OC Boys’ Lacrosse Countdown: No. 1 St. Margaret’s

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With a strong returning cast including Player of the Year Kevin Groeninger, the St. Margaret’s boys lacrosse team begins 2019 where they ended last season, on the OC’s top rung.  The Tartans will be in hot pursuit of their fourth County Championship and third Section championship in the last seven years.

Groeninger, a Bryant commit, who averaged nearly six points per game while racking up 127 points (64 goals, 63 assists) last season will surely attract plenty of attention.  However, the Tartans are from a one-man show and he will be surrounded by a deep group of seniors and some talented newcomers on both ends of the field.

“Great group of seniors this year,” said coach Glen Miles by text message. “They have worked for hard for a long time. Unfortunately, we just lost Tomas Anderson to an ACL injury suffered in soccer CIF final. I think as a group that they will respond well.  We are used to facing adversity.  It should be a fun and challenging season.”

With senior faceoff specialist Stuart Pollard (Holy Cross) returning after last season’s  All-County First Team performance, the Tartans should have plenty of opportunities to play with the ball. Senior middie Koa Todd and sophomore attack Nate Sanchez are expected to step into higher profile roles in the offense, and will help fill in for the graduation losses of Andy Shin, Trevor Peay, Garrett Kuntz, and Conrad Hampson.

The 2019 defense will also have some big shoes to fill now that Andrew Maita All American and First-Team All-County defense), Max Martinez (Second-Team All-County defense) and Michael Chew (First-Team All-County short-stick defensive middie) have graduated.  Returning All-County Second-Teamers Duke Ballard (LSM), Nico Vorzimer (SSDM),  Zane Handy (goalie), and Third-Teamer Jason Garrett (defense) should be up to the task and all are likely to make strong cases for promotions to First Team this season.  Sophomore defenseman Shane Dzwilewski will also help to solidify the backline.
The Tartans were ranked No. 8 in the West in the Inside Lacrosse Pre-Season poll, and they will play a schedule worthy of a top Western program.  Torrey Pines (No. 1 in the West), St. Ignatius Prep (No. 6 in the West), the Woodlands (defending Texas state champ),the  top 4 LA teams (Loyola, PV, Harvard Westlake and Chaminade), traditional OC powers Foothill and Santa Margarita, and Colorado power Arapahoe are all on the schedule.
First up is a home game against Newport Harbor on Tuesday.