North Paulding incorporated lacrosse into its athletic department last season with a boys’ team competing at the junior varsity level. This year, the squad has moved up and begun its first season of varsity action.
“Last season, no seniors were allowed to play on the team and we had enough juniors that did well that they needed a home for this season,” varsity head coach Jason Reardon said. “The JV team finished last year 5-1-1 in its last seven games.”
The Wolfpack also has kept its JV team active as well.
“We’re keeping the two teams separate and won’t have many swing players between them,” junior varsity head coach Jimmy Helbing said.
The varsity roster consists of 22 players, which may be considered numerically smaller in comparison to its Class 6A contemporaries.
“Having a shorter roster is great for us because everyone gets a chance to play,” Reardon said. “We have enough skilled players to put anyone in and not miss a beat which is good for a young program.”
North Paulding dropped its first two contests of the season but earned the first win in program history with a 16-5 triumph over Darlington on March 3.
“There have been some challenges this year but the kids came in with enthusiasm and we’re making progress,” Reardon said.
On the field, the Wolfpack have been led by senior defender Brent Johnson and junior midfielder Brian Szock, both named captains for this season.
“Both of those guys are second-year players and great leaders,” Reardon said. “Brent is the heart of the team with his passion while Brian is an intelligent player that can get guys to follow him.”
Attacker Kyle Banks and defender Cameron Banks are also captains and expected to make major contributions to North Paulding.
“Our youth program is strong and our future is very bright,” Reardon said. “We want to be competitive and grow this year.”
The Wolfpack return to action Thursday against Woodward Academy.