The Crofton Midget A boys’ lacrosse team coached by William Huggins did not begin the season with high expectations.
Originally slotted to compete in the Midget B league, it wasn’t until the Cardinals swept a preseason tournament against A-league opponents that Huggins realized his boys were athletic and confident enough to hang in the A league full time.
As it turns out, they did a little more than just hang. Not only did the Cardinals power through the A-league schedule with enough success that they were pushed up midseason to face AA competition for a four-game stretch, but they also knocked off Bays and the Green Hornets in the Midget A playoffs to make it all the way to the June 2 championship game against SRYA at Severna Park High School.
Though the Cardinals fell 4-2 to the Seahawks (SRYA’s top Midget-level team), the year was a resounding success based on how much the boys elevated their play whenever they faced a challenge.
“I was worried we would be overmatched or not have any fun,” said Huggins following the final against SRYA. “We decided to give it a try, they played great, we raised our game, I think it was the best decision I could have made.”
Despite the result in the final, the Cardinals nonetheless banked important experience as they move forward as budding lacrosse players. Crofton’s success was the result of strong play from the entire roster of Max Barrett, Jake Kotelchuck, Joe Foy, Frankie Carroll, Matthew Nolan, Anthony Berkheimer, Sawyer Baxter, Jack Kerr, Logan King, Shane Green, Brandon Green, Ryan Sedgwick, Jason Shoap, Ryan Hagg, Jonathan Matta, Jacob Roberts, Matthew Trott, Tommy Kohlman and Connor Walsh.
Coach Huggins stressed the contributions of his coaching staff in helping to raise the game of the Cardinals. “I had an outstanding coaching staff,” said Huggins. “I couldn’t have done it without those guys. Each one of them managed a different area of the team and they all did super and made me look smart.”
Most importantly, Huggins stressed the team’s collective heart as he saw them stand up to every challenge they faced.
“If we had played B, we would have won the championship I’m sure, but to make it all the way to the finals [in the A league], I know they had to learn a lot more, they had to improve as players,” said Huggins. “They believed in it the whole time. They were never intimidated or afraid…They played hard every time, and I’m so proud of this group right here. There’s no group I’d rather call my team.”