Mallards Not Deep but Talented Heading into 2013

BERLIN- With a veteran group of upper classmen and a talented collection of young players ready to make their mark on the program, the outlook is bright for the Worcester Prep boys’ varsity lacrosse team this season.

Worcester returns several key players at almost every position on the field as it prepares for the 2013 season, a campaign that will see the Mallards competing in a new conference. The Metro Independent Lacrosse League will feature some of the top prep teams from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Worcester will rely heavily on its senior leadership including Harrison Brennan, who will lead the first midfield and face off. Seniors Alec Zarif and Gordon Abercrombie will anchor the attack, while seniors Chris Adkins and Seth Wilgus will lead the defense.

Worcester’s junior class is expected to contribute heavily this season including Lucas Payne, a two-year starter on defense, Billy Brittingham, a defensive middie, and Jack Marshall, who will start at middie. Other juniors Coach Kevin Gates is relying heavily on is attackman Thomas Buas and Robbie Rogers, a junior varsity call-up this year who will fill a reserve role on defense.

Beyond the veteran upperclassmen, Worcester has a strong group of sophomores with some varsity experience that Gates will rely on this year including John Adkins, Sam Deeley, Derrick Wilgus, Trent Hartman and Christian Bruder. The freshman class includes Wade Walters, who will start in goal, Wyatt Richins, Ross Dickerson and Michael Brittingham.

Gates said the team is not as deep as in prior years, but the nice collection of veteran upperclassmen and hungry and talented young players should be very competitive in its new conference.

“We’re probably a little thinner than in the past, but the kids we have come in with great attitudes and are very coachable,” he said. “I’m excited about the season. It’s a young and diverse group and we’re just going to coach the heck out of them and get them ready.”

Worcester opens its season on March 27 against Delmarva Christian at home and will get into a tough stretch almost from the beginning with early games against St. Maria Goretti, Salesianum and Tower Hill, for example. Gates said the schedule is tough, but he hopes it will prepare his players who will have the opportunity to play at the next level. Conspicuous by its absence on the schedule is neighborhood rival Decatur, which has played memorable games with the Mallards over the years, but  schedule conflicts kept the rivalry from continuing this year.