2012 Spring Preview: East Ridge boys lacrosse team looks to take another step forwardDespite graduating much of its varsity talent last year, the East Ridge boys lacrosse team starts this season ready to compete.
By: Teresa Townsend, Woodbury Bulletin
Despite graduating much of its varsity talent last year, the East Ridge boys lacrosse team starts this season ready to compete.
“We lost 11 seniors,” said head coach Aime Caines, “[and] we were a co-op last year with Park, we lost a lot of our talented kids, we’re going to be really young. Young, athletic, and talented, looking forward to the season”
East Ridge finished 6-7 overall in 2011 and 2-5 in the Suburban East Conference. Last year’s near-.500 season meant that East Ridge was able to host its first playoff game, and Caines is confident his team can improve on that record if, “[we] beat our conference teams, we want that chance to go to the playoffs.”
The leadership Caines expects to see from returning players, senior Brexton Turner and junior Eric Birkmeier, will improve that chance.
If the Raptors want to be one of the top teams in the Suburban East Conference this year, they will have to be able to beat Hastings, Sillwater, Park and Woodbury.
“We’re always excited to play Woodbury,” Caines said. “Now with Park, that’s another team that’s close to us. The Woodbury game the last couple of years there’s been a trophy. The winner gets to go home with a cup. Those two games will be pretty hyped up.”
Although East Ridge lost both meetings with the Royals the past two years, Caines does not think those losses will have any bearing on this year’s performance.
“We’re in our third year as a program,” he said. “We’re looking to get better and compete.”
The Raptors’ success will depend on new players adapting to the team’s style of play. “We want to tighten up our defense. We’re going to have some young guys that are just going to be new in our system. They’re going to get their chances”
East Ridge will play its first game at home against Rosemount on Monday at 7 p.m.