Hopes high for boys lax
Expectations for the Emmaus boys lacrosse team are generally high at the beginning of the season.
Much of the same is expected from the Hornets this year.
Head coach Scott Ketcham expects his Hornets - who have won four straight LVC championships and two of the past four District 11 titles - to once again be among the conference and district leaders.
He got an LVC crown in his first year as head coach, and the Hornets will look to give Ketcham his second in as many years in 2013.
"Since we've accomplished all these things, we want to keep getting back to where we got," said Ketcham. "These are definitely expectations of the program from the time you're a little kid until now.
"We want to get to experience that state tournament again. So we're looking forward to the opportunity at getting that opportunity this year."
Ketcham and his players understand the importance of taking things step-by-step. If they do that, the sky is the limit for the Hornets in Ketcham's eyes.
"Our kids are very mature and they just wanted to take a one-game-at-a-time philosophy, and the coaches have adopted that too," said Ketcham. "We know that if we focus every game one day at a time, that we have a chance to win every game at any time."
The Hornets, however, will have to overcome a number of key losses from last season's team that went 8-2 in the LVC and 14-7 overall.
Attacker Cole Campbell - a member of the All-LVC team and the Hornets' MVP - will be one of the biggest pieces to replace. To go along with Campbell's departure, four starters on defense - Cory Souders, Austin Schadt, Stephen Bitto and John Garrity - are gone as well.
But Ketcham expects a number of his players to fill those voids left.
"We have somebody returning everywhere that really was a key on our season last year," said Ketcham. "It's not just one side or the other. We're very balanced in that respect."
Both senior goalkeeper Garret Miers and senior defender Corey Hill were All-LVC members in 2012. They'll lead a well-balanced attack for the Hornets this season too.
"Corey, quite frankly, is probably the best cover defenseman in this area," said Ketcham. "And Garrett is just an amazing goalie. He's still working to get better."
Offensively, senior midfielder Marc Feldman (27 goals, 27 assists in 2012) and senior attacker Drew Phillipes (33 goals, 11 assists in 2012) will be relied upon when on the attack.
"Lacrosse-wise they are great players, but more importantly they are good kids," said Ketcham. "They're great leaders and they lead by example."
The Hornets will open their season in Saturday's Lehigh Valley Faceoff Classic against Southern Lehigh. Youth teams of the two schools' will compete in games throughout the day as well at Memorial Field.