The Grady boys lacrosse team missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season after only winning one game in their region.
The team started the season hot as it won its first two games against Northgate and Union Grove out scoring its opponents 29-6. However after the teams good start they lost six consecutive games including its first two region games. The losing streak started after a controversial last second goal saw the Knights lose 15-14 against North Springs.
A large contributor to the losing streak has been the injuries of two key starters on the team, defender Duncan Tanner and middie Jordan Thomas.
“It started off well, we had two good wins, but we had two players break limbs within a week, and since then it hasn’t been going as well,” said junior Will Tanner.
Because of the lack of depth on the team it has been difficult to fill the spots of the injured players. With those players out for the season the bench is even smaller.
“We need more players because we hardly have any subs, and it’s been difficult to find players to fill those spots,” said Tanner.
Overall the team has been unsatisfied with its start, but hope that upcoming region games can help get the team back on track.
“The season is off to a tough start because of the loss of two of our starters to injury,but hopefully things will get better as we move further into our divisional games,” said junior Grant Mcniff.
In order to make the playoffs the Knights would have had to beat two formidable region foes in Westminster who has only one loss this season and Pace who has two. Both teams are also undefeated in the region. Westminster is currently in first place, while Pace sits just behind in third. A win earlier against Riverwood could have led the team to be in prime position to make the playoffs, but with little depth and preparation the Knights were outlasted.
The team didn’t see there being a high chance that they make the playoffs, and a loss against Pace on April 15 saw them eliminated from playoff contention.
“There was a very slim possibility we could have made the playoffs if we beat either Westminster or Pace and a couple other things happen, but it was highly unlikely,” said Tanner.
Another large factor in their disappointing season has seen lackluster attendance and commitment at practices.
“To get better we need to improve our practices and players commitment to coming to practice,” said Mcniff.
Overall the team has made it very difficult for themselves and will likely have to rely on senior captain and Cleveland State commit Malachi Smith for scoring and wins. Smith has gotten off to a good start this season and has been a high note for the team, providing a spark on offense.
“We need more players because we hardly have any subs, also I think out mindset needs to change because we have gotten ourselves into a hole that it’s going to be difficult to get ourselves out of,” said Tanner.