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Sports

Revere boys lacrosse program looking to ‘take the next step’

4/4/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

BATH — The Revere High School boys lacrosse team has a new look this season as co-head coaches Nick Pappas and Nick Gabel are taking over the program.

According to Pappas, the team, which plays in the Division II Central Region, finished 5-11 in the regular season last year and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Pappas said there were 28 players on last year’s team, and this year that number is up to 40. That increase, he stated, is part of a plan for improving the program.

“We like a lot of numbers. We like having a lot of guys out for the team,” he said. “And 40 is a real good number. We had our first game [March 27], and we played a team with only 23 guys. So we almost doubled them up.”

Revere opened the season with a 10-4 win over Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.

“I was able to get a lot of guys some playing time and experience, which is valuable for their development,” Pappas said. “What I really liked seeing was that the upperclassmen showed a lot of leadership and were able to help the younger guys. We were able to get a lot of the younger guys some playing time in the second half, and there was a lot of leadership coming from the sidelines. It was a very positive experience.”

There are seven seniors on this year’s team: defenseman Jake Totten; midfielder Paul Gabel; attackman James Sandels; attackman Conner Henry; defenseman Jon Davis; attackman Nick Marconi; and midfielder Andrew Petty.

“We have a lot of guys returning to the sport who had stepped away for a year or two. A lot of them went out last year and played baseball, but this year they came back out,” Pappas said. “They were just looking to have a fun, positive experience, and it’s really turned out well for us. As a coach, it’s great to have senior leadership. And for them, I know it’s important to have a meaningful season. You can tell they really enjoy the sport and they really enjoy playing with each other. It’s actually kind of neat to watch.”

All of the seniors start for the team with the exception of Petty, who suffered a severe injury before the season began.

“He tore his ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] in our first scrimmage,” the coach stated. “He’s a senior captain and that was really kind of a devastating blow for us. That kid had something really special. I really feel for him because it was his senior year and he was finally a captain.”

Pappas said the team features “a very strong junior class” this season.

“We have about 15 juniors and all of them contribute meaningful time,” he said. “They’ve been playing together for six years now, and they know how each other’s game works. They function very well together.”

One of the team’s strongest positions, Pappas said, is goalie, which is manned by junior Carl Roman.

“He’s phenomenal. He’s looking to try to go to Division I to play,” the coach said. “He leads our defense. He’s very vocal and he has a skill set that allows him to be successful in goal for us.”

In addition to depth, Pappas said his team’s other top attributes include speed and stick skills.

“We’re also pretty physical,” he said. “We have a nice blend of physicality and speed.”

Pappas said the primary goal this season is to “take the next step as a program.”

“The next step is winning playoff games,” he stated. “We want to improve our skill level so that we can compete in any game no matter who our opponent is. We just want to become better as a program and as a team.”

Next up for Revere is a game April 10 at 6 p.m. at Cleveland Heights High School.

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