While most of the student body was lounging around on beaches, skiing on slippery slopes, or just relaxing at home, fifty-three of our lacrosse players headed down to Florida for a long and intense pre-season.
Head Coach Chip Davis was joined by Jan Flaska, Toby Emerson, and Tim McVaugh on the trip to watch over the players and help them improve their skills.
Kissimmee, Florida was the official location of the week-long trip, which took place during the second week of break. The weather was sizzling the whole week, in the upper seventies and eighties, and not a drop of rain fell.
During their stay, the players practiced three times a day: once in the morning, again around noon, and then finally in the evening. During at least one of the practices, the players completed difficult sets of conditioning to get them as fit and as agile as possible for the season.
In between the practices, the team played many top lacrosse schools. Deerfield even took on the highly-touted Gilman School from Baltimore, MD who held the number one ranking at the time. Gilman was no match for the Deerfield boys, who defeated them 8-6 in their first scrimmage.
“We had a strong game against the number one team. Everyone played exceptionally.” said Drew Philie ’09.
The boys also beat Kent, Denver, Pomfret, and the Pingry School of New Jersey. Playing many schools outside of the league certainly helped the team see where they matched up.
The boys did get the occasional break from the busy week, traveling to Universal Studios for an afternoon.
“Taking a break from the strenuous practices really helped to boost the team’s morale, and enabled us to get a lot of work done during our last days on the trip,” said defenseman John Zurlo ’10. The team even got to see a Cirque de Soleil show while in Florida.
Even though the trip was a valuable way to improve the team and sharpen their skills, it was also a perfect opportunity to have tryouts for the team. The entire trip helped shape the final roster for varsity. The skill level of the lacrosse players on the trip was high, and this year the program ended up taking thirty-five boys on varsity for the 2009 season.
The trip proved to be effective, as the team has already disposed of Berkshire, Westminster, and KUA. Through five games, the team scored 59 goals, while allowing only 23, including a 14-4 bludgeoning of Choate on April 11. Philie summed up the team saying “We have a great team this season. Everyone is on board to help the team to be the best we can be. It should be a very exciting spring for the Deerfield lacrosse team.”