CLARK, NJ- New season? New look? Things are turning up blonde on the field for the Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders varsity lacrosse team about right now. This year the boys hit the field like any team hoping to improve on the previous season. However, this season, not only did they gain a few new players, but they have an updated style too.
As the lacrosse season got underway several Johnson lacrosse players dyed their hair blonde for the upcoming season. To the players, it’s about sticking together as a family and something memorable to look back on.
“It’s about family and all of us working as one,” junior Evan Parenti said. “We thought of this a couple weeks before the season started.”
Johnson is coming off a 3-15 season, which featured the team being in the Bianchi Division, struggling mightily against those teams, but winning three games in the month of May.
“After being 3-15 last year, we wanted to do something this year to bring us closer as a family,” senior Eric Bretz said. “I think the blonde hair makes us look like one big family. Now all we have to do is execute on the field.”
“[It’s] for fun, a team-bonding thing to look back on,” senior Brandon Hund said. “Something to bring us closer as teammates and as a family.”
“It’s almost a sign of togetherness that’s also goofy and a way we could laugh at ourselves,” senior Sebastian Iakouchevitch said.
This year the team moved back to the Kimber Division for the 2019 season and the seniors hope to lead the way and to flip the script as the games roll along.
The players new hairstyle and the brotherhood behind it, has head coach Lou Van Bergen, praising his players for the idea and the new-found leadership he sees developing.
“This year between practice and the memory of a very poor season in 2018, the seniors knew it was a way to make 2019 their year,” Van Bergen said. “I hope the trend continues with working hard and the hair styles.”
“As a coach, you try to have a heavy hand in developing your team’s character, work ethic and personality,” he added. “This year is a little different, as the senior leadership is superb. That fact has afforded the coaches a chance to let them develop the team’s identity with a little help from us. They know what the goals are, surely they weren’t happy with last season either and are using it as motivation.”
Johnson defeated St. Joseph’s (Metuchen) in their home opener 7-4. Parenti added four goals and one assist in the win. Hund added two goals and dished out two assists.
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