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STM lacrosse seeks 5th state championship

Cougars advance to Final Four after defeating Loyola College Prep
STM LACROSSE.jpg
Posted at 10:35 PM, May 01, 2023

LAFAYETTE — Lacrosse is a sport that's slowly, but surely growing here in the boot.

"Its definitely grown, but I don't know if its grown as fast as we would like it to", says St. Thomas More head coach, Byrnes Tatford. "But in the last couple of years, there's been a big push."

"With only 20 teams across the state, it's not a LHSAA sanctioned sport. Instead, teams play under the Louisiana High School Lacrosse League.

Very similar to soccer, the basic objective is to score the ball in the opponent's goal more than the opposing team.

"It's a very fast pace, physical game. A lot of people don't realize it until they come see in person how exciting the game is. So there's elements of basketball, soccer, football and hockey. A lot of those sports carry over."

And for St. Thomas More, history is on the line this weekend.

"Ever since I was a freshman, I wanted to win or at least be in the finals", says senior middie, Johnathan Furka. "Last year, we came close but this year, we're better than ever."

Being a top-ranked team all season, STM is now two games away from winning their fifth championship in program history.

"In order to match the caliber of championship status like STM football, softball, soccer and other programs, Cougars' lacrosse believe they have what it takes to hold their end of the stick.

"Jesuit is a team that we lost to earlier this year by one, so we've got to beat the best teams in the state. That's really what it comes down to."

Preparing for redemption against 3-seeded Jesuit in this weekend's final four — through their helmets — the Cougars keep their eyes on the prize.

"Skill-wise, endurance-wise, whichever way you want to look at it, I think we're on top of every other teams but when it comes to bigger teams or more physical teams, I think a lot of kids lose their confidence and I think if we gain that confidence back and that trust back with each other, the plays will get there and the chemistry will get there."

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