After a 5-10 finish in 2017, the Fox Chapel boys lacrosse team made a quick turnaround last season.
The Foxes finished with a 12-4 record and shared the Section 3-AAA championship with North Allegheny and Shady Side Academy. They won their first WPIAL playoff game before losing to eventual champion, Peters Township.
“We had a good season,” FC coach Kevin Devinney said. “Our playoff win against Butler was one to remember with Zack Yonas scoring eight goals. It was also our first playoff win since entering the WPIAL in 2009.”
Yonas, a senior midfielder, will be back.
“We were hit pretty hard graduation-wise as we lost eight guys that will be missed, Devinney said, “but we will return the core of the team, and we have a strong junior and senior class.”
Returning starters include Devon Root, a junior who will man the attack position, and senior Reed Seybolt, who also plays attack.
A newcomer to the team is senior Will Jung.
“He will get some varsity time, and I’m hoping to get some of our juniors to letter as well, Devinney said. “Our returning upperclassmen will be the strength of our team this year. We return five all-section players.”
Yonas, Seybolt, Brad Root, Kenyon Weis and Drexel recruit Graham Childs were all chosen to the all-section team. Root, Weis and Childs are seniors.
An area of concern for Devinney will be the team’s ability to compete with the top teams in the league.
“We also need more scoring from the midfield position,” he said.
The Foxes will compete in Section 2-AAA with Allderdice, Butler, Central Catholic, North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, Shady Side Academy, Shaler and Seneca Valley.
“We’d like to be in the conversation when you consider the top teams in our section, which was again realigned this year,” Devinney said. “Pine-Richland and North Allegheny are the front-runners. But Seneca Valley, and Shady Side Academy along with us, are going to give it a good run as well.
“Overall, I think North Allegheny is the strongest team in the WPIAL right now. They return most of their players from last year’s team that almost upset Peters Township in the championship game. Peters Townhip will also be very strong, but they graduated a lot of fantastic seniors. However, they are back-to-back title winners and remain champs until someone can knock them off. Teams like Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park, Seneca Valley, Pine-Richland, and Shady Side Academy also have perennially competitive programs that have a chance to win every year. We are making progress towards joining that list as well.”