After being an assistant with Walled Lake Western last season, Nevin Kanner took over the Walled Lake Central boys lacrosse program in October.
During the winter months, he held voluntary drop-in sessions for players from different schools.
It was there that he began to sense that players from Central shared his passion for the game.
“Lacrosse in Walled Lake is booming,” Kanner said, adding that, out of the 20 or so participants, 15 of them were from Central. “It’s growing so tremendously. There’s so much potential.”
The current roster consists of eight seniors, five juniors, 12 sophomores and 17 freshmen.
Kanner said he expects to add 20 more freshmen to the program next year.
This season, he is working on building a foundation for his program. Bringing in changes like utilizing a locker room for the team, which it hadn’t used before, and putting up photos on the walls of each game as a temporary wall of fame.
“I see a huge team feeling from that. They enjoy it, and they’re also having fun,” Kanner said.
They’re also helping each other improve, according to the coach.
One of Central’s mottos this season is, “Make a teammate better today.”
Kanner said he sees the team exemplifying that thought.
“I’ve had guys come out that played hockey, were good athletes, came out to see what it’s like, and now they’re playing,” he said. “I see a huge improvement because the kids are working so hard. Even in the offseason, non-mandatory practices, they were getting out there and working.”
At press time, the Vikings were 0-1, losing to Petoskey High 13-11 March 23, but they have yet to play a game in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association.
“In the first game, we played at least a third of the game a man down because we lost our composure, but you learn from it,” Kanner said. “Just keep taking those steps forward. That’s our focus.”