There is a lot of excitement building within the Zionsville boys lacrosse program heading into the spring.
The Eagles return some key pieces from last year’s state quarterfinalists, but also have a lot of young talent that can step in and contribute right away.
Zionsville has been working hard in anticipation for the season opener this weekend down in Tennessee.
“I really like our youth and the way they have started the season,” Zionsville head coach James Rundle said. “We have a lot of young talent that has been working hard the past few years and are ready to get us to that next level. I am excited for the potential that they have.”
Rundle said he has high expectations for what this team can accomplish this season.
But the first set of goals is making sure the team can bond together with the mixture of youth and experience that the Eagles will have this spring.
“I have a lot of goals that revolve around us getting acclimated with the game,” Rundle said. “We haven’t played together as a unit before, so getting our feet under us and finding out our identity is a huge goal of ours right now.”
As the sport of lacrosse continues to grow in the state of Indiana, Rundle said more than ever before, younger players come in with a skill level that can allow them to contribute right away.
This year, there will be 46 full varsity teams in the state, with another nine schools having club teams.
“It’s extremely exciting,” Rundle said. “The state has continued to grow and progress, and show we are a force in the Midwest. It’s exciting to see the talent that is emerging in Indiana, especially in central Indiana. It’s good to see that we are starting to make a name for ourselves.”
The Eagles graduated a couple of key pieces from last year’s team, including three players who earned all-state recognition.
But they bring back some all-conference talent in Aiden Oberweiser, Duncan McCourt and T.J. Streepy, along with some other key veteran pieces.
Rundle said they have a good amount of experience and strong leaders that can help bring the youth and older players together.
“We just voted on our captains and the four are Cody Bevelhimer, Dom Vechiarella, Duncan McCourt and Collin Chase,” Rundle said. “We have a lot of talented young guys, so it is tough to single some of those guys out. We are going to be carrying six or seven freshmen on varsity full time, and all of them bring something different to the table. I am excited to see this group come together and see how everyone fits in.”
When looking at the strengths of the team this season, Rundle said it is going to start on the defensive side of the field for the Eagles.
Zionsville returns most of their backline from a year ago.
“We are going to be leaning on an experienced defense,” Rundle said. “We only graduated one senior pole last year, and we are returning a couple players we haven’t seen in a couple of years. They are going to be the backbone of the team this year.”
Zionsville will kick off its season with a pair of out-of-state games over the weekend.
The Eagles will travel to Tennessee on Friday night to face Montgomery Bell Academy, then to Kentucky on Saturday to face Trinity.
Rundle said at this point of the season, the main thing the Eagles have to do is knock off some of the rust from the off-season.
“We just have to clean up some of the sloppiness that we have,” Rundle said. “We have quite a few multi-sport athletes, so some of the guy are just jumping back into it, while others have been at it all fall. But meshing all those guys together and have them playing as a unit is something we have to get cleaned up.”