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Herrmann debuts on All-CPOWNY team

Having already played a major role on Hamburg’s sectional championship-winning team as a freshman in the spring of 2013, Claire Herrmann was ready to take her talents to the next level for her sophomore year.

Herrmann was already one of the team’s leading scorers in her inaugural varsity season, and after a few Division I lacrosse players graduated from the roster in 2013, she stepped it up even more.

“I was definitely expecting a better season than last year, but I wasn’t expecting it to be like this,” said Herrmann.

In honor of the sophomore’s progression since her freshman campaign, Herrmann was honored as an All-CPOWNY first team selection at the conclusion of the 2014 spring season.

Herrmann was one of eight locals honored at the fifth annual All-CPOWNY Lacrosse Banquet, presented by the Buffalo Bandits June 17 at Ilio DiPaolo’s. She was joined by her teammate, Jill Ford, and fellow Bulldogs Lucas Shafer and Evan Hollfelder.

Locals Hannah Lease and Taylor Izzo of Frontier, Alie Jimerson of Lake Shore and Eden’s Molly Neureuter also earned first team honors.

Herrmann was the youngest girl selected to the All-Western New York first team this year. The team is voted on by high school coaches from Section VI and the Monsignor Martin Athletics Association.

“I didn’t really expect any of this, but they were a part of my goals,” Herrmann said about the accolades she has been given this past spring.

In helping Hamburg win its third consecutive Section VI Class B championship, Herrmann led the Lady Bulldogs with 70 points during the regular season.

She tallied 48 goals for Hamburg as a freshman.

Although Herrmann expected greater success for her sophomore season, she was too enthralled in doing her job that there is not one specific moment from her standout spring that made her feel as if she had arrived as one of the top players on the Western New York lacrosse scene.

“I don’t think it really hit me at a certain point, but in the beginning it felt like it was going to be a good year,” Herrmann noted.

Perhaps she foresighted a memorable year from the beginning because, in fact, that’s where it all started for the sophomore goal scorer.

Herrmann began the year with five goals and two assists in each of her first two games. She had two more seven-point outings, scoring two goals and five assists against Frontier and recording six goals with a helper against Orchard Park.

Hamburg, along with 2013 Class B runner-up West Seneca East, moved up to Class A for the regular season to help better prepare itself for another postseason run. With the departure of some leaders from the 2013 spring, Herrmann was not sure how some players with new roles would respond to the challenge now that she would experience a larger role as a leader.

“It’s hard when you see all the young players coming up,” she said. “It took them a while to get into it at first, but they improved so much during the year it was like they weren’t that much younger than us.”

Herrmann and her teammates felt like Hamburg’s best teams came during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but she helped the 2014 Lady Bulldogs etch their names alongside those teams in the history books. And while many more girls have graduated from this past spring’s lineup, Herrmann is anxious to see how her team responds in its defense of another sectional championship next year.

“I’m really excited for next year already,” Herrmann said. “We’re losing a lot of people, but there are so many younger kids that are playing this summer and they’re still getting better, so I think we’ll still be a good team.”

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