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LOVELAND – The nets are out and lacrosse lines are drawn on local fields. The following is a rundown of teams in the Loveland Herald coverage area.
• Mike Pritz takes over the Loveland boys program for 2014. Pritz previously was defensive coordinator at Sycamore and also coached at Indian Hill.
Ironically, Pritz coached against the Tigers in their final loss of an 11-7 season last year when Sycamore emerged victorious last May 25, 13-7.
Now, with an experienced class left by Mark Lynch, Loveland has started strong and has become one of the top powers in the state. Some wonder if Pritz can pull a “Cranford” as Fred Cranford took over a veteran football squad and won a Division II state title.
“Coach Lynch did a good job of getting this team to where it is now,” Pritz said. “We’re looking to try and take the next step with the elite teams in the city. We have a lot of really good seniors and leaders.”
Seniors Tanner Griffin, Brian McElveen and Max Mather are Loveland’s captains. Griffin and Mather were on the Tigers’ state championship football squad, so Pritz feels his squad knows how to win.
Already this season, the Tigers defeated Moeller 9-6 on April 2.
“It was the first time Loveland’s ever beaten Moeller in lacrosse,” Pritz said. “I think we can hang with anyone. It’s just a matter of doing it every week. The goal I set for the boys is a city championship to start the season. You can’t play for a state title until you’ve won the city title, something Loveland’s never done in Division I lacrosse.”
The Tigers also avenged last season’s playoff loss to Pritz’ old Sycamore crew with a 6-5 overtime victory on the road. Other notable games on the schedule include Indian Hill, Lexington Catholic, Elder, Upper Arlington and St. Xavier.
In the near future, Loveland’s lads are at Kings April 16 and host Granville April 19.
“The support from the parents and the Loveland Lacrosse Club has been great,” Pritz added. “They do a nice job with the middle school and youth program of getting everybody in line and having these guys groomed for the high school program. They want to make it a powerhouse here.”
(Photo: Scott Springer/Community Press )
Back for a second year with the Loveland girls is Rick Jones. The Lady Tigers were 15-4 in 2013 and return 10 starters this spring.
Senior midfielder Hannah Bellamah was first-team All-District, while senior goalkeeper/midfielder Rachel Heath made second. Heath is a University of Findlay signee.
Junior middie Savannah Lee was honorable mention All-District. Junior middie Taylor Wilhoite and freshman Katie McElveen are also expected to have good seasons.
“We have an experienced returning cast with an influx of talented freshmen,” Jones said. “We’re looking to build upon last year’s momentum with the long-term goal of becoming a premier program. We have great team chemistry with excellent speed and scoring punch. We’re focusing on moving our team defense to the next level.”
The senior class led by Bellamah and Heath began at 2-14 as freshman and have worked their way to last year’s 15-win campaign.
Loveland’s ladies are home April 17 against Lakota East.
Please support Loveland Men’s Lacrosse by bringing new or used books to our game vs. Elder High School on April 30. The books are being donated to the Oyler School located in Lower Price Hill for students in Kindergarten – 12. Last year’s book drive provided summer reading material for the kids at this school.
Books will be collected at the gate during the JV and Varsity games.