Lacrosse Season Preview
Nicolas Figueroa Valenzuela ’18
The Strake Jesuit lacrosse program may be young but has recently found success on the field. The team, headed by an experienced coach, Kevin Anderson, has created practical, yet attainable, goals to go deep into district playoffs and make a berth in the Texas State Tournament. Among his accomplishments directing the program, Coach Anderson has created a culture that represents a culmination of the team’s values and backgrounds.
Coach Anderson served as the Men’s Lacrosse Assistant Coach & Admissions Advisor at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia and later served as the Director of Lacrosse at Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina for four years. Coach Anderson joined us in He now serves the Strake Jesuit Lacrosse team as Head Coach and is supported by Assistant coach Bill White.
The team is headlined by eight returning Varsity players, along with underclassmen who retain the important responsibility of filling positions for the young team’s plan. The leadership and determination of the senior class will be needed in order to obtain success. Despite building on past successes, there’s a lot of room for growth and opportunity. This lacrosse program was founded in 2001 and it found success almost immediately by winning two THSLL (Texas High School Lacrosse League) Division Championships in it first three seasons, in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Last year the program reached the playoffs for the second straight year, along with Andrew Eichelberger ’16 finishing with prestigious All-American honors.
Junior Seamus McFarland holds the team’s sole college lacrosse commitment to a university. He held an impressive offseason in the summer of 2016 and later verbally announced his promise to attend Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. McFarland plans to make an official commitment to the school during his senior year at Strake Jesuit.
The lacrosse team is filled with athletic, multiple-sport athletes who have already found success on the field. According to Anderson, basketball and football athletes perform particularly well with their footwork in lacrosse, while wrestling athletes usually find a strength in faceoffs. In a brief interview with Coach Anderson, he stated, “Overall, players who play with discipline translate from other teams and are always the quickest to adapt to the needs of this fast paced sport.”
This season’s varsity lacrosse team is marked by offensive fire power from Junior Mid-fielder Seamus McFarland and Junior Forward Sean Mowatt-Larsen, coupled with a very athletic defense headed by Senior Skylar Burt. The defense’s inexperience at the varsity level is substituted by their athleticism. The team has found leadership in Seniors Jacob Piekelniak and Spencer O’ Connor.
Players and coaches alike sound very committed and confident about the team’s goals this season. The team is known for its competitiveness in the THSLL. There is currently no known prominent high school lacrosse league for high school students aside from the THSLL. It is one of the few sports at Jesuit that fields a team outside of the UIL (University Interscholastic League). This very capable team is building directly off the success of then first year Coach Anderson. This year seems like the year where the team can finally separate itself from its competitors and achieve the success it has worked so hard for.