High School Sports

Seahawks' 2011 hopes fueled by revenge

Spend an hour with the Hilton Head High boys lacrosse team, and it becomes clear you are surrounded by a group of driven and inspired athletes.

Ask a question or two, and it becomes evident why -- revenge.

There's rarely talk of state championships. There's hardly even a mention of titles of any sort, in fact. Simply revenge.

"It's our motivation," said defender Yannie Reynecke.

"That fuels us," added senior Nick Roberts.

It has for an entire offseason, in which the Seahawks have been constantly reminded -- mostly by one another -- of how a promising season abruptly ended last April.

The Seahawks took a 14-1 record into a Lower State semifinal matchup with Wando, only to lose 14-10 and fall two wins short of a championship.

They haven't forgotten.

"We'll set the bar based on how we match up with them," Seahawks coach Joe Monmonier said Tuesday.

A day later, the bar was officially set. The Seahawks got their revenge Wednesday night, fighting off a three-man disadvantage before dropping Wando 12-11 in overtime to improve to 4-0 on the season.

Now they have their sights set higher than ever before. And perhaps they should.

The Seahawks return the nucleus of a team that lost just two games last season. Four seniors -- Roberts, Reynecke, goalie Clayton Reed and transfer Charlie Jackson -- have already signed to play Division II lacrosse next year at Mars Hill College.

Roberts and Reynecke were first-team all-state selections a year ago, and Reed made the second team. Jackson already has 26 points during the Seahawks' 4-0 start, making up for the offense the team lost with the graduation of leading goal scorer A.J. Weitzner.

"There's definitely some urgency to win when you're a senior," Reynecke said. "... We have a lot of talent out here, but it's how you play as a team that decides how good you are."

Offensively, the Seahawks should have no problem rolling over the momentum of last year's team, which led the state in goals per game during the regular season. Roberts is a former All-American, Jackson is already off to a hot start and Nick Bautista is back to fill out the team's attack formation.

But the Seahawks will have more work to do before picking up where they left off defensively. While Reed is back in goal and Reynecke remains the quiet leader of the defense, all-state selection Matt Roberts has graduated, as has three-year starter Austin Martin.

Their departures leave inexperience on the back line, which Monmonier said he plans to fill with a variety of players.

"Flexibility will be the key to our season," Monmonier said. "We're going to be moving guys around a lot more because we have more questions this year. But we got right to work, and we're thinking outside the box.

"The sting of that loss, I think we came out ready to go."

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