s rising talent, especially in the midfield.
“Our strength this year is our midfield, which the program has not had in the past four years. We have very good dodging [players] that are threats to shoot at all times … there is definitely talent at [all] positions that will continue to grow,” Huber, a senior, explained.
The team hopes this wealth of talent and skill will translate. For now, the Blue Devils hope to begin the season on a positive note when they host Mendham on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.