While the roster and coaching staff saw some changes over the offseason, the expectations remain high at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. The Eagles are hungry to continue to build on the successes the program has seen in recent years, which included an overall record of 16-7 and a trip to the OC semifinals in 2018.
Let’s meet the 2019 Eagles who are early favorites to capture their fifth consecutive Trinity League title.
Paddy Chester assumes the head coach role this season after serving as JV head coach in 2017 and varsity assistant in 2018. He will look for a balanced offensive attack and strong, physical play on the back end.
The graduation losses of Quentin Buchman, Michael Walsh, and Nicholas Parrino left some big shoes to fill on offense but Jack Allender, Ryan You, and Tyler Wrightson should be up to the task. All three have varsity experience, and each will be an integral part of Chester’s plans on offense.
“It’s about everyone contributing and playing their role,” Chester said. “It isn’t as if I got just one midfield line, and then that’s it. I’ve got two lines I can put in there.”
FOGO Connor Carr will return for his senior campaign, and after one full season of being at the dot and after continued progression throughout last season and in the offseason, he will be one to watch for Santa Margarita.
On the defensive end, goalie Ryan Olsker will look to build off his strong junior campaign, and Garrett Olsker and Ryan Sigal will help lead a new wave of athletic defenders down low that has Chester excited about the potential this group will bring.
“I believe (Olsker) is starting to build off of last year,” Chester said. “He brings enthusiasm, teamwork, and wanting to do well for his team. He’s made some great saves already in the preseason, and I expect Ryan to pick up right where he left to start the season. I’m excited about our defense and what we have down low.”
Defensemen Kai Solomon had a strong season last year for the Eagles, and will look to break out as he enters the ranks of upperclassman. Chester expects his athletic ability to really stand out and will continue to lead the group.
Varsity head coach- Patrick “Paddy” Chester-First season at the helm, but third season with Santa Margarita. A Manchester, United Kingdom native, Chester brings 40 years of international and local experience that will be hard to top in the area. Having an offensive background as a player and as a coach (i.e. Cal St. Fullerton), Chester was also the Defensive Coordinator for Concordia University, Irvine, where he won two MCLA D-II championships.
Junior Varsity head coach–Steve Roop-A lacrosse background that runs with him since the age of seven, Roop was a three time WCLL all-star at Santa Clara University. During his junior season, he ranked in the top ten in all of college lacrosse with a 5.2 points per game average.
Final Words from coach Chester:
“We’ve progressed in a good way, a positive way, and in a way that I wanted to progress (during the offseason),” Chester said. “I think you talk about ‘team’ and that’s the biggest thing I tried to promote and there has been a big buy in from everybody is ‘team.’ I believe we’re probably a better team than the last two, maybe three years.”