With New Coaching Staff, Boys Varsity Lacrosse Makes Strides



On April 26, 2023, the Cats and their coaches (Coach Bell, left) hudle during their game against Marriotts Ridge. Junior Lewis Collora says that the new coaching staff has lead to the team’s overall improvement. “Our coaching has improved. We have a lot of new, good, strong coaches,” he said.

This season, the boys lacrosse team introduced three new coaches, Kevin Eagan, Edgar Batenga, and former WildeLake student, Andrew Tiffy. According to Head Coach Tony Bell and players such as junior attackman Zach Hirsch, the change in coaching staff allowed for the team to grow “exponentially.”

The team was able to close the gap in scores between competitors such as River Hill. In 2022, the Cats fell 17-4 to the Hawks. This year, the cats lowered the gap to two points in a 4-6 loss. Coach Bell says his approach to successful coaching is to “treat everybody as an individual, help build self-confidence, and create the belief that we can compete.”

Zach says that Coach Bell taking over the lacrosse program was a “great idea.” “We need leadership to whip the team into shape,” said Zach. He says that Bell not only “did an amazing job of surrounding himself with coaches that would help the team,” but also “brings energy to the team that we didn’t have before him.”

As the team grows older, now home to 14 juniors, the skills of the players get better, according to Zach. “The older we get and the more we play with each other, the better we get,” he said. Playing together as a team, according to players such as junior goalie Lewis Collora, has helped the players themselves improve as well. “For me individually, I have a 68% save percentage, and last year it was a lot lower,” he said.

Junior long stick midfielder Joey Facchiano says that Wilde Lake lacrosse is “very family oriented.” “Wilde Lake is all about working together to try to win games and through any adversities that we face,” he said.

The team is able to feel like a family through bonding “outside of the actual two-hour practices or games,” according to Coach Bell. The team bonds over pasta dinners and Qdoba on Tuesday nights, according to Bell.

According to Zach, the family mentality plays a large role in the team’s relationship on the field. “We are there for each other on the field and have each other’s backs,” he said. The boys lacrosse team prioritizes its relationship just as much as the sport itself. “It’s more than just lacrosse. It is more than just picking up the stick,” Coach Bell said.