Fitzpatrick Stadium erupted into a sea of maroon and gold cheers as the clock ticked down to zero and the Thornton Academy Boys’ Lacrosse team concluded their perfect season with their first ever Class A State Championship.
Coach Ryan Hersey credits the TA fan base with providing the support the team needed to pull out the victory over perpetual lacrosse contender Falmouth. The crowd at the state championship was the largest in MPA history for boys’ lacrosse and Thornton Academy had approximately three times more fans than Falmouth.
Once we started scoring at the end of the game, the kids heard the support from the fans. That was a huge part of it,” Hersey says about the fans influence on the game.
The team benefited from a balanced offensive attack throughout the entire season. The Trojans were led on offense by All-Americans CJ Labreck ‘19 and Noah Edborg ‘18, but a suite of other players stepped up when CJ and Noah were covered by tight defense from opposing teams.
Hersey also points to his defense as being an important part of the team’s dominance and ability to beat opponents that have historically been dominant in boys’ lacrosse.
"We were able to shut down teams defensively. Cape Elizabeth only scoring six goals is kind of ridiculous,” Hersey said.
Off the field, the team focused on working hard and being great teammates. During the pre-season, the players and coaches read the book The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to be a better teammate. After each game, the coaches awarded a Trojan “Hard Hat” to the player that demonstrated these ideals during the game. The Hard Hat recipient for the State Championship game was Sam Edborg ’20 who won 18 out of the 22 final faceoffs.
Labreck is grateful to both fans and coaches for the support throughout the 2018 season.
Without our coaching and our cooperation from the sidelines and being a family all together, we wouldn’t have won the championship. We won’t forget that event and every moment we made as a team and we plan to do it again next year,” he said.
With many players returning in 2019, Hersey is optimistic for another great season this spring. How long can this team stay perfect?