HOLMDEL, NJ: Although the spring high school sports season did not take place in New Jersey due to the coronavirus, the student athletes and coaches who participate in springtime indoor and outdoor athletics deserve recognition:

When it comes to the thrill a second, back and forth game of lacrosse, one team that figured to be a force on the field in 2020 is the Holmdel High School boy’s lacrosse program.

Key returning student athletes for the Hornets this spring included David Burke (long stick midfield/defense, senior, four goals, seven assists and 67 ground balls in 2019), Christian Esposito (attack, senior, injured during the 2019 season), Alex Baker (defense, junior, one goal and 44 ground balls in 2019), Ryan Bradley (midfield, junior, 17 goals, 17 assists and 39 ground balls in 2019), Tommy Ilvento (attack, junior, 36 goals and five assists in 2019), Kyle Kapcsos (attack, sophomore, 33 goals and 14 assists in 2019), Jaden Gallo (midfield, sophomore, one goal, one assist and 30 ground balls in 2019) and Aidan Lagana (midfield, sophomore, four goals and two assists in 2019).

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Among the newcomers who were looking to make a good impression on the varsity lineup include Rob D’Aleo (defense, senior), Joe Hammer (goal keeper, junior), Kyle Polivka (midfield, junior), Antione Boivin (defense, junior), John Fanzini (defense, sophomore), Andrew Chen (defense, sophomore), Jared Battaglia (midfield, sophomore), Dylan Lagana (attack/midfield, freshman) and Daniel Lynch (midfield, freshman).

 “David Burke and Christian Esposito [are looked upon as leaders],’’ Holmdel head coach Brendan Quinn said. “Both guys did a good job in the off season, attending weight and team training sessions and taking on more of a leadership role through the off season. Both have been in the program four years and I planned to lean on them as mentors to the rest of the team. We have a young team and these two, along with the rest of the seniors/upperclassmen would play big roles in helping develop the rest of the team.’’

The Hornets had an overall record of 12-7 and advanced to the NJSIAA State Sectional Tournament quarterfinal round before losing to eventual Sectional champion Rumson-Fair Haven last year. Holmdel topped Voorhees in the opening round of the Sectionals in 2019. 

“We’d like to compete, and give ourselves a chance to win every game,’’ Quinn said. “We would have expected to be in both the Shore Conference Tournament and the State Tournament. Once you get there, anything can happen, so I would have loved to see if we could make those tournaments, then possibly make some noise once they started.’’

Holmdel wanted to finish in the upper half of the talented filled Shore Conference B North Division is season according to coach Quinn.