Cape Tech Boys Lacrosse Rebuilding On The Fly With Limited Upperclassmen

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: School Sports , Lacrosse

Cape Tech sophomore Brecken Veara posseses the ball against Upper Cape Tech on Thursday in Bourne. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

BOURNE – Cape Cod Tech boys lacrosse coach Mike Bell acknowledges there are challenges that come with coaching a young and inexperienced team. He understands the reality and knows what to expect when he shows up to the field each day.

“It’s a lot of continuous learning every day,” Bell said moments after Cape Tech fell to 2-2 on the season following a 10-5 loss to Mayflower Athletic Conference rival Upper Cape Tech on Thursday in Bourne.

Although Cape Tech has two seniors in the lineup — midfielder Austin Walker and defenseman Moses Alvarez — Walker is the only senior who returned with previous playing experience.

Alvarez joined the squad as a rookie this spring after being enticed by a friend who enlightened him about the nature of the sport.

“I was playing football and my friend said, ‘Dude, you should play lacrosse because you play football and it’s an aggressive sport’ so I decided I’d give it a try,” said Alvarez, a Dennis resident.

Like the 14 underclassmen that make up the bulk of the team, Alvarez is learning in stride.

“Catching the ball has been pretty hard,” he admitted. “Playing wall ball helped me a lot.”

Walker has been a key contributor, both in victories and defeat. He netted a hat trick against Upper Cape, while sophomore Nick Milward and junior Mack Escher also added goals in defeat.

Junior goaltender Owen Badams also performed well, making six saves in the loss.

“He’s only been playing for two years,” Bell said of the netminder. “He’s really good.”

Even though Cape Tech has lots of inexperience peppered throughout its roster, the youngsters aren’t all lacking talent, according to Walker.

“For some of them, it’s their first year,” said Walker, a Harwich resident. “And some of them played in their younger days. Some of them know what they’re doing, and some of them are brand new to the game.”

Although Walker said the various levels of past experience is “kind of a challenge,” he added that all of the players have been giving maximum effort, regardless of their graduating year.

“Everyone’s working hard and giving it their all at practice, on the field and off, so that’s a good thing,” he said.

Walker singled out freshmen Tom Svenningson and Josh Bittner as strong additions to the team before noting the entire freshmen class has brought a new perspective — and some extra energy — to the group.

“They bring a little pep to the squad,” Walker said. “It’s always nice to have some fresh faces — they bring a good outlook to the game in terms of what they’ve seen and what they’ve learned. That’s always helpful.”

Following a season-opening 15-3 loss to Blue Hills on April 1, Cape Tech bounced back to earn a 12-4 victory over Bristol Plymouth on April 11 and then defeated Bishop Connolly, 8-4, one day later.

The team will be off all of this week for April vacation before returning to play at Old Colony at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Although the team has younger players than past years, Bell said his group has plenty to offer.

“We’ve got some good leaders in the couple of older guys that we have,” Bell said. “We have a way bigger freshmen and sophomore class — but they’re smart, they know the field well. They haven’t been playing together long enough, but we’re starting to see improvements, which is good.”

Email Brad Joyal at brad@capecodchronicle.com.

Twitter: @BradJoyal