The North Oconee High School lacrosse team defeated Evans High School last Friday.
The Titans’ 10-4 win on the road helped them improve upon their perfect record.
With that win, North Oconee moved to 6-0.
Titans head coach Josh Hawkins would have liked his team to have played more games by this point in the season. Its most recent cancellation was last Wednesday out of an abundance of caution after a COVID-19 issue with George Walton Academy’s team.
“In terms of the scheduling, it's been the most difficult season that I've been through,” Hawkins said. “Typically, spring sports are going to be tough just with the weather, and then you throw in COVID concerns. I'd have to go back and look at the numbers, but it feels like I've canceled more games than I've actually played so far this season.”
Hawkins and his team have dealt with COVID-19 complications since the beginning of their season. After a preseason scrimmage match with Oconee County High School, the Titans had their first three games of the season canceled.
Hawkins’ biggest fear is that he will have a COVID-19 situation on his own team. So far, the Titans have been fortunate and stayed healthy.
“It was tough, and we had to fight through it,” Hawkins said. “We hit a point where I think we were tired of practicing if that makes sense. We were ready to compete and that kept getting delayed and it kept getting delayed with cancellations. As a coaching staff, we had to actually kind of come up with some creative ways to have competition in practice just to defeat the monotony.”
Hawkins would split his team in half and have scrimmages between red and black teams before their first game eventually came.
The Titans defeated Brookwood 16-5 after all their practice, and the scrimmages also gave Hawkins time to scout out the Titans’ goalie situation.
North Oconee has three goalies, and all are underclassmen. Will Parkman was the starting goalie last year as a freshman, but freshman Noah Jordan won the job this year.
The Titans only have four seniors this year, so most of their starting lineup is juniors.
Sophomores are swing players who play both junior varsity and varsity, and freshman are typically on JV.
The Titans’ two leading scorers are both attackers. Junior Ryland Laturell and sophomore Jacob Anderson have stood out to Hawkins all year and he hopes to continue their development.
Hawkins asked for more intensity and scoring from Laturell, Anderson and the rest of his team against Oconee County this past Tuesday after press time.
Unlike every other sport this year, Oconee County and North Oconee are in the same region for lacrosse, and this match will have postseason implications.
“It doesn't matter whether you’re region or non-region,” Hawkins said. “It’s just a natural rivalry that means a lot to both sides of the community, without a doubt.”
The Titans will travel to Parkview this Thursday, April 1, for the last game before their spring break. After they come back, the Titans will have their rescheduled region match with George Walton Academy on Monday, April 12, at 6 p.m.