Defense charged with leading L’Anse Creuse lacrosse team
Published March 28, 2013
HARRISON TOWNSHIP— Even after losing 15 players to graduation, including a number of defensive starters, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse lacrosse coach Don Roda’s goals for his team remain the same.
“We always want to win a division title and make a run in the playoffs,” said Roda, whose team sat at 2-0 at press time.
“Sure, we lost a lot of seniors, but we still have a lot of athletes and a lot of guys who got playing time last year. We lost a lot of guys on defense, but we pretty much return players everywhere else.”
Roda said he’s looking for junior attacker Michael Jablonski to lead the Lancers’ offense. He added that senior midfielder Chris Batkins is a strong player who has looked solid early on.
Roda said his team features a number of long, rangy defenders, including seniors Joe Lech, Bill Bowmer and Eric Tluczek.
The Lancers, who have won the last two Macomb Area Conference White Division titles, are also working in a new goalkeeper, junior David Wong, who played part time last season — behind two L’Anse Creuse senior keepers.
“The defense is still going to be the strength of this team,” Roda said. “We lost guys, but the guys we have know what this team is about and they all know how to play.”
Lech, who’s played for the Lancers since his freshman year, said he and the rest of the defense are relishing the opportunity to lead the team.
“It makes you feel good knowing your coach wants to lean on you,” Lech said. “We’ve got a lot of guys ready to do a great job and step in for some of the seniors we lost.”
Roda and Lech agree on the goal of winning a league title. A league title this year would be a MAC Red crown, as the Lancers have moved there from the White. Anchor Bay, which added lacrosse this year, has replaced L’Anse Creuse in the White. Also in the Red are Grosse Pointe North, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, Grosse Pointe South, Utica Eisenhower and Romeo (also moving from the White).
“We were in the Red before (when there was just one league), so we know a lot about the teams in that league,” Roda said. “We know there are no slouches in the Red. We just have to make sure the kids know their roles and put the team above individual numbers and things like that.”
“We know we want to win the MAC Red and go deeper in the playoffs than we have in the past,” Lech said. “We’re trying to make this the best year possible.”
The Lancers next hit the field for a matchup against Romeo, set for 7 p.m. April 11 at L’Anse Creuse.