The CHS lacrosse team had its best year on record last year, beating Stevenson and winning the MTAL title for the first time in school history. After losing only a few seniors, the team looks strong again, but they did lose their head coach Phil Keebler, now the head coach at the University of Oregon.
This year, Nick O’Connor, the former York assistant coach, will head the Padres. He says that he was “recruited by parents,” and he plans to defend Carmel’s MTAL title. O’Connor’s lacrosse experience also includes playing at the Virginia Military Institute and coaching local Tribe lacrosse teams.
“Coach Keebler is really going to be missed, and I hope the new coach can fill his shoes,” senior Billy Rudiger says.
There will be a new change to the rules for the league that will make the championship tournament count for the title; last year after clinching the league, Carmel played with its second string and no seniors in the first round of the tournament against York and lost 3-5.
O’Connor has some changes of his own in mind.
“If we want respect we are actually going to have to earn it this year…. We are not going to have any of that,” said O’Connor at a preseason meeting, referring to the 2012 playoff game against York.
At the end of last season Carmel was ranked in the top ten for CCS, and this year the team is slated to play some of the top teams in CCS, including Palo Alto, Amador Valley and Archbishop Mitty.
According to Rudiger, “We have a strong team and a league title to defend.”
O’Connor says he expects all players to “give 100% and represent [their] school with pride.” He believes they can repeat their success if they “work harder than every team [they] play, respect the game and earn respect from opponents.”