DOVER, Del. - Around Wesley College Men's Lacrosse practice this spring, there is the typical chirping of lacrosse players, chiding and motivating each other through the grind of the preseason, but every time the team breaks out of the huddle, they say one word: "Family."
That's not only the motto of the team this year; it's their style of play as well. The team wants to play "like a fist," or together as one.
Despite a 4-1 start to last year's campaign, the Wolverines struggled in conference play, falling short of a CAC playoff spot. After missing the CAC playoffs, the team was more driven during the offseason in hopes of attaining their objective for the upcoming season.
"We plan to compete in every game this season," said senior Jack Redefer, "Play all four quarters, compete with anyone we're against, and have fun. This season will be one that we remember as seniors."
The Wolverines return a large senior class including Sam Siebert, Eric Bohns, Jack Redefer, Jason Berry, TJ Hilton, Ryan Ramsey, and John Chenault. Senior midfielder Siebert led the team in goals (28) last year, and was closely followed by fellow seniors Redefer (25) and Chenault (18). The leading goal scorer was also named to the All-CAC Second Team. On the defensive end the Wolverines return two seniors in Hilton and Bohns, while the defensive midfield group will be led by Berry and Ramsey. Bohns caused havoc for opponents trying to reach the net by causing a team-high 39 turnovers.
"Bohns is a four-year starter but he's going to play with a very young defense," said head coach Bill Gorrow. "We will need him and our whole senior class to step up and fill their roles as leaders."
The Wolverines also return offensive firepower in the form of juniors Nate Gemmato and Patrick Barrow as well as sophomores Joe and Will Fingles. Will missed last season with a lower-body injury but returns for the 2016 campaign after shaking off the rest during the fall.
The Wolverines also bring in a group of promising newcomers, such as James Griffith and Zachary Farnell. This group also includes transfers Josh Wassum and Zachary Weitzel with a large number of newcomers expected to contribute right away.
In the defensive zone the Wolverines also return sophomores Alex Collins and Nolan Vesey who both saw significant time last year. The biggest change took place between the pipes as sophomore defenseman Zachary Scholl has stepped up as the new netminder for the Wolverines, and will have to make an immediate impact for the 2016 run.
"We've got a large group of guys coming in and we're going to need everyone to fill a role," said Gorrow. "If we play selfless, play as a team, and everyone knows their job and does their job, we're going to have a good season."
The Wolverines open their 2016 campaign Saturday, February 20 against Shenandoah University. The quest for a conference title starts Wednesday, March 9, when the team travels to Southern Virginia. The first chance to see the team live at home is Wednesday, February 24 against Arcadia.