After what feels like multiple millennia, the Kenosha Raptors Boy’s Lacrosse Team has begun it’s annual odyssey, attempting to traverse the terrain of Wisconsin High School Lacrosse, with an equal - improved, even - sense of urgency and energy, reinvigorated by a new purpose and class of hungry and focused freshmen. As a new season of Raptors’ Lacrosse dawns, so does the return of these very recaps and written editorials about the game, and the players within, humbly, by yours truly.
However, the old adage proved too true for the Gentlemen of Kenosha;
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” - Mike Tyson (probably).
The Raptors fell to the Oconomowoc Raccoons on Wednesday at Westosha Central to the tune of 12-7 in their first contest of the year. Not the result expected and hoped for, but a litmus test and crucible for what will prove to become a tightly-knit and resilient group of athletes, who’ve only just gotten their proverbial
The Raptors were paced by a new face - first-year Luciano DeBartolo, whose courageous offensive efforts and consistently dangerous play in the attacking zone kept the Raptors within striking distance the entirety of the match. DeBartolo introduced himself to the state (rather loudly, I may add), tucking away five goals and adding an assist for good measure - a six-point outing, and an efficient shooting night; taking nine shots and lighting the lamp successfully on five of those attempts. Luciano promises to blossom into one of the most lethal offensive options for the Raptors this season if he can continue his inspired play, and is almost bursting at the seams with potential. The world is not new to Italians looking to bury their opponents with wicked shooting accuracy, but DeBartolo is looking uniquely dangerous and focused in the early goings of the season.
Also leading the offensive output included freshman Alex Bailey, who gouged the Raccoons’ defense for a goal and an assist, and looks to mature into quite a destructive duo for defenses when in concert with DeBartolo, as well as junior Carter Kuryanowicz, a familiar face collecting an assist while choreographing from behind the goal. Kuryanowicz was only recently named a team captain for the ‘22 season, and has already proven himself as a leader and respected voice within the Raptors regime. Look for this trinity to gel and grow, and inevitably begin to dissect Classic 8 defenses. Providing ancillary support on the offensive end included freshmen Isaac Wendorf and Hunter Cowart, the latter of whom produced an all-around lacrosse game; representing the Raptors at the faceoff dot and adding a tally of his own late in the game. Each of these two project to become crucial contributors to this team. The offensive ensemble gathered together in the Green and White has the ability to become absolutely incendiary if they can embrace their ability, and with time and effort, look for these pieces to begin making powerful moves and dismantling defenses.
In the defensive theater, freshman netminder Jack Persson was sound, weathering a bevy of Raccoon shot attempts, and accumulating nine saves in his debut. Also proving impactful were junior captain John Bogdala and freshman Noah Poyer; who seems to be the reincarnation of dearly-missed Andrew Stich in the early
goings of his career, and is a player to keep a close eye on; equipped with an advanced understanding of the game and it’s inner machinations. And of course, the team is held in place by it’s lynchpin: sophomore Oliver Hulbert, whose do-it-all tireless mentality - I sincerely hope - serves to set an example for his peers. Hulbert’s effort and importance on the entirety of the lacrosse field cannot be overstated. Hulbert led his team in ground balls - collecting four - and served as a transition-sparking conduit for the rest of the team. This defense will look to find it’s identity in coming games, while also being unfortunately faced with the task of filling the sizeable shoes of a previously-prominent defensive unit. They will need to find the effort and attitude necessary to become a winning team if the Kenosha Raptors look to achieve their own lofty goals.
The Kenosha Raptors fall to 0-1, a setback that can be undone in the blink of an eye: the Raptors retake the field on Wednesday, March 30th, when they travel to Brookfield Central High School to encounter the Brookfield Lancers on foreign turf - an important and defining early-season game that will test the
Gentlemen of Kenosha and their mettle. For now, however, the Raptors are back to work, getting better rep by rep, practice by practice, week by week, and Brick By Brick.