WCHS Season Preview: Lacrosse
The Woodford County High School boys’ lacrosse team is under new management with Coach Joe Bennett taking the reins. In the process, he’s empowered his senior leaders, according to WCHS senior Will Slover. “Coach Bennett has been a really good addition ... He’s actively trying to get feedback from the players and he likes putting responsibilities on the team captains because he trusts that they know what’s best for the team,” says Slover. Seniors like Slover (who will play for Hanover College next year), Matthew Quire and Blake Owsley are at the heart of the team. It’s a veteran group with several years of trust built up among its eight seniors, ready for a breakthrough season after an 8-12 season that culminated with the Jackets hosting a postseason contest against Bowling Green to end 2019. Slover says, “The senior class has been playing together since almost middle school with Coach (Dusty) Wethington,” and notes that “The younger players look up to the leading seniors, who are willing to teach them ... The goal is to get the younger players ready for next year by having myself and the other seniors teach them all the techniques they need to make them great lacrosse players.” To host another playoff game in 2020, the Jackets will need to handle their business within the district. Woodford County, Lexington Christian, Lexington Catholic, Dunbar and Collins will all be jockeying for position. Last season, Woodford placed third in the district standings behind Lexington Catholic and Dunbar, and there’s little reason to think the Knights won’t be the team to beat once again in 2020. Slover, Walter Horn and Will Fisher are the three seniors largely responsible for holding down the defense in front of junior goalkeeper Bryan Birch. A handful of juniors will patrol the midfield — Aidan Bottom, Jonathan Pittman, Lucas Jones and Quinn Cardwell. The Jackets have split the first two games of the season. After a 17-3 win over Lafayette to start the season, WCHS lost to Frederick Douglass Monday night by the same margin. In the Lafayette game, the Woodford fire power was on display. Quire and fellow senior Trevor Evans — a physically imposing, 6-foot-4-inch attacker — each recorded a hat trick early in the game as the Jackets trounced the Generals, building a 16-0 halftime lead. Quire scored six of the Jackets’ 10 second quarter goals as Birch shutout the Generals during his time minding the net. Wednesday evening, the Jackets traveled to Lexington to face Dunbar in their district opener. WCHS returns to play Friday, March 20 to host Dixie Heights on the turf at Falling Springs. The Jackets’ regular season runs through May 2, with the final district game coming May 1, as the Jackets host the Collins Titans in what could be the seniors’ final home game.