JV Boys Lacrosse Team Goes Undefeated for Third Straight Year


Photo courtesy of Ryan Leonard

The JV boys lacrosse team poses for a picture after finishing their season 9-0

By Julia McDermott, Senior Writer

Coming off two straight undefeated seasons, the junior varsity boys lacrosse team was far from an underdog at the beginning of this year, but when the bulldogs stepped onto the field for the first time this season, they were ready to retain their record. ‘Why not three.’

And after nine games, the team was successful. For the third year in a row, the bulldogs remain undefeated, finishing the 2015 spring season with a 9-0 record, 117 goals scored and only 28 goals against.

“Obviously going 9-0 is huge,” head coach David Blumenthal said.  “It was definitely one of the most prolific offensive seasons I have ever been a part of on JV.”

One of the many defeats was against rival Wootton, which, according to Blumenthal, was one of the highlights of the season.

“What made the boys so successful was their ability come together as a collective unit and buy into the system we as a coaching staff have put together for them,” Blumenthal said.

This system is simple, the boys play for the name on the front of the jerseys instead of the names on the back, stressing cohesiveness as a team over individual success. Blumenthal attributes  both the JV and varsity team’s successes to this sense of selflessness and cooperation, as it was varsity head coach Jeff Fritz who established this team mentality over his 22 years running the CHS boys lacrosse program.

“From day one we have always tried to instill in them a ‘we’ instead of ‘me’ philosophy, and the boys really bought into that,” Blumenthal said. “I feel that is what helped them build that unity and unselfishness you need to be successful in a team sport. The names on the back will come and go but that Churchill name on the front will always be there year in and year out, and these boys understand and embrace that.”

However, it is not just the team’s mindset that contributed to its success. CHS is located in a region that is known for having many strong lacrosse programs, whether they be club or high school, so many CHS players were already experienced before they even stepped foot in the school.

According to Blumenthal, his key players this spring were freshmen Ryan Leonard and  Brady Altobello, and sophomores Jake Blumberg and Owen Sumberg.

“Every coach is happy to have one, maybe two, players who you can call on for a clutch play and really take over a game, and I was blessed with four,” Blumenthal said “They did a great job of getting their teammates involved early in games to establish a rhythm, and when a big play was needed they were willing and able to make it happen.”

According to both Leonard and Altobello, the team’s connectivity was the determining factor in its undefeated 9-0 record.

“We have good chemistry and skill within the attack and the midfield,” Altobello said. “The new players that had important roles stepped up when we needed them to, showing improvement throughout the year.”

With three undefeated seasons and a Wootton victory down, the team does not see a stopping point in sight, and according to Leonard and Altobello, the unanimous goal for next season is yet another perfect record.

“Our goal every season is to establish a foundation for them to build on to have a successful career in our program, both on and off the field,” Blumenthal said. “But we of course want to win games as well. Next year is simple, ‘Why not four’”