Defending champs aren’t ready to surrender lacrosse supremacy
At first glance, the lack of depth and experience on Jesuit’s lacrosse roster suggests a team ready to rebuild rather than repeat a state championship.
But those close to the program know that after winning their third Texas High School Lacrosse League title — and first since 2017 — last May, the Rangers are ready to contend again.
“We said goodbye to a bunch of tremendously talented seniors. We knew that was going to be a massive adjustment,” said Jesuit head coach Chris Surran. “We’ll have a target on our back all year. It’s definitely possible for the kids to [repeat] if they stay focused and disciplined.”
Last year’s graduating class included a handful of Division I college signees, most notably Sam Teachout (Johns Hopkins), who was named an All-American. Alex Chen (High Point), Caiden Vlasimsky (St. John’s), and Henry Suarez (St. Francis) also are gone.
Jesuit returns only a few starters from the squad that upset top-seeded Highland Park in the 2021 state championship game. And one of the top expected returnees, Cameron Martin, will likely miss the season with a knee injury.
So when it came to seasoning his young squad for another postseason run, Surran started by bolstering the schedule with not just top-notch local rivals but also national powers.
We’ll have a target on our back all year.Chris Surran
Seven of Jesuit’s 15 regular-season opponents are based outside of Texas. The Rangers played three games against Florida schools in the Miami area over spring break. They will host Torrey Pines from California and Gonzaga from Washington, D.C., in early April.
“We’re hoping that can accelerate the development of our younger players,” Surran said. “Defensively, we’re very strong. We’ve got a lot of depth. We’re hoping that will be the anchor of the team.”
Jesuit still has balance on its roster, with several players teaming up year-round on the Iron Horse Lacrosse club program. McAllister Hobbs and newcomer Beckett Foley emerged as the top scoring threats early in the season for the Rangers.
Other names to watch include Charlie Metz, Charlie Schmidt, Nate Duncan, Billy Robertson, Tyler Gazzam, and Will Reading. Both goalkeepers, Cooper Coleman and Connor Knight, are top college recruits.
“I think we’ll be better than people thought we were going to be,” Surran said. “We have some pretty talented kids who were waiting in the wings.”