2019 Boys Lacrosse Season Preview
Hoggard has won every league title since the sport became sanctioned by the NCHSAA in 2010 and there is no reason to think that streak will end any time soon.
The Vikings are loaded again with eight starters back from last year’s team that went 17-2 and gave Cardinal Gibbons all it could handle in the third round of the 4A playoffs. Leading scorer Donovan Jones is now playing at Mount St. Mary’s, but seven players who scored at least 10 goals are back. Seniors Hunter Williams (49 goals and 22 assists), Scout Philipp (41 goals and 24 assists), Andy Kotz (28 goals and 16 assists), Jake Jupena (20 goals and 12 assists) and Kenan Arne (19 goals and 10 assists) will provide plenty of offense. Cade Edwards (66 ground balls and 39 takeaways) is one of the top long stick midfielders in the area, and Josh Raber (.539 save percentage and 7.3 goals against) and Logan Trafton (.728 save percentage and 3.4 goals against) are both solid in the cage.New Hanover had its best season in program history in 2018 by going 15-5 and reaching the 1A/2A/3A East final, but the team lost 10 of its top 11 goal scorers along with goalkeeper Jack Cruz. Kyle Hatcher is back after scoring a league-best 66 goals to go along with 43 assists as a sophomore. St. Andrews commit Kameron Newkirk will anchor the defense.
Laney should have another solid season with Wingate commit Noah Ehinger (148 assists, 19 goals, 84 percent face off percentage) leading the way. Nic Lord had a nice freshman campaign, scoring 20 goals and dishing out 19 asssits.
Wingate commit Jake Volpe (53 goals and 20 assists) and Lander commit Eli Copeland (44 goals and 34 assists) give Topsail a solid 1-2 scoring punch. Ashley returns Max Hunt (33 goals) and CJ Tyson (10 goals and 7 assists).
Past three champions
2018 – Hoggard
2017 – Hoggard
2016 – Hoggard
Players to watch
Jr. Bryan Balland, New Hanover
Sr. Patrick Calhoun, Ashley
Sr. Eli Copeland, Topsail
Sr. Cade Edwards, Hoggard
Sr. Noah Ehinger, Laney
Jr. Koulton Faulkner, South Brunswick
Jr. Liam Gannon, South Brunswick
Sr. Rory Gannon, South Brunswick
Jr. Kyle Hatcher, New Hanover
Sr. Max Hunt, Ashley
Sr. Jake Jupena, Hoggard
Sr. Andy Kotz, Hoggard
Jr. Daniel Livermore, Laney
Soph. Nick Lord, Laney
Jr. Logan Meehan, Topsail
Sr. Kameron Newkirk, New Hanover
Soph. Tucker Parks, Topsail
Sr. Scout Philipp, Hoggard
Jr. Will Pickard, West Brunswick
Sr. Braxton Powell, West Brunswick
Sr. Aidan Terry, Laney
Sr. CJ Tyson, Ashley
Sr. Jake Volpe, Topsail
Sr. Hunter Williams, Hoggard
Around the Area
Cape Fear Academy has reached the NCISAA Division II state championship game each of the past three season, and despite graduating 11 seniors, expectations are still high.
Stevens Tech commit Henry Murtagh (63 goals and 20 assists) and Rhodes commit Preston Meehl (11 goals and 67 assists) are back as are defensemen Reed Sweyer (94 ground balls and 45 takeaways) and Matthew Ezzel (55 ground balls). Freshman Cameron Arne was expected to play a major role, but he suffered a preseason injury. He is hoping to return in time for the playoffs. Another freshman, Owen Johnson, takes over in the cage.
Players to watch
Soph. Matthew Ezzel, Cape Fear Academy
Sr. Preston Meehl, Cape Fear Academy
Sr. Henry Murtagh, Cape Fear Academy
Sr. Reed Sweyer, Cape Fear Academy