Last year’s seniors at Harvard Westlake posted a 38-13 record over three seasons, including two outright Mission League championships, one shared league title and the 2013 U.S. Lacrosse L.A. Division championship. But that group, led by middies Noah Pompan, an All-American last spring who now plays at NCAA D-III Gettysburg, and Jack Temko, an All-American in 2013 who now plays at D-III Hamilton, has moved on.
The key question for the Wolverines in 2015 is who will step into their roles, both in terms of offense and leadership. There are plenty of candidates for both, and coach Alex Weber believes his players already have started to put it together. “Best team ball we’ve played in my time at HW,” Weber wrote in an email. That’s saying something, given the way his last few teams have moved the ball and shared in each other’s success.
Offensively, senior attack Roman Holthouse, the co-player of the year in the Mission League last year, is back, but it’s the first time in his high school career he won’t have Pompan and Temko drawing defenders’ eyes up top. He is a very smart player and is prolific around the cage. Will he have enough help this year?
Gaining possession shouldn’t be an issue, with junior middie and faceoff specialist Philip Thompson back. The Princeton commit won 90 percent of his draws last year and became more and more of an offensive threat as the season wore on. Senior middies Oliver Levitt and Joe Woody, who is committed to D-III Kenyon, will be called upon to generate some offense, as well.
Key returning players: Senior attack Roman Holthouse; junior middie and faceoff specialist Philip Thompson; senior middies Oliver Levitt and Joe Woody; sophomore middie Andrew Corlin; senior defender Andrew Park; sophomore defender Niko Econn (6-foot-3, 190 pounds), who earned all-Mission League as a freshman and has verbally committed to Air Force.
Key nonleague games: At Culver City, March 4; at Agoura, March 6; at Oaks Christian, March 14; vs. Palos Verdes, March 18; vs. Peninsula, March 20; at J Serra Catholic, March 26; at St. Margaret’s Episcopal, April 17; at Oak Park, April 20; vs. Corona del Mar, April 28.