A long-time popular sport in other areas of the country, lacrosse has become an emerging sport in the south in recent years, and St. Paul’s has already become a force to be reckoned with. Even though the Louisiana High School Lacrosse League (LHSLL) has been around since before Hurricane Katrina, St. Paul’s only recently entered the league in the 2008-09 season and quickly rose to become state champion runner-ups in only a few short years. This year’s season looks just as promising.
“If we play to our ability, and play as a team, we are unbeatable,” said Head Coach Austin Speni.
The school’s usual competitors are Jesuit, Mandeville, Brother Martin, and St. Thomas More, among others. The St. Paul’s lacrosse team’s league includes 14 schools including four from Shreveport, with Jesuit as the biggest in-state rival. The team’s biggest out-of-state rival is Hoover High School in Birmingham, Ala.
“St. Paul’s has some of the best athletes in the state, and we have had success building a program that attracts those student-athletes,” explains Speni.
The Lacrosse Wolves have made such an impact that four SPS graduates have received lacrosse scholarships and are now playing at a collegiate level. Graduating with the class of 2011, Chris Dill received a lacrosse scholarship from Limestone College. From the class of 2012, Austin Carrier received a scholarship from Birmingham Southern. From the class of 2011, J.P. Meibaum received a scholarship from LSU. And, 2012 graduate Aaron Faulkenstein received a lacrosse scholarship to attend Millsaps.
Last year, the Lacrosse Wolves made it all the way to the LHSLL championship game. However, their season came to an end by the hands of district rivals, the Jesuit Blue Jays. The game took place on the St. Thomas More’s field in Lafayette, La., with a final score of 7-5 Jesuit.
“It was a big disappointment that we lost, but it was awesome to be there,” said junior Justin Marcello.
For schedules and more information on the various teams, visit www.stpaulslacrosse.com.