BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Lacrosse continues to gain momentum in the Delano area this summer, especially after the program recently finished its first season as a Minnesota State High School League sanctioned program.
The Delano Rage Club has grown in numbers this summer and the talent base continues on the upward trend.
For example, the summer Youth Lacrosse Minnesota U15B boys team was one of only five undefeated teams in the 43-team program at the end of June. Delano leads the six-team district.
“We have an interesting team mix of experienced and new players,” said coach Damon Kocina, who also is President of the Delano Rage Lacrosse Club. “Our veterans do a great job of giving the new players game opportunities. We have some highly skilled veterans, plus guys who picked up the stick for the first time in the beginning of June.”
The summer team has 26 players to accommodate players going on vacation and the fact a bigger roster will help when playing in 90-degree temperatures. The group split into two teams last spring.
“Our guys do a good job of dishing the ball around,” adds Kocina. “We play a very technical game so we don’t hurt ourselves with penalties. We make good use of our opportunities and finish very well.
The four days per week of practice are made fun by engaging in different drills and mini-competitions. Kocina said the idea is to maintain a positive attitude and a willingness to work.”
Last season the team lost the conference championship in overtime to the eventual state champion. The top two teams in the eight districts will advance to state. Kocina said his team plans to be there. The playoffs are the last week in July and the state tourney is the first week in August in Eden Prairie.
The attackers on the tam include Mitchell Durst, Chance Behne, Reid Paczkowski, Seth Hamlin, Ben Nelson and William Conard. Defenders include Steven Hajas, Billy Emmer, Chase Carlson, Jacob Will, John Goebel and David Gerecke.
Midfielders are Justin Daly, Nikolas Kocina, Chad Stowell, Jacob McDonald, Parker Harju, Nolan Schaper, Josh Miller, Nick Nystul, Lucas Mason, Christian Erickson, Cole Schansberg and Jack Lorentzen. Goalies are Garrett Durst and Chase Dwinell.