Pine Whispers

Demons Dominate the Season

Robert Hill

Robert Hill

Megan Curling, Editor in Chief

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For years, the men’s lacrosse team at R.J. Reynolds has been one of the most successful at the school as well as the conference.

This year the Demons went 10-5, winning the conference by default with a 5-0 record after the tournament was cancelled due to weather. The team suffered three early losses to high ranking North Carolinian teams Middle Creek, Northwest Guilford, and Myers Park, ranked first, seventh and tenth in the state, respectively. These games, Coach Jim O’Neill says are incredibly purposeful.

“With Reynolds lacrosse our scheduling philosophy is to play the best teams out there early on in the season… this way, our guys can be better prepared to compete in conference play as well as the state playoffs,” O’Neill commented.

Also in the schedule this year were several match ups against out of state teams. Ranked at 15th in North Carolina, the team held off Milton, their Georgian counterpart, in a 4-3 overtime thriller at Deaton-Thompson. However, losses were conceded to Virginia’s first ranked E.C. Glass and Maryland’s first Calvert Hall, also ranked ninth in the nation.

After the tough losses, the Demons quickly established dominance in the area ending nine out of 10 wins in the double digits.

“It’s been nice having a successful year this season because all of the talent we know we have on the field, especially playing the toughest schedule in the state,” junior goalie Marley Tolton said of the regular season outcome. And there is no doubt of that talent.

Eight of the team’s 13 seniors (Trejan Cannon, Tommy Hopkins, Jelani Keith, Jack Landers, Matthew Meyers, Aaron Weinberg, DiMaggio Wilson, Fleet Wilson) were selected to play in the Triad All Star game and three, Landers, Meyers, and F. Wilson were also selected for the NC Great 38 game. Hopkins leads the conference in goals with 41 and all conference and all state selections will be released later this month.

Along with upper level game selections, four seniors have committed to continue their lacrosse careers in college next year with Trejan Cannon to Virginia Military Institute, Jelani Keith to Guilford College, Jack Landers to University of Mary Washington and DiMaggio Wilson to Hampton University.

Going first seed into the second round of the state playoffs with such talent and a 14-3 first round win over Grimsley on Friday night, the Demons have high hopes for the tournament.

“My hopes… are we compete well, come together as a team and bring that trophy home,” sophomore Ethan Mou said, who calls his first year on the team the highlight of his year.

As the team moves through the tournament with hopes to at least make it to the elite eight against a tough Northwest Guilford team, morale is high looking towards both this year’s outcome and next year’s beginnings regardless of such a large graduating class. [UPDATE: The Demons topped Page 7-4 on Tuesday but lost 20-11 at #1 seed NWG on Friday after an incredible game. They finished 11-6 ranked at 11th in the state]

“We have been blessed with an incredible senior class this year. We are going to miss their leadership and commitment, but we hope the example they demonstrated this year, will pay dividends with our younger players for next year,” O’Neill said looking forward.

 

 

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