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Top Program Previews: #2 The Woodlands

03/23/2018, 3:15pm CDT
By Editor

The Highlanders return a senior class with one goal in mind.

2017 Recap:  In 2017 the Woodlands Highlanders put together one of the best seasons in program history.  It was truly unbelievable.  A final record of 23-2 is remarkable.  The Highlanders were undefeated heading into the State Championship weekend with wins against Westlake, Lake Travis, Dallas Jesuit, Highland Park, Foothill, Cathedral, La Costa Canyon, and St. Marks.  That’s a ton of statement wins.  They won the Houston City Championship once again, on the way to the Texas High School Lacrosse Championship weekend.  In the end, the Highlanders would drop the ‘Battle of the Unbeatens’ to ESD but return to 2018 with tons of talent, and desire to finish the job.

Key Losses
Grant Murphy (Def.) Syracuse
Brandon Baty (Att.) TCU
Gunnar Luckoski (G) – Nassau CC
Jonathan Demary (Att.)
Nick Rauchle (Att.) OU

Rising Stars
Ryan Farquhar (Mid) '19
Ben Langston (Mid) '19
James Pendley (Def) '19

Major Changes:  The only real massive change for the Woodlands is in cage.  Luckoski was very important for the Highlanders as he was an incredibly hard worker and very skilled in cage.  While losing “Murph” and the other senior offensive players, the depth this program has across the board makes it easier.  The 2018 class is huge and has been a logjam of talent for the Highlanders for a long time.  Now the full compliment of that class is lifting the load in an effort to try and make it to the Championship Game for the just the 2nd time in program history.

Committed Players
Jack Barron '18 Furman
Quinn Binney '18 Army
Carson Daspit '18 Jacksonville
Brendan McCanna '18 Utah
Ramsey McCreary '18 ND
Jackson Shearer '18 AFA
Christian Starcke '18 Lenoir Rhyne
Seth & Evan Demerson '18
CSU Pueblo
Diego Zimmerman "19 OSU
Dylan Binney '20 AFA

Team Strengths
The Senior Class:  This Woodlands Senior class has more depth than possibly any across the State.  They have a ton of contributors everywhere.  They are all skilled, and know each others tendencies well.  While McCreary, Barron, Binney, and McCanna are all committed, their uncommitted offensive seniors are equally potent.  James McDowell is great on offense, and essentially a take a way short stick defender, Jacob Moore is a very dynamic lefty with a great first step, and Mitch Williams is a tough finisher who backs down from no one.

At the faceoff X, Nathan Drickamer is a big, dominant FOGO who can shift the balance of possession in The Woodlands favor.  It’s this depth, especially in terms of scoring ability that makes this squad tough.  They are multiple so it’s tough to stop everyone.

In Question
Goaltending:  It’s not the ability in cage that is in question as both junior Jason Kroslowitz and freshman Matthew Nunes are very good; it’s how they will be utilized.  They are both proficient at stopping the ball, clearing, and communication.  The question is really how the minutes will play out.

Getting over the Hurdle:  Beating Dallas teams isn’t something that the Woodlands worries about, as they’ve beaten many of the best from Dallas over the last couple of years.  The question is can they do it on Saturday and Sunday of Championship weekend.  They’ve got the talent and the coaching, and now it just comes to down to doing it when it matters most.

Projection:  The Woodlands should make the Championship weekend for the 3rd time in 4 years.  How they will fare once they get there is a function of peaking at the right time and staying healthy.  They have all the pieces they could ever ask for.

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