The way longtime head coach Greg Beer analyzes his boys lacrosse team’s best season in school history, the preparation for that 2021 success action began a year earlier when the 2020 high-school campaign was canceled because of the pandemic.
Beer’s Yorktown Patriots finished 2021 undefeated with a 16-0 record and won Liberty District, 6D North Region and Class 6 state-tournament championships – a high-school triple crown of sorts. Yorktown won multiple close games, many on the road, en route to those titles, including a couple in overtime.
The coach thought Yorktown could have been in position to do the same in 2020, if the season had been held. When it wasn’t, the returning Patriot players entered play in 2021 highly motivated over the disappointment from not getting the chance to prove themselves a year earlier.
“I really think our whole mental toughness began last year,” Beer said. “The players and our seniors then were really ready to go, then we couldn’t play. I think this year, our players really wanted to do well for those seniors who didn’t get to play. All of that made us mentally stronger.”
There were seven Yorktown seniors who didn’t get to play during the canceled 2020 pandemic season.
As for next season, with many top players returning, Beer expects Yorktown to be in a strong position to defend its championships.
Returners are expected to include faceoff specialist and midfielder Miles Fang; top defender Patrick Ferguson, Jacob Williams and James Aldinger; leading scorers and attacks Connor Kaetzel, Tyler Randles and Alex Wilson; midfielders Liam Anderson, Jack Martinez, Garrett Wing and Will Hock; and 2021 backup goalie Cole Taylor.
“We will have a lot of players back, and there are others ready to step in a play and contribute a lot more than they did this season,” said Beer, who played college lacrosse at Arlington’s Division III Marymount University.
In addition, Yorktown will have players from the 2021 junior varsity boys lacrosse team that finished 9-0 with four shutouts and outscored opponents, 108-17.
NOTES: Returning players who were chosen first-team all region were Ferguson and Kaetzel along with second-teamers Wilson, Williams and Aldinger. Beer was chosen as the region’s coach of the year . . . Yorktown finished ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 75 nationally by the Max Preps high-school boys lacrosse polls. Class 5 state champion Riverside of Ashburn (9-0) was ranked No. 1 in the state and private-school North Cross of Roanoke (16-2) was No. 2 . . . Yorktown was the first high-school lacrosse team from Arlington, boys or girls, to play in a Virginia High School League state tournament.