Coach impressed with boy’s lacross team

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Although the Davie boys lacrosse team limped into spring break saddled with a four-game losing streak, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been highlights.

After an 0-2 start, coach Ross Neisler’s War Eagles ripped off a three-game winning streak (19-3 over Mt. Tabor, 17-4 over West Forsyth, 17-4 over South Iredell). They picked off their third straight Central Piedmont Conference rival when they whipped Glenn 15-8.

Then came a rough patch as Davie lost 19-15 at East Forsyth on March 26 and 23-12 at home to Reagan on March 28, the last game before spring break. Davie entered an 11-day break at 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the CPC.

“We had a great winning streak, one of the longest winning streaks we’ve had in Davie County, and we’ve played competitively against historically dominant teams in our conference,” the second-year head coach said. “We’ve definitely had some adversity, and I’ve been proud of how they’ve handled adversity. They’ve really showed their character. One reason I love working with Davie kids is they play hard and they don’t quit.”

Neisler gushed about his seven seniors: Landon Dingler, Sebastian Bellomo, Isaac Parker, John Holcomb, Bryce Harnsberger, Owen Horne and Connor Humphrey.

“(Dingler, a starter on defense and a team captain) worked in the offseason, truly motivated guys in the offseason and helped get everything coordinated in the offseason,” Neisler said.

“(Bellomo) is a very hard worker. He’s definitely a Swiss army knife. He can play defense, good scorer, great personality, good attitude, face-offs – he can do everything. One of the Reynolds coaches was very impressed by him. He was impressed that he never comes off the field. He’s involved in everything. He gets ground balls, which is crucial for lacrosse. He takes care of the ball and he plays solid defense. Definitely not someone you want to go after as an offensive player.

“(Parker’s) a scorer; he seeks the ball. He puts himself in the right place at the right time. A few lucky bounces here or there and he’s got five or six more goals this year. He’s always getting the ball in the right places to get that shot.

“(Holcomb) has made tremendous strides. He’s newer to the game and he’s learning how to be in position. He’s one of the more intelligent players academically, and now you’re seeing how that academic intelligence is translating to on-the-field intelligence.

“(Harnsberger is) one of the best face-off guys in the conference and probably the state. He’s an offensive threat once he gets the ball on the face-off. He’s a bigger kid but he’s deceptively fast. He’s got deceptive, quick moves to get open and he’s got a hard shot. He plays amazing defense. He’s definitely one of the leaders of the team by scoring and work ethic.

“(Horne’s) been working on developing his stick in the three years I’ve worked with him. He’s gotten a lot more accurate with his shot. He’s a big presence, especially on defense. He can run and play with some of the better offensive players. He’s coming into his own and getting goals.

“(Humphrey) might be one of our better own goal defenders probably are best on gold defender. He has a lot of fight. He’s kind of like a dog out there. He’s an aggressive, fighting dog. He’s out there to majority of the game winning those possessions for our offense.”

At the heart of Davie’s good moments have been leading scorer Jack Pisciotta, attackman Ty Carter and goalies Will Hedrick and Carson Pirk.

“(Hedrick, a junior, has) really developed since last summer,” Neisler said. “He’s phenomenally better; you can completely see where he put in the work in the summer to develop his craft. He’s quick to the ball and he’s a vocal leader on the field.

“(Hedrick and Pirk, a freshman) go to the same summer program to develop their goalie abilities. They are two of the better goalies in the conference.

“Ty leads by effort and energy. He’s not the loudest player on the field, but he shows up every game and hustles. A lot of the offense runs through him.

“(Pisciotta) leads by example with his work ethic and by scoring on the field.”

Neisler has 30 guys on the roster. The rest of the team includes juniors Avery Tinkham, Caleb Coble, Isaac Sherman and JD Cunningham; sophomores Luke Wayne, Owen Blakely, Eli Wooten, Evans Steele and Caswell Moore; and freshmen Elijah Chaffin, Evan Helms, William Carter, Colt Hankins, Reid Tilley, Barrett Robertson, Tony Velasco, Rylan Berrier, Mack Ridenhour and Jackson Meadwell.