Chambersburg boys lacrosse has to win with youth
Chambersburg will have a very young boys lacrosse team this spring, especially in the midfield and on attack.
Young, as in two freshmen in the midfield and four sophomores in the attack.
While that may make it more difficult for the Trojans to pile up the wins, especially early, it's not all doom and gloom for Chambersburg coach Paul Flohr.
"Last year we felt like the Cleveland Browns - there were a lot of things that didn't go well," Flohr said about a 5-11 season, the worst record-wise in his nine previous seasons. "But now we have a lot of these young guys who have talent and we get to teach them and build them into a team that can be a winner.
"It makes it fun to coach again, because teaching is the reason why I love coaching. These young guys are going to make mistakes, but they will ask questions about what was wrong, and they'll learn from it. We'll take it one practice at a time."
Where the Trojans do have some experience and upperclassmen is on defense.
Junior Jake Vorhees is a returning starter and seniors Nate Sheeder and Hunter Leedy have seen game action.
"Communication will be the key and we're working on it," Vorhees said. "I know we're very young overall, but I think there's a lot of talent. I believe we'll have a great offense and a strong defense."
Anchoring the defense will be senior goalie Clayton Schellhase, who got some experience between the pipes last spring.
Schellhase said, "I think our challenge is the fact that we have a high number of players who haven't played in a varsity game. But we are bringing up kids who have been in the youth program, so they have JV and U15 experience, and they have high energy and want to learn."
The midfield will be led by quick senior Cedric Adams (7 goals, 1 assist last year).
Flohr said, "Cedric will be involved in every part of play on the field, including faceoffs. He's in fantastic shape."
The middie line will also include freshmen Haden Ocker and Thomas Elie, of whom Flohr said "are coming along pretty well."
The attack will include Brandin Cosey (5 goals, 4 assists) and Jace Hopple (4, 2), who got plenty of playing time last year. They'll be joined by two other sophomores, Riley Ocker and Mason Fisher.
The offense returns players who scored 17 goals a year ago, while players who graduated scored 107.
Alejandro Torres returns as the top long pole midfielder and Skyler Kelly will be the No. 1 short stick middie.
Flohr said, "We tweaked the offense some because we have a lot of good athletes. (Assistant coach) Grant Stouffer is working with the offense, Andy Stouffer is with the midfield, and I'm working with the defense. It's nice that we can coach them in groups.
"This is my 10th year and we're .500 as a program in that time," Flohr said. "One thing we've been able to do is bring back former players to do the coaching at the lower levels. I think that better coaching will eventually help us out. We just need these kids to get experience."
Notes: Top scorers Jake Pierson (54 goals, 10 assists) and Grant Swisher (28, 36) will be hard to replace ... Of the Trojans' 17 games, 10 are home games ... Chambersburg gave up 16 or more goals seven times last year and scored 10 or more five times.
Trojans at a glance
Coach: Paul Flohr, 10th year, 72-72 (.500).
Last year: 5-11 (4-8 Mid Penn Conference).
Returning starters: Cedric Adams (sr., mid); Jake Vorhees (jr., def), Brandin Cosey (so., att).
Other top players: Clayton Schellhase (sr., goalie); Nate Sheeder (sr., def); Hunter Leedy (sr., def); Jace Hopple (so., att); Alejandro Torres (jr., long pole mid); Skyler Kelly (sr., short pole mid); Riley Ocker (so., att); Mason Fisher (so., att); Haden Ocker (fr., mid); Thomas Elie (fr., mid).
Season opener: Thursday, at New Oxford, 7.