Saint Joe High School Lacrosse: A Disappointing End, A Promising Beginning


Theodore Mager, Staff Writer

March 16 2020. The Covid-19 shutdown ended the Saint Joe High School Men’s Lacrosse season after two games. A tragic end to a year with unfathomable talent. Flash forward to the 2021 season. Saint Joe Lacrosse, after a rough start, makes the playoffs as a two seed. The team chemistry took a bit to figure out, but once it did the ball really started rolling. After making the playoffs, player and practice intensity ramped up immensely. Saint Joe rolled past its first two opponents, one rival Marian, other Evansville Memorial. Phenomenal lacrosse became somewhat of a commonality, led by captain Luke Thomas, and freshman standout faceoff man Jack Tobolski. At one particular practice before the championship, the players and coaches made promises to each other, and asked one another to uphold them. This really pushed every single one of them to work harder than they had all season. 

When the Championship finally rolled around, Saint Joe was the underdog. They were to face the one seeded Guerin Catholic Eagles, who had easily defeated Saint Joe early on in the season. They had locked off Luke Thomas’s attack with solid defense, and Saint Joe fell apart. Every single person on the team knew that this time around would be different, but nonetheless difficult. 

Saint Joe started strong, and the game was played well the entirety of the time. 2022 senior captain Charlie Eckrich helped the second half with a full field goal of his own. However, the best efforts were not enough, and on that exhaustingly hot early summer day, it would be a penalty that ended the Indians’ season. After what looked like the beginnings of a fourth quarter comeback, with just a minute and 43 seconds left, the ball was dropped, and a controversial two minute non releasable call was made against a Saint Joe midfielder going for the ground ball. The Indians would finish the game a man down, pressuring the stalling Guerin Catholic team. The efforts remained insignificant, and the Eagles rushed the field. The boys were left stunned, and it made for a near silent bus ride home. 

Now, less than a year later, on Tuesday and Thursday nights, the team is in the gym. The energy among the upperclassmen this season is different. Now they’ve been there, they know what it takes. When asking each of the captains what the goal for the season was, every one of them replied that they wanted the championship. Junior standout Joe Saratore put it best, “Win. It’s that simple.” Fall and winter optional practices have been going on since October, and the will to win is clearly there. The indoor practices usually consist of lifting weights, stick work, cardio, and lastly box lacrosse, the most enjoyable part. The love of lacrosse really shines through in each player here. Intense effort, communication, but also joking around, trick plays, and sometimes coach stepping in to play goalie.

Varsity looks to be made up of almost entirely of upperclassmen, the majority of which with years of travel and in season experience under their belt. With the newly implemented class system for club lacrosse in Indiana, the Indians have dominated 1A and most believe they should have an easy path to the championship next season. But in order to ensure this each one of them must hold each other accountable, and play with the grit they all showed they were capable of in the playoffs last year. Practices are shaping up to be challenging, but also fun. With a strong return of coaches and players, success seems inevitable. As Senior captain Charlie Eckrich put it, “It’s hard work that was the key to success, and it’s hard work that will be the key to success.”