By Dave Kurtz
Courtesy of PAC-10Sports.com
It’s one of the oldest clichés in the world of sports – “defense wins championships.”
While the phrase may seem trite and overused, there’s a striking element of truth to it all.
Geoff Davidson, the new boys’ lacrosse coach at Boyertown Area High School, is certainly a believer in the value of developing a shutdown mentality.
Davidson, who succeeds Jeromy Curry at the Bears helm after previously serving as an assistant coach the past several years at Boyertown, has been a witness for the defense his entire lax career – as a player and coach.
“I’m a defensive-minded coach,” said Davidson. “Our No. 1 goal will be to outhustle everyone, to get all the groundballs, don’t turn it over. If we can do that, we’re going to win some games.”
The Bears recorded their fair share of wins during Curry’s four-year tenure, reaching the Pioneer Athletic Conference Final Four in each of the last four seasons. But Davidson is looking for something more than also-ran status. The 2006 Boyertown graduate, who played defense at Division 3 King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, is expecting to expand on the groundwork laid by Curry.
In the process he would like to catch up to and eventually surpass the elite PAC-10 programs at Spring-Ford and Owen J. Roberts. Spring-Ford stuck it to Boyertown 9-2 in the league semifinals last season and went on to end Owen J. Roberts’ three-year reign as league champion.
“We’ll be very defensive –minded,” said Davidson, recipient of the Senior Leadership Award his final year at King’s. “Last year we weren’t real sound there. I’m big on communication. On defense, we’ll need all six of our seal players and the goalie playing at their best to stop the other team. Our No. 1 priority is to clear the ball, and they’ll need to have good stick skills to do that.”
Ironically, the most experienced players Davidson has at his disposal play primarily on the offensive end. The top returnees at Boyertown include forwards and midfielders Tyler Fuhrman, Alex Millard, Tyler Orff and Steve McFadyn.
“We’re definitely heavy at attack and midfield,” said Davidson. “But we’re big on our attack guys and the mids riding out the other team, helping to limit their opportunities.”
The Bears’ most accomplished returning defender is senior Blake Wilhemy, but the new coach likes what he sees from his younger defensemen.
“The young guys are eager to learn,” said Davidson, inheriting a squad that finished 8-6 in the PAC-10 and 9-10 overall in 2011. “We want to put a team out there that is capable of winning every game.”
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