Sun Valley’s Men’s Lacrosse making major turnaround

Lacrosse Sticks.

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The Sun Valley High School Spartans Men’s Lacrosse team has experienced a remarkable turnaround this season to become competitive in their conference this Spring.

The team currently has an overall 4-4 record, 2-1 in conference competition prior to  Spring Break.  The previous two seasons 2016-2017 the Spartans had difficult campaigns finishing with a combined 3-24 win loss record.  They have already eclipsed their two year win total and this season appears to be much brighter.

Lacrosse action after scoring a goal.

The team is playing competitively and they seem to be inspired by their early success in one of the toughest conferences in North Carolina.  The 3A Spartans have beaten some 4A opponents and defeated a conference rival Parkwood Rebels this spring.  Coach James Pane has this team motivated and prepared to play every game to date.  The offense is averaging 8 goals per game, the defense is playing solid, and there has been great work performed in organizing the man-up and man-down teams.

The offense is led by senior attacker Ryan Mannarino who has 27 goals, 10 assists for 37 points.  He also has picked 15 GB’s for a solid leadership effort.  Senior midfielder Anthony Meeks has been very consistent all season with 11 goals and 10 assists, 19 GB’s picked up for the Spartans.  Junior midfielder Jack Wilton has made a major contribution with 13 goals, 8 assists for 21 points.

Goalkeeper Andrew Norris has been a steady influence in the net has recorded 361 minutes protecting the goal against 69 shots on target while making 51 saves for a excellent .739% save percentage keeping the Spartans in every contest and in contention this season.

Lacrosse action fighting for a ground ball.

Other players who are making important contributions include rugged defensive play from senior Matt Hill, junior Hunter Gutelis sophomore Ethan Blount and Sean Kelly.  Freshman Dominic Szlachetka has done a fine job handling face offs.  Senior Jeff Mucci has been the Spartans anchor in the man-down defense.  Also, Riley Hodgkins, Jack Walsh and Nick Phillips have all made an impact offensively.

The team has made great progress and has leaped further ahead earlier than expected.  This is due to coaching, hard work and dedication of the players to the program.  The Spartans now seem to have a good mix of new players and experience leaders who are doing an awesome job in rebuilding their program at Sun Valley.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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