Harvard Westlake returns six seniors and and 11 contributors in all from a team that earned the No. 3 seed in the LA Championship Tournament last spring. Still, whether those returning players can make up for the graduation losses of Paul Rodriguez (Virginia) and Tommy Park on offense and Noah Pompan on defense remains to be seen.
The No. 3 Wolverines went 11-8 last season, losing 8-4 to Palos Verdes in the LA semifinals. Two of their losses came against PV and two came against league rival and three-time defending section champion Loyola.
But under head coach Erik Krum, Harvard Westlake has proven to be resilient and relentless, and with a strong group of players returning, 2019 should be no different.
Offensively, the Wolverines certainly will miss Rodriguez and Park, but they return at least six players who contributed on offense last year, led by versatile senior attack/middie Asher Early, who was a second-team all-league selection.
Senior two-way middie Sultan Daniels, a three-time all-league pick, also returns, along with senior face-off specialist and two-way middie Harrison Listen. Juniors Alex Watts and Gideon Hyman and sophomore Brody Listen also contributed offensively last year. The Wolverines will have to wait a year on sophomore middie Simba Makawa, who transferred from Santa Monica and must sit out a full season since he played youth club ball for HW coach Krum.
Defensively, senior Donovan Econn — a first-team All-Mission and second-team All-Area pick — anchors the back line in front of senior goalie Alex Russell. Senior Lex Torrington, junior Jack French and sophomore LSM/D Niklas Grube round out the defensive rotation.
The Wolverines open the season Feb. 27 at No. 15 Thousand Oaks.