2019 Boys Lacrosse Season Preview

Mideastern Conference

Outlook

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.

Hoggard’s Scout Philipp scored 41 goals and dished out 24 assists in 2018. [John Crouch]

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

Topsail’s Eli Copeland (left) and Jake Volpe each had 40 goals a season ago. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

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

Outlook

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.

Senior Henry Murtagh led Cape Fear Academy with 63 goals in 2018. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

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