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Boys lacrosse looking for spot in state tournament

Dylan Dock tries to avoid a Shattuck St. Mary player.

After a tough year that ended 0-13 two years ago, the boys lacrosse team has built itself up and is looking for a top spot in at least the section tournament this year.

"(The seniors) say their goal is to win state," head coach Brian Jenson said.

He's thinking one step at a time.

"Our goal right now is to win our conference," he said.

With the depth the team has this year, he said he's confident they can make it into the top four, and the chances of winning conference are good.

"They're good," he said. "They're really good."

The Raider lacrosse team has about 20 seniors this year - more than the juniors and sophomores combined.

"We have depth at every position," Jenson said.

Last year the Raiders finished the season 7-7, a considerable improvement on the year before.

"It was a rebuilding year," Jenson said.

As of last Friday, they were 3-3 this season, and all their losses were close games against top teams, Jenson said. Last year, the Raiders were unable to keep up in scoring against top teams.

This year's team's strength is their attitude.

"They do a good job of being supportive," Jenson said.

They're also working well as a team. The boys pass the ball more and don't try to make a play on their own, Jenson said.

Top competition this year comes from three teams, St. Paul, Orono and St. Louis Park. Shattuck-St. Mary's is another tough team to beat, but the Shattuck school year ends before playoffs, Jenson said.

Since the Raiders lacrosse team has not yet been sanctioned by Hastings High School, they play mostly other club teams like themselves. Hastings is one of about 20 lacrosse club teams left in the state, Jenson said. There are 52 teams registered with the Minnesota State High School League this year.

Jenson said he didn't know when HHS would sanction the team, but it's been discussed.

"I think we're definitely on the right track," he said.

The HHS lacrosse program started in 2000. Three years ago, they started a middle school program and last year, they added a second middle school program. This year they added another team for ninth- and tenth-graders. There are about 100 players divided among the five teams.

"It's growing a lot, which is great to see," Jenson said.

The Raiders' next game is at 6 p.m. May 13 against Orono. Games are played at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School field.