After being defensive coordinator for the past three years, Matt Garvey now takes the helm of a very successful Zionsville lacrosse team.
The Eagles decided to stay in-house with their head coaching vacancy after former coach Tim O’Shea left the program. Garvey retains half the coaching staff and inherits a team that lost only six seniors.
“In general, I think Coach O’Shea had us pointed in a great direction, and I hope we can continue that and take it to the next level,” Garvey said.
With the success the Eagles have had in their short tenure, continuity will be important to the first-year head coach. However, he will bring changes and his own style to the team.
“We want to play up-tempo. We want everything to be positive from practices to games to the locker room to everything,” Garvey said.
The Eagles were eliminated last year in the quarterfinal of the lacrosse state tournament to a tough Hamilton Southeastern team. It was a somewhat off year from a squad that had reached the final four two years in a row.
“We were pretty young last year for Zionsville standards; so, we’re hoping that we can get them back for getting us out of the playoffs last year,” Garvey said.
At least to begin the year, the defense will set the tone for the Eagles. Their entire defense returns. along with starting goalie Ryan Spoonmore.
The Eagles remain a young team; this year they just have more experience. The defense will complement a midfield that consists of juniors Luke Crenshaw, Eric Regale and sophomore Alex Cain.
“There’s going to be some things we’re going to tweak offensively,” Garvey said. “Defensively, we’re still going to have the same scheme.”
The Eagles have three senior captains on the team — Zach Rawson, Nick Wampler and Christian Simon. They also return three of their top five leading scorers from last year’s squad in Rawson, Ben Sherman and Ryan Broderick.
“We’re going to rely on our defense toward the beginning of the season as our offense gets adjusted,” Garvey said. “We’re a young new midfield, but we expect really good things from those guys.”
Despite their youth, the Eagles anticipate being right in the thick of teams competing for a state title. Garvey knows his squad will be much improved when that time rolls around.
“Our expectations are always, year-in and year-out, to win a state championship and compete for a state championship,” Garvey said.
“It’s all about a building process; I tell the guys everyday we got to be getting better. We don’t want to be peaking, we don’t want to be great in the middle of March. We want to be great and peaking, midway through May when the playoffs start.”
The Eagles will quickly get thrown into the fire. Their season starts with a trip to Tennessee to play two of the best teams the state has to offer.
“The weather’s really allowed us to get outside and really get after it,” Garvey said. “I think we’re going to be ready.”