For years the boys’ varsity baseball team has traveled to Florida over spring break for a sort of “spring training”; this year the boys’ varsity lacrosse team also traveled to get a head start on their upcoming season. “We wanted to get an advantage over other teams by getting experience before the season started,” said junior Mike Giacomini.
At first, it was hard for many of the senior players to accept missing their senior spring breaks with all of their friends, something they had all looked forward to, but after it was all said and done they had no regrets. “Some guys were upset at first, but once we were in Orlando it was completely different,” said senior captain Mike Hoff, “we had a lot of fun and it definitely paid off for our team.” The team, including five seniors, ten juniors, six sophomores and just one freshman, had to do a lot of fundraising in order to take the advantage of spring training over this week.
The team got a lot of money from a fundraiser they held through the restaurant Noodles and Company. If the cashier was given a coupon, which the boys handed out both at school and in front of the restaurant, ten percent of the proceeds made by the restaurant on were donated to the team. “After donations and fundraising, we were able to reach our goal and to pay for everything including airfare, hotel rooms, plus snacks and water for each room,” said junior Danny Anderson.
This was the first year that the team tried a spring trip to work on their skills, and for the most part, the team believes it was a success. “When we found out we were only playing two games versus other teams we were kind of disappointed. We expected more, but the games went really well and helped a lot,” said Hoff.
The boys’ first game was a 9-8 win against the Wayzata Trojans, a victory that the team was proud of. “For being our first game it went really well,” said junior Chase Mlnarik, “we weren’t used to the playing with each other, but we still came out with a win.”
The second game was against a team from Lake Forest, Illinois, which they lost 18-11. “We came out slow, but we came together and played well,” said junior Bailey Dodds.
However, the next day the two teams held a dual practice together, which the boys believe was beneficial to both. “It was really great because our defense got to play against different players and we got to see and experience how another team practices,” said Hoff.
The 25 players, including varsity members and swing players, spent the majority of week practicing, sometimes multiple times a day, but they also had a lot of free time to hang out as a team. “We went to Disney World on the first day and did other things as a team which was a great way to bond,” said Giacomini.
Even when they weren’t doing team bonding activities, the boys had a chance to get to know each other on the trip. “We spent a lot of time just hanging out in our rooms together, which really brought up the team chemistry,” said Mlnarik.
Some parents of the players also traveled on the trip to help support their sons. Two nights of the week they held dinners for the players which gave newcomer parents and boys to get a chance to get to know each other.
With the success of the trip this year the team hopes to make the trip a tradition for years to come.