Like any first-year program, the Delaware Hayes High School boys lacrosse team had its share of struggles.

Like any first-year program, the Delaware Hayes High School boys lacrosse team had its share of struggles.

But coach Tom Favorito said the Pacers weren't deterred and will be better next season thanks to the experience and fortitude gained during a season in which they didn't win a game on the field.

Delaware finished 1-11, with the victory coming by forfeit over Watterson. The Eagles used an ineligible player March 31 when they outscored the Pacers 13-0.

"We knew it would be difficult this season because we were just getting the program off the ground and we got no offseason work done," said Favorito, whose team did not play in the Division I regional tournament. "Now we'll get a full year of work in with the kids. They're going to compete in the OSU fall tournament, which is a 7-on-7 tournament. They'll attend our summer mini camp and we're going to be in both sessions of a winter league. The hope is that we won't have to spend too much time teaching them the game by the time next season rolls around."

The Pacers scored three or fewer goals in eight games. They lost to Brunswick 17-8 in the opener March 28, to Bexley 16-4 on April 3, to Johnstown 16-6 on May 1 and to Wilmington 9-6 on May 2.

Favorito was proud of the fact his players and their parents remained behind the program despite the tough season.

"The parents were very supportive all the way through and the boys never gave up," he said. "They are excited and looking forward to the offseason work so they can come back next season ready to go out there and be more competitive. We're going through postseason evaluations with them now and they'll know what we need them to do individually and as a group."

The Pacers, who had no seniors, expect 17 players to return and be bolstered by a class of 21 incoming freshmen.

"We'll have more competition for spots and we may have four or five freshmen-only games," Favorito said. "We're putting together the 2010 schedule right now and we're going to take an overnight trip to West Virginia that the boys and parents are excited about. The main thing these boys need to do is get in the weight room and make sure they get their running and conditioning in. That's the first step."

Freshman midfielder Josh Bender led the team with 22 goals and two assists. Junior midfielders Brian Johnson (6 goals, 2 assists) and Mike Corbett (5 goals, 8 assists) and freshman attacker Charlie Darrough (4 goals, 4 assists) followed.

Johnson, Corbett and junior midfielder Maxx Motter, were invited to attend a mini-camp at Robert Morris in Moon Township, Pa., by coach Kenneth Davis on July 24-26.

Motter led the team with 70 groundballs. Bender had 61 and Corbett had 55.

Junior Evan Bull, the team's top defender, missed time because of injury, as did freshman goalie Christian Grothe.

The rest of the juniors on the roster included starting defender Jacob Naegele, Corey Ratliff (attack), Franco Rossi (midfield) and Nick Spalsbury (defender). Sophomores included midfielders John Gilliam and Forest Wilson.

Joining Bender, Darrough and Grothe in the freshman class were defender Nate Hurley and midfielders Connor McCabe, Austin Naegele and Dustin Simpkins.

"The kids all understood that it's hard to pick up the game," Favorito said. "It takes a lot of skills, but they're already looking forward to next season."

At a glance

•Record: 1-11

•Seniors lost: None

•Key returnees: Josh Bender, Evan Bull, Mike Corbett, Charlie Darrough, Christian Grothe, Brian Johnson, Maxx Motter and Jacob Naegele