“We have ‘Lax IQ,’ said junior goalie, Brant Wickersham. “We know each other’s tendencies, and we know what to do, when to do it and how to do it.”
Wharton’s 2011-2012 lacrosse team is one of the finest the club has ever had. With an undefeated record of 17-0 and recently taking first in their state tournament game (10-7)against Plant, they continue to rise in ranks as well as in the eyes of their fans and opposing schools.
“If you practice harder, you’ll win for sure. Working hard and keeping the ball moving sets up our goals,” said junior mid-fielder, Julian Baron-Clarke.
Lacrosse is a quick game that always takes unsuspected turns. Players need to be confident in themselves and in their team and have to understand the phrase “never give up.” These are some of the aspects that Wharton’s lacrosse team portrays and these are the things that separate the good from the great.
“I’m confident in everyone. The defense helps to clear the ball and helps keep our goals against down while our offense takes care of business down the field and scores,” said Wickersham.
Chemistry of a team and the chemistry of its line changes play a major role in a game. Knowing how your teammates react in different offensive or defensive scenarios and knowing an individual’s tendencies can make your game move much quicker than a line that doesn’t have as much experience with each other.
This is why Wharton is able to do what they do. They basically read each other’s minds and know what everyone is going to do so they can keep themselves and the ball moving at the quickest possible pace.
“We’re bonded and close. We understand each other and how we play,” said Wickersham. “Our starting line has played for four years and the team is all friends. It makes for a quicker gameplay.”
The team’s hard work and chemistry paid off in the end, and it showed. However, it was not all about the players. A good team needs a good coaching staff that can push its players to their full potential and help to correct their wrongs and motivate the team to win. This is exactly what Coach Dan Hughes and Coach Mike Wickersham bring to the table.
“FDA. Fundamentals, Discipline and Attitude,” described Baron-Clarke,
“We’re taught to stay disciplined, do what we need to do and to never retaliate. They teach us where we need to be in specific situations. We work on everything from agility, placement and speed, to accurate shots and placement.”
Everything that Wharton’s lacrosse team has done in the previous s season and in practice is what led them to their first place victory and number one rank in the state of Florida.
From their less successful seasons to their recent comeback victories and to finally their championship win, the team has strived to work harder with the help from each other and their coaches.
“We were losing 3-1 in the first. After that we were inspired by Coach McCal,” said senior Jimmy Mason.