Rangers make move to Century Junior High
Forest Lake boys lacrosse coach Jon Loo hopes to jump-start a series of firsts for his program this season, starting with recording four wins in the tough Suburban East Conference.
To do that, the coach looks to his defense and to senior captains Cole Marsh, Kyle Bryan and John Hagen.
“We’ve got some athletic kids playing defense for us,” Loo said. “We’re young, athletic and smart with plenty of good players to go around.”
Bryan and senior Andrew Murray will anchor the defense in front a new goalie for the Rangers: junior Nick Peltier.
“I’m really excited about Nick,” Loo said. “He’s showing a lot of talent in saving and catching that we didn’t know he had. And his dedication has been great.”
In a sport with no shot clock, and where time of possession is key, faceoffs are a crucial part of the game. Forest Lake graduated both faceoff specialists last year, so the Rangers are on the hunt for new candidates. Loo will be looking to Hagen, Bryan, Tyler Anderson, Hunter Olson, Dylan Bush or Kody Ihfe to step into the spotlight.
Another new aspect for the varsity this season is a different playing field. Rather than holding varsity games at the Central Learning Center, the Rangers will be playing their home games at Century Junior High. The change was in large part due to visibility.
“It’s mostly because Century is a north-south field, where the CLC runs east-west, and by the time the sun comes over the field later in the day, you’re looking right into the sun,” Loo said. “It’s just a matter of safety.”
The head coach expects another strong showing by the SEC, with Stillwater, White Bear Lake and East Ridge leading the way. In section play, Champlin Park appears to be the top dog after winning the state title last season.
Despite going 2-12 last season, Loo reiterated his anticipation of a bright future for Forest Lake. Sixty-three athletes are in his program, 40 of them ninth-graders and sophomores.
“Once we learn the system and play within the system, we will do some good things this year and hopefully set a program record of four wins, then move on to a conference championship and section championship,” he said. “But we need to get those four wins first.”