Delaware Hayes Roundup: Pacers boys lacrosse team ready to put offseason work to test

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Shane Manor is among the senior leaders who have impressed Delaware Hayes boys lacrosse coach Anthony Sanfillipo. “We have a great group of senior leaders who ... have really found a way to not take anything for granted and just keep rolling with it,” Sanfillipo said.

The Delaware Hayes boys lacrosse team has been busy for months preparing for the season. 

The Pacers did not get the chance to compete last spring because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. But coach Anthony Sanfillipo, who was brought in last year but will coach his first full season with the team this year, said the Pacers didn’t let that keep them down. 

They stayed busy with offseason workouts, Sanfillipo said, beginning “as soon as they could in the summer” of 2020. 

“I think the tone was set in the offseason,” he said. “We got after it in the weight room, conditioning, stick work. And we had a solid group of guys the whole offseason, which is going to pay dividends as the season goes on.” 

Eleven seniors lead a roster of 36 players for the Pacers, who opened March 23 with a 16-2 win over Marysville and played Pickerington Central on March 25.

Midfielders Ty Gillman and Sam Schumacher, defender Clay Knight and attackers Shane Manor and Hunter Piroska are among the top seniors. 

“We have a great group of senior leaders who, as disappointing as it was last year, have really found a way to not take anything for granted and just keep rolling with it,” Sanfillipo said. “And they’re working really hard. They’ve bought in, they’re committed and I can’t say enough about what they’ve done. Hopefully their hard work pays off.” 

Sanfillipo said Knight and senior Andrew Houck are expected to lead the defense, with sophomore Jackson Hazelton at goalie. Junior defenders Lucas McKeen and Zach Maines are candidates to fill the third defender spot. 

Senior Aidan Gatenbee and junior Aiden Boeriu project to be the Pacers’ long-stick midfielders.

Gillman, Schumacher, senior Randal Burton, junior Eli Watts and sophomore Devin Halliday should be key cogs in a midfield that doesn’t have a lot of depth but shows potential, Sanfillipo said. 

“Midfield we’re not deep, but we have some guys that we think can really step up and play pretty big for us,” he said. 

Piroska and Manor project to lead the attack, with senior Brendan Palmquist and sophomore Cooper Heald also being key contributors.

BOYS LACROSSE

Coach: Anthony Sanfillipo, first season 

Next game: March 29, at Watterson

Key athletes: Ty Gillman, Clay Knight, Shane Manor, Hunter Piroska and Sam Schumacher 

Girls lacrosse team

working to improve

The girls lacrosse team is in a similar position to the boys, looking to round into form after not competing last spring. 

But coach John Lyons, who came to the Pacers last year but will guide them for a full season for the first time, said there’s always more work to do in any given season. 

“In my mind, even if I think we’re the best prepared team, there’s always work to do,” he said. “Playing that perfect game is almost impossible but we strive to do it, so that gives us little things to work on every week.” 

Delaware opened March 25 against Westerville Central and played Kettering Fairmont on March 27.

Lyons said the Pacers’ attack has the most depth of any group on the team. That group will be led by seniors Lindsay Wolverton and Lily Tope and juniors Katlin Klabus and Alana Kay. 

Senior Emma Brown and sophomores Molly Wells and Kasey Wells project to be key midfielders. 

On defense, Lyons said senior Isabella McCloskey is expected to be an “anchor,” with support from sophomore Ryleigh Nowell.

Senior Gabrielle Weckerly projects to be the goalie once she returns from injury, Lyons said. 

A mix of freshmen and newer competitors from a 32-player roster are expected to fill other spots.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Coach: John Lyons, first season 

Next game: April 6, at Worthington Kilbourne

Key athletes: Emma Brown, Alana Kay, Katlin Klabus, Isabella McCloskey, Lily Tope, Lindsay Wolverton, Kasey Wells and Molly Wells 

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