2008-04-03 / Sports

Lacrosse team driven & determined

By John Droke

DAVISON — Redemption in the postseason is foremost in the Cardinals’ minds as they look to avenge a loss in the regionals last season. However, early in the season state-ranked Flint Powers Catholic and Saline will test the Cards’ mettle and desire for that regional crown.
While some area teams were forced inside because of the weather, Davison took advantage of a warm, yet muddy practice session outside last Thursday, giving them the feel of the slippery turf rather than the gymnasium floor.
Let’s take an early look at the team and what they can expect when their season gets underway.

Coach: Robert Hatten, first year
Last year’s record: 9-6
Losses: Zach Gould, Mike Krieger, Andrew Anschutez.
Key returnees: Max Ellard, Mike Dudash, Craig Schaepkens.
Season overview: Robert Hatten, a first-year coach for the Cardinals, is excited about this year’s team and knows the potential is there for a great season. “These guys already know what goals they want to reach and it makes my job easier as a coach. They come to practice and work hard everyday,” said Hatten. The main goal is to get back to regionals where Davison suffered a loss to Lowell last year. The Cardinals will have to deal with the losses of Zach Gould, Mike Krieger and Andrew Anschutez to graduation in their quest for a regional title. But, who will provide that postseason experience that every team desires will be guys like Max Ellard, Mike Dudash, Craig Schaepkens and Jay Lenz, all returnees from last year’s team. Hatten expects a breakout season from Lenz, who he says can bring it every game and knows how to score. A new face to the team, but no stranger to Cardinal athletics, is All-State football star Josh Denkins.
“He’s learning the game right now but the athleticism is definitely there,” said Hatten.
Also expected to contribute is freshman, Dan Schaepkens, brother of Craig, who will be looking to make an impact right away.
The Cardinals’ biggest obstacle will be at the start of the year when they play back-to-back games against Flint Powers and Saline, both state-ranked in the top 10 inDiv 2.
The Cardinals’ philosophy is simple: a very up-tempo attacking offense, which can lead to a lot of goals and counter that with tenacious defense.
“The team has already shown in practice that is ready for any challenge that comes their way. We’re ready,” added Hatten.
If the Cardinals are able to put it all together, expect to see them return to the regional tournament in a few short months.

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