Things are looking a lot like last year as the boys’ high school lacrosse season heads into the final stretch of the regular season. Defending District 3 Class 2A champion Trinity is continuing its winning ways as it is undefeated in Mid-Penn league play with a May 4 showdown against archrival Cumberland Valley looming. The Shamrocks are nearly assured a number one seed in the District 3 tournament which will culminate in May.
The only blemish on the ’Rocks’ slate has been an early season drubbing, 20-6, by District 7 powerhouse Mars, who beat Trinity in the PIAA state quarterfinals last year at Penn State to end the ’Rocks stellar season. Have the ’Rocks seriously improved enough since that April 2 loss to compete for a state championship come June?
They clearly have been beating worthy teams handily behind the great play of senior FOGO (face-off go off) specialist Justin Bordner, who is winning more than 90 percent of his face-offs this season. Arguably one of the best center X players to ever have donned a uniform in the Mid-Penn Conference, the Division I Providence College-bound Bordner gives the ’Rocks a huge edge in possession time, which leads to more quality scoring chances.
“I believe we are capable of winning another District 3 championship,” Bordner said. “We have what it takes to do so….. We are also capable of winning a state championship. Last year was a huge step forward for Trinity Lacrosse, making it to the state quarterfinals before losing to Mars…. Losing to Mars earlier this season was a good thing for us; it shows us that we can be beaten and that we need to work harder. If we want it bad enough, we can win it all.”
Trinity is solid in cage as well behind the senior leadership of goalie J.R. Long (Division I bound to Holy Cross), who has only given up double digit goals once, against Mars. He is the rock behind a close defense that continues to gain needed experience, given they lost several key long poles to graduation last year.
But, arguably this team’s unit strength is its formidable attack triad, led by junior Raj Chima, who tallied six goals in a dominating 15-4 win against the Fighting Irish of York Catholic at COBO Field last weekend. Two days later, they handled Berks Catholic with little trouble as the Saints could not handle the possession time Trinity was able to generate dominant face-off play.
Will the ’Rocks win their last game of the season this year, which is their goal? Can they win the ground ball battles so needed for big game wins? Can the defense defend against excellent experienced lacrosse players? Does Trinity have the bench depth to play 48 minutes of full throttle lacrosse? Questions loom, with answers coming soon for this excellent lacrosse program looking to win the last one.
(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness