LOVELAND, OH – In less than a month, the Loveland High School mens lacrosse team kicks off its 2015 campaign. The Tigers, led by second-year head coach Mike Pritz, will be tasked with combining an exciting mix of veteran players and new talent.
Pritz will look to improve on his first season at the helm, a season that was senior-heavy and fielded arguably the best Tiger squad in school history. The 2014 team featured a school-record 2 high school Division I All-Americans (Tanner Griffin, Brian McElveen), multiple All-State and All-Region selections, and an attack line that shattered previous scoring marks, racking up almost 260 points from Brian McElveen, Brad Clements and Corey Cotsonas alone. Griffin was also the Southern Ohio selection for Player of the Year. All seniors, and all now departed.
“It’s a new season, and we are going to throw some young guys right into the mix,” said Pritz. “Last year’s senior class raised the bar for Loveland lacrosse – not only in the eyes of the community, but also the region. Nobody will be overlooking the Tigers this year.”
Loveland lost some key contributors to graduation but returns a healthy mix of experience at both ends of the field. Offensively, junior Sam Walther joins seniors Jonny Quigley, Nick Delcimutto and Ottererbein –bound Drew McDonald to create their own scoring identity. On the defensive side, junior stand-out goalie Marshall Amon (Honorable Mention All-Region) anchors the backfield along with sophomore Drew Grafflin, senior defensemen Mitch Kenter, and the speed and size sensation that is the 6’5” senior Brian Maher. Juniors Michael Newbold and Andrew Snyder will try to replace the departed Max Mather at face-off. Pritz is also excited about some newcomers, hoping to get an immediate impact from multiple new faces.
“I’m very excited to kick off the 2015 season,” Pritz said. “I’m turning to my upperclassmen to lead us on both ends of the field and to set the tone each and every day. “
The Tigers start the season on the road at Elder on March 23, before returning home for contests against Milford on March 25 and Springboro March 27. All three contests are slated for 7:30 PM starts.
As the team marches into April, the Tigers face-off against the two top teams in the St Louis (MO) area as part of their Spring Break swing. Loveland matches up against St Louis University High School April 1, and MICDS – St Louis on April 4. The Tigers return home for games against Sycamore (April 8 – Tiger Stadium), Mariemont (April 10), Lakota East (April 15 – Tiger Stadium), St Charles (April 17 – Tiger Stadium), Indian Hill (April 22), Seven Hills (April 24 – Tiger Stadium), and Anderson (April 29).
The first 10 days of May reveals a murderer’s row of top local teams – rivals Mason (May 2- Tiger Stadium), St. Xavier (May 5), and Centerville (May 9). The regular season rounds out with contests against local teams Moeller (May 13) and McNicholas on Senior Night (May 15 – Tiger Stadium).
Coach Pritz noted he’s especially excited about the number of Friday and Saturday night home games on the schedule (seven), and that five are weekend match-ups slated for under the lights at Tiger Stadium – Milford (March 27), St Charles (April 17), Seven Hills (April 24), Mason (May 2), and Senior Night against McNicholas (May 15). “We need to continue to pack the stands for these weekend games” said Coach Pritz. “The more fans we can get to come out and support the team, the better our chances of building on last year’s success.”