Utica enters their second season as a team, looks to Improve on past successes


Two teams line up in the south auxiliary gym, one team wearing orange, the other in white. A whistle blows and the season officially starts. Both of them take off to opposite ends of the gym and hustle back to the center. Whichever team has the slowest time back will run extra suicides. A penalty neither side wants to pay.

“These are the types of drills that make us better,” assistant coach Brandon Bennett said. “We get in good conditioning and it’s keeping the team competitive.”

Coming off of a 1-14 record in their first season as their own unit; the Chiefs plan on building on previous success.

“We want to work on building chemistry,” Bennett said. “We gained a bit of it late in the season, but we want to start building it right from the beginning.”

The season has just begun, and the coaches are positive about the returning starters from last year.

“We still have a really young team,” head coach Gabe Marquez said, “we only graduated three seniors last season. We are getting in a decent amount of young kids here with more freshmen and sophomores.”

Last season, the first two weeks were a bit challenging for the Chieftains, as heavy snowfall made the team’s practice field just a big hunk of untouched snow. That is, until the lacrosse team armed themselves with about a dozen shovels.

“Shoveling snow last year was really difficult and taxing,” senior Tyler Kammerer said. “My shoes were completely soaked and my arms were dead, when the snow melted it was like a gift from the heavens honestly.”

This season, however, is drastically different. Instead of having to shovel off the field again, mother nature has given the team an unexpectedly mild start to the season with the exception of a few chilly days here and there. The team was able to start outdoor practices immediately this season.

“This year is so much better than last year honestly,” junior Troy Donovan said. “Last year we were pretty much getting frost bite from dealing with all the snow and the weather.

The Chieftains entered a battle against the Lancers from L’Anse Creuse at the start of the season, ending in an 11-1 loss.

“The biggest positive from the game is that the defense played great,” Marquez said. “The one thing that wasn’t good was the turnovers. We would do a lot of things right, only to just turn the ball over.”

However with a lot of new faces strapping up for their first season, the outlook is positive moving forward. Among the new faces is senior Chris Shoudy.

“This being my first year it’s really fun yet difficult,” Shoudy said. “Playing this year makes me wish I started playing earlier, I have a lot of work to put into it.”

After putting in hours of extra work and dedication, the Chieftains have four captains to lead the pack.

Seniors Nick Sturgess, Tyler Kammerer, and Tyler Warner with junior Ethan Fromm round out the captains for the 2015 season.

“I’ve always wanted to be a captain,” Kammerer said. “To me it’s a big honor.”

With last season’s 1-14 record in the books, the Chieftain captains want to take the good from last year and try to let go of what wasn’t working. This team looks to play with a chip on their shoulder and

challenge the division.