The Loyola Cubs are coming off one of the most successful four-year runs in Los Angeles high school lacrosse history. From 2014-17, Loyola went 71-16, won or shared four Mission League championships and won back-to-back US Lacrosse Southern Section titles.
But wait, there’s more. Coach Seth Cohen offered up some things to know about the Cubs heading into the 2018 season, including a list of returning players that suggests Loyola’s run might not be over just yet.
Things to Know: Loyola Cubs
Key Graduated Players: The good news is, Loyola had six All-Americans last year. The bad news: All of them graduated. We lost Jonathan Partamian (Syracuse), Ryder Mora (Maryland), Mason O’Hanlon (Babson), Nick Mohler (Boston U), Niko Econn (Air Force), and, of course, three-time All-American Joe Theuer (Tufts). We graduated 13 Seniors in all.
Key Returners: On the surface, it might appear that Loyola is going to have a rebuilding year. We graduated a lot of talent, but we have a number of returning players that are ready to step into the spotlight.
- We have two all-Mission League attackmen in seniors Wes Priestley and Henry Hasenberg, who should be strong offensive threats this year.
- At midfield, seniors Liam Miller (Academic All-American) and Charlie Curtin, as well as junior Ronan Gallagher, are looking to make the jump from the second midfield to the first.
- On defense, look for all-league long pole junior Will Kupiec to make a major impact. Loyola also returns all-league SSDM senior Robert Henderson. His ability to play great one-on-one D and to create transition offense was invaluable in last year’s success.
- The race to replace perennial All-American goalie Joe Theuer will come down to two-year varsity backup junior Will Parducci or two-year starting JV goalie junior Cam Bieler. While some [opposing] teams might be salivating at having Joe out from between the pipes, we feel confident that our strong defense and goalkeeping will continue to frustrate opponents.
- Probably our most notable returner is our FOGO. Aidan Hesse, our senior face-off specialist who is committed to Tufts, is a two-time all-league player and two-time Under Armour Underclass West selection. He has been instrumental in Loyola’s back-to-back titles and should prove to be a dominant force again this year.
Key Transfers: The Frys are back! Speed Fry and Kaiser Fry made varsity their freshman year at Loyola and earned a championship ring. After attending Palos Verdes their sophomore year, they transferred back to Loyola this year, and we’re excited to see how they will contribute. Also, Hunter Ballard transferred in from Mira Costa last year. He was a strong lacrosse player for Mira Costa his freshman year, but he decided to initially focus solely on football at Loyola. It looks like he’ll be playing lacrosse for the Cubs this year, though. All three of these players are currently playing football and and making an impact.
WE HAVE LIGHTS! Possibly the biggest change for the Loyola lacrosse program is the addition of lights to Smith Field. The lights will give the lacrosse team an additional 30-40 minutes of light for our 6 a.m. practices — we used to run, lift or do ground balls until the sun came up — and allow us to have more home games. The Cubs will have nine home games before the (new) Mission League Tournament starts and could have as many as 12 before the playoffs begin. Loyola’s home opener is against Palos Verdes — Friday night, March 9, under the lights!