Thursday, May 20, 2010

All Lake Norman area Lacrosse team

North Carolina High School lacrosse is starting to get the recognition it deserves.

In fact, for the first time in the sport’s history, lacrosse was sanctioned as s high school sport by the N.C. High School Athletic Association. After building through club teams for some time, several Lake Norman area teams had already established themselves amongst the Charlotte-area’s best.

This season, Lake Norman High School again was the best team from the area, sweeping North Meck, Hopewell and Lake Norman Charter in the regular season to win the conference 10 title. Then, the Wildcats advanced to the second round of the 4A state playoffs before falling to eventual state champion, Myers Park.

Lake Norman lacrosse coach Kevin Gowan helped the Wildcats improve from a 7-2 in 2009 to 15-3 this season, with their only losses coming to (2009) defending state champion, Providence, and twice to state champion (2010) Myers Park.

“I think our improvement has been gradual because a lot of kids are now growing up playing lacrosse,” Gowan said. “I a lot of kids play lacrosse year-round and we have a made big strides because of that.”

Coach of the Year: Kevin Gowan, Lake Norman – Kevin Gowan is used to winning and winning big. Now, Gowan, who was a member of the 2002 and 2004 National Championship lacrosse teams at Syracuse, is bring that same success to Lake Norman. This year, Gowan led the Wildcats to a 15-3 mark, including a perfect 8-0 in conference 10 play.

The Wildcats beat Mount Tabor in first round of the playoffs, before losing to eventual state champion Myers Park by only one goal.

The future should be even brighter with Gowan boasting 19 underclassmen on this year’s team and only two seniors.

“I think we have a lot to look forward to (for Lake Norman lacrosse),” Gowan said, who also coaches for Lake Norman lacrosse’s club teams. “Really, we are just getting started here, and finally being able to put together a (sanctioned) high school program.”

Player of the Year: Danny Brown, Lake Norman – Danny Brown is only a sophomore. But this year, the second year varsity attacker, played far beyond his years netting 45 goals while dishing out 30 assists. Brown led a potent Wildcat offense that produced 228 goals in 18 games, an average of over 12 scores per contest.

“(Danny) just a has a knack for the game,” Gowan said. “He’s still so young, I think he is just going to get better and better in the next few years.”

All Lake Norman News Lacrosse Team

Attack - Danny Brown, Lake Norman…led Wildcats with 45 goals on the season.

Attack - Max Copeland, Lake Norman…with Brown added to potent offense with 44 goals.

Attack - Patrick Hennigan, Cannon…led the Cougars with 55 goals and 52 assists.

Attack - Chris Ahern, North Meck…Vikings top threat scored 26 goals.

Mid - Charles Copeland, Lake Norman…steady player controlled the middle for Wildcats.

Mid - Kendall Moore, North Meck…multi-dimension player also plays the attack for Vikings.

Mid - Grayson Spittel, Lake Norman Charter…multi-talented player has Knights on right path.

Mid – Andrew Gobble, Lake Norman Charter…can play up front just as effectively.

LSM/Def – Patrick Wurtz, Lake Norman…makes a big difference on defensive end.

LSM/Def – Brian Policke, North Meck…uses long stick well to make Vikings defense tougher.

Def - Kyle Gradert, Lake Norman…freshman already best defender on a stingy unit.

Def – Kevin Hart, Hopewell…rugged defender also a standout on Titan football team.

GK - Justin Parks, Hopewell…all-conference goalie helped keep Titans in games.

-- Special Correspondent Jay Edwards