Boys’ lacrosse team strikes wins in the spring


Photo courtesy of @ChurchillDawgs on Instagram

The team celebrates on-field in a huddle after winning the country championship on May 8, 2023. The win this year has made them back-to-back champions.

By Amari Suissa

On May 8, the WCHS boys’ varsity lacrosse team gathered at John F. Kennedy High School to play Sherwood High School for the county championship. They won the game 9-6,  making this the second year in a row that they bested Sherwood to win the title. Coach Jeff Fritz led his team to both of these victories, but quickly moved on to the next big achievement.

We have four goals each year: first, win the division title; second, win the county championship; third, win the regional championship; and fourth, win the state championship,” Fritz said. “We understand that sequence of events and just try to get better each and every day; we don’t want to waste any days, but rather stack good days on top of one another to get where we want to go.

Senior Spencer Swetlow has been playing lacrosse since fourth grade. When he came to WCHS, he took a break to join theater but joined the JV lacrosse team when the program was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. He only made the varsity boys’ lacrosse team this year but already feels Coach Fritz’s effect on how he plays and interacts with other teammates.

“A good coach makes all the difference,” Swetlow said. “[Coach Fritz] prepares us by having us study the other team’s plays, creates astute strategic plays for our team and inspires us to practice hard every day. However, it is his values for the lacrosse organization that I believe truly makes the Churchill Bulldogs an amazing team.”

Coach Fritz started his lacrosse career in high school and became the head varsity coach at WCHS in 1994. Being a former player has allowed him to connect with the players specially by preaching a “family first” philosophy.

Our team has done a tremendous job creating chemistry both on and off the field by working together on the field to push each other to get better daily,” Fritz said. “Off the field, we have a lot of team meals together, which also creates a great cohesiveness.

Along with his family’s first principle, Coach Fritz also supports academics. He acknowledges that his players are student-athletes, not athletes that also happen to be students. Coach Fritz pushes his players to do well both in school and on the field.

Our main principle is family first, academics second, and Churchill lacrosse third,” Fritz said.  “We need to keep those priorities to keep ourselves grounded and be the best person we can be.”

Although Swetlow has ended his lacrosse career after four long years at WCHS and he is sad to leave the team, he acknowledges how he has grown during his time on the team and cherishes the memories he and his teammates share.

“Every team is a little different, but the Churchill boys varsity lacrosse team is always a wonderful team to be a member of, and Coach Fritz is the top reason why,” Swetlow said.
“Coach Fritz not only supports all of us athletically, but academically and personally.”

Coach Fritz feels the same way about his players; he could not be more proud. It was a grueling season with ups and downs, but the team met his expectations after last year’s greatness.

After winning the state championship, we graduated 18 seniors, five of whom are playing college lacrosse this spring,” Fritz said. “We had a lot of shoes to fill and our team has done a tremendous job stepping up. The team has surpassed my expectations, and now the sky is the limit.”

While returning players will have to wait until next year for another season, there is much they do to prepare in the meantime. Coach Fritz is optimistic about the offseason and is excited for the boys who will join the WCHS varsity boys’ lacrosse Bulldogs next year.

Advice I would offer younger players is to put the work in in the offseason; that is when champions are made,” Fritz said. “Be at your peak performance when the season begins because once you’re in season, you will get enough practice. Work on stickwork and fundamentals as well as becoming more athletic.”