“Use your stick!” Samo fans shouted across the John Adams Middle School Astro Turf. “Man up!”
At barely two-years old, Samo’s fledgling lacrosse team is getting stronger every day. However, it was quite a struggle to keep up with El Segundo’s bigger and more experienced team.
“Our team only runs five seniors and one junior,” senior Jeremy Kramer said, noting that the rest are freshmen and sophomores, whereas El Segundo’s team was composed of only juniors and seniors. “Our kids have most of their high school careers ahead of them. Samo has a lot to look forward to in them.”
Samo lacked two of their main point scorers at the game, but instead of being pessimistic, the team saw it as a bonus: more of their players got playing time. El Segundo won 11-6, and while the score was something to cringe at for Samo fans, it could have been a lot worse if sophomore Cody Caruana had not been in the goal.
“Cody is always our MVP,” coach JT Derwart said. “No question about it.”
Derwart has been coaching at Samo for the two years the team has been in existence, but this year is his first year as head coach. He coached at Reservoir High School in Maryland and then in Cheviot Hills and West Los Angeles. Despite his claims that he “just wants to win,” he maintains a positive attitude about his players.
“We put in a lot of effort, and we’re coming along nicely as a team,” he said.
Sophomore RJ Fobbs and freshman Tyler Mollica scored Samo’s first two goals, trying to energize a lackluster offense. Ultimately, Samo‘s offense struggled and failed to execute on attacks, and the Vikings fell victim to El Segundo’s more aggressive style.
“If anything needs to be improved upon, it would definitely be our transition and ground game,” Kramer said. “A lot of the kids are small and fast, and they rely on getting the ball on the first try, so when they can’t get it, they’re either not strong enough or unwilling to fight for it down low.”
General manager Chris Carrico agrees on what needs to be improved for Samo.
“They are definitely doing better with their stick skills and passing the ball,” he said. “They just really have to be more aggressive.”
Everyone is confident about Samo’s abilities and continues to see progression in every game they play.
“For a second year team, we’re right where we need to be,” said Derwart.