By Eric Loeb
Following the completion of its most successful season ever, members of the varsity lacrosse team will have something special for a week. Each player will gain possession of the school’s first Northern Division trophy for their personal week of ownership. Some players plan on utilizing the cup as a cup and drink things like root beer floats from the cup. Others plan on just admiring the trophy and keeping it clean.
The biggest issue that faces all members of the program, aside from graduating seniors, is whether or not Interim Head Coach Alex Weber will be returning next season to coach the team.
Weber, who was hired to the position last January, was brought in to replace Jay Pfeifer, who resigned to pursue a graduate degree in real estate at Johns Hopkins University.
This season under Weber, the team finished with a record of 15-4, and although it did not win its third straight Mission League Championship as it set out to this past winter, the team won something greater, the school’s first US Lacrosse Northern Division championship with a 9-7 win over Palos Verdes on May 8. The team’s season was ended by a 15-8 loss to St. Margaret’s in the Southern Section final.
“I was pretty happy at how far we went,” Matt Edelstein ’13. “It was really unexpected, especially because we fizzled out at the end of the regular season. However, I was still disappointed that we didn’t win the game,” he said.
“This group is awesome,” Weber said. “We’re a very tight knit crew, and we all have a lot of faith in one another. You’ve got to gut it out through the peaks and valleys to be a family, and we are a family,” he said.
Although players said that at first sight, they were hesitant to give into Weber’s more serious approach to practice and the sport as a whole, the team’s continual success throughout the season shifted their opinions.
“I feel great about the season,” Weber said. “We had some stumbles in the middle portion but really turned it on down the stretch. Now that we all know that caliber is in us, no reason why we can’t make it the standard; and we will,” he said.
“He was a ten out of ten,” said forward Jack Temko ‘14. “Weber is the best coach I have ever had. He is so involved and excited about everything and everyone. He loves lacrosse so much and just wants us to have fun and love the game as much as he does,” he said.
“I think he was a key element to our success,” said goalie Ben Klein ‘14, who players describe as a major key to the team’s success.
Many players won individual Mission League awards for the teams’ performance in league, where they went 8-2 for the season, including Temko, Roman Holthouse ‘15 and Noah Pompan, who were all selected to the Mission League 1st Team. Clay Davis ‘14, Brooks Hudgens ‘14, Tommy Choi ‘14 and Matt Edelstein ‘13 were named to the 2nd team.
The biggest award won by a member of the team was also won by Temko, who was named Mission League Player of the Year. However, when asked about the award, a humble Temko directed the attention to how much he owed Weber of his success.
“I feel honored to be named player of the year. I worked very hard this year and I am happy that it all payed off,” he said, adding, “Also, Weber hired a great coaching staff in Lance Zimmerman and Christian Pastirik. The three of them are unbelievable coaches and I am hoping that all of them return next year. That would be the first time in my high school career that I would have the same coaching staff for two years in a row.”
“My heart is with Harvard Westlake Lacrosse 100%,” Weber said. “I think it’s about time [a Northern Division team] took down [a Southern Division team] in the CIF championship game. It’s one heck of a tough road, and we’re up for the challenge,” he said.