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May 31, 2013

Stevenson lacrosse coach proud of how his team played in its first season

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Stevenson lacrosse coach proud of how his team played in its first season
The Sterling Heights Stevenson boys lacrosse team should return 31 of 37 players next season. Pictured is Titans sophomore midfielder Zachary Manolios (6) during an early-season matchup with Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse.

STERLING HEIGHTS —After its season-ending 16-0 loss to Holt May 15 in the 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state playoffs, Sterling Heights Stevenson boys lacrosse coach Anthony Zuccaro looked toward the future.

Zuccaro, coaching the Titans in their first year as a varsity program, said he reminded the 37 players on the roster that the program is in the building phase. He said he thanked the eight seniors on the team and reminded the group that what the team becomes the next few years is largely due to what they contributed to the squad.

“Because they stuck with this team from when it struggled to have enough players to field a team,” said Zuccaro, who at the beginning of the season noted Stevenson almost didn’t field a team due to a lack of players. “The team has survived and grown to what it is now and what it will be.

“It’s easy to show up to practice every day and work your tail off when you’re on a successful, winning team, but to do that on a team that barely has a heartbeat tells me a lot about the character of those seniors.”

Zuccaro, whose team went 3-13, 2-6 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division, said he believes this campaign was a success because of the improvements the Titans made over the course of the season.

The Stevenson coach said games became more competitive as the season went along and that team statistics improved, as well.

“Comparing our play the first few games of the season to how we played in the final few games illustrated the vast improvements the boys have made,” said Zuccaro, who said he hopes the Titans can add a JV program next year.

“Our final league game against (Sterling-Warren Mott Unified), which went undefeated in the MAC White, was tight the entire time, and we came up short by a single goal. The potential of the young players on this team has me already looking forward to next year. I have 10 first-year players who saw regular playing time.”

Some of the players Zuccaro expects to contribute next season include junior attacker Ty Wiechman, sophomore midfielder Davis Keena and sophomore defenseman Brandon Barash.

“I believe we will have a balanced team next year with several standouts, yet very few superstars,” Zuccaro said. “We will not rely on one or two players to carry the team.

“With some offseason training, attending some lacrosse camps and joining offseason leagues, this team has the potential to be something special.”

Local baseball, softball, soccer, golf teams still in action

Teams from each local school remained alive in the 2013 MHSAA state playoffs in various sports.

Check www.candgnews.com and www.mhsaa.com for updates on the Stevenson teams, along with those from Utica Ford II, Sterling Heights High and Sterling Heights Parkway Christian.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.