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HHS boys' lacrosse puts together solid season over .500

Senior attackman Tucker Houska wraps around the Woodbury goal looking to score during the Raiders' section playoff victory. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Junior T.J. Pottinger gets ready for the face-off against Woodbury after a Raider goal. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

The Hastings Raiders boys' lacrosse team put together a solid season and were able to advance in the section playoffs. The Raiders went 7-6 in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs, beating Woodbury and then falling to Eagan. They finished tied for fourth in the Metro East Conference with a 3-3 record, along with Simley.

Head coach Brady Wasvick said that with all the changes in the coaching staff, this season was mostly spent getting acclimated.

"With it being a whole new coaching staff, we had quite the hill to climb in putting in new systems and getting the kids used working how my staff wanted them to work," he explained. "I guess our goal was to get over that .500 win percentage mark. We think we should have done better, but every coach says that. There are always a few games you want back."

Wasvick has said before that he is a defense-oriented coach and that he emphasizes that style of play and physicality. However, he also said the team's offense really improved this season.

"I thought our offense really stepped up this year," he said. "In years past, we struggled with time of possession and time on offense. Having a well-established defensive unit really allowed us, mainly a defensive guy like me, to focus on the offense (during the season)."

One thing that he said was disappointing was how lopsided many of the Raiders' games were.

"It seemed like every game this year went one of two ways; the teams we were 'supposed' to lose to beat up on us and the games we were 'supposed' to win, we beat up on them," Wasvick said. "There weren't many close games (either way)."

The team had five seniors graduate this year: Blaine Wasvick, Tucker Houska, Evon Childs, Nate Buck and Jake Foster.

"This was my brother's (Blaine Wasvick) senior year, so I have known these guys for many years both on the field and off the field," Wasvick explained. "They are a terrific group of young men who have been like little brothers to me; great to work with 95 percent of the time and a headache the other 5 percent. I love them all and they are all going to go on to do great things."

Many of those seniors were key contributors this past season and Wasvick will be looking for underclassmen to step up next year and replace them.

"We have a lot of returning starters and major role players," he said. "We will need to fill two crucial roles; one at attack and one on defense. Our junior class is one of our biggest ever, so a lot of those guys have already been contributing for a season or two, but as far as some of our underclassmen, look to see more from guys like attack-men Cody Vieth and Kyle Nogle, midfielders Griffin Wise and Jason Williams, and defenseman Jack Olson. There are more than a few spots open going into next year."

Five players received all-conference recognition after the season. Houska and junior T.J. Pottinger were named all-conference while Foster and juniors Noah Bzoskie and John Cole received all-conference honorable mention.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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