ELC continues to bring up seasoned athletes to Eden’s modified, JV and varsity teams.
There were high hopes of what could become of the boys modified lacrosse team at Eden in 2014.
Andrew Minier coached his modified team to an 11-0-1 record, marking the first winning record for the program that he is aware of. And he saw it coming all along.
“I knew coming in that this group had a ton of potential,” Minier said. “We’re not the biggest group out there, but a lot of referees comment on how well the boys play together and that will overcome a lot of different things if you’re able to fundamentally play the game and play together as a team.”
The building blocks for what would become an undefeated season began a few years ago. The Eden Lacrosse Club began serving the lacrosse community about three or four years ago, according to Minier, who believes that the main factor in the modified program seeing much success this season stems from the boys becoming familiar with each other within the Eden Lacrosse Club.
“There have been some scattered players before that played in the summer league, but this is the first cohesive unit that has been together since they were six- and seven-years-old,” he said. “With this specific group of kids - there’s a core group of them - they’ll play together through summer leagues and indoor arenas 8-12 times during the winter, they’re in each other’s backyards playing catch, they’re always together and they always have sticks in their hands.”
“My attackers know where each other are on the field at all times,” he continued. “They can play catch with each other blindfolded. So I think that does make a huge difference.”
Minier and his fellow board members have received much help from the parents of the lacrosse athletes to help fund the club, raising money for an up-and-coming program that does not have the same help as the more established clubs.
“I am thrilled to see the success the Eden modified boys lacrosse team has achieved this season. I applaud the efforts of the families involved in the program who have continually supported the efforts to fund boys and girls modified lacrosse,” said Chris Clark, an ELC board member.
“We sometimes look like the Bad News Bears coming in, but that’s okay,” added Minier.
Minier, who also acts as the secretary of the Eden Lacrosse Club, likes to give credit to the local lacrosse club for playing a role in the future of the scholastics program at Eden, but he also pointed out what current Penn State player Kyle Zittel and his family did for the scholastics prorgra
“Without Kyle and his family’s tenacity to make sure her son had a program to play in, none of this might be going on,” said Minier. “They are really pivotal in the short history of lacrosse at Eden. What they’ve started, now you’re seeing the fruits of that come through.”
“Lacrosse continues to grow nationwide, and that growth is witnessed in small communities like Eden,” noted Chris Archibald, the boys varsity lacrosse coach at Eden. “In just eight years at Eden, we have both successful seasons and personal success stories to highlight that growth; indeed, we can proudly point to several All-WNY selections, two All-Americans and players currently or committed to playing at Penn State, Roberts Wesleyan, Walsh, Brockport, Baldwin Wallace.”
“The successes we have are all a credit to the summer league. All players that have moved on to the next level played in our Eden Lacrosse Club summer league.”
While the boys have been able to continue their chemistry and stick skills, Eden Lacrosse Club will be instituting the first year for the girls to play in the summer, as well.
Whether it takes a year or two to get off of the ground, or closer to five like the boys did on the modified level, the successes of Eden Lacrosse Club should have continue to show promise.
“You can see the difference it makes to have a strong summer program, getting the kids when they were younger and having them play together up through the scholastic program,” said Minier.