Lacrosse preview: How the Bobcats shake out

As the snow starts to melt, most of us are excited at the prospect of ditching the heavy winter jackets and getting to enjoy a cold-free existence. For the spring athletes, it’s time to get to work and prepare for the upcoming season. This year, the Saint Paul Public School’s Bobcats will look to capitalize on a growing team and bounce back after a rough ending to last year.

10 years ago, most Americans, when asked, probably didn’t know what lacrosse was or how the sport worked. This is slowly fading away due to its massive growth and growing professional leagues. Lacrosse is the third fastest growing activity in America, with an increase of around 13 percent over the past two years (according to PHIT.com). Not only are the national numbers incredible, but according to CBS.com, they’re also stunning in Minnesota, with an average of 15 percent growth a year. This growth is not only occurring in suburbs, but also in Saint. Paul.

For many years, there was a problem with high school lacrosse for Saint Paul Public Schools – it didn’t exist. For the longest time, SPPS kids who had played the sport, up until 9th grade, had to retire from lacrosse or pay expensive fees, and invest lots of time, into a summer travel team. These options were both equally bad, and didn’t seem fair because all the private schools were able to fund and run their own teams.

In 2015, an answer was finally found; SPPS created The Bobcats, a district-wide lacrosse team. The inaugural season was very impressive for a ground zero team, with the boys finishing 5-4.

The second season ended on a much more disappointing note. The previous year’s team had 10 seniors, all whom graduated, which meant in order to keep the team afloat, a large number of 8th graders had to play. Despite the boys team having a nearly equal split between middle school and high schoolers, they still went 2-5 and were barely eliminated by North Saint Paul, in a thriller that ended 9-8 in favor of North Saint Paul.

“It was tough,” said 9th grade attack man Jack Molter. “It felt like the game just barely slipped  away from us, after we had a massive lead.” In short, the two seasons for the boys have been less than perfect.

This year, they look to change all that. With D1 commit Declan Flynn leading the way for a young defensive core, he looks to make up for the loss of senior d-man Miguel Cologne, and hopes to help groom his young apprentices for the coming years.

Peter Dadlez, the #1 attack man for the Bobcats, will aim to turn around after a somewhat depressing year for the offense. Young attack men, Asher Krelitz and Jack Molter, will want to use the experience they gained during their 8th grade year, to transform the Bobcats offense into a high-scoring one.

Middies Thomas and Nate Fleming, the workhorses of the team, will want to dominate ground balls, and help carry the struggling offense.

New coach, Bryce Dzubinski, has a challenge ahead of him; coming into the young organization, he needs to put all the players in the their right spots in order to maximize the team’s success.

Overall, the Bobcats will look to bounce back after a rough end to last season, learn as a team, and help grow the sport of lacrosse.

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