This weekend, the Catholic High Lacrosse team and head coach George Hopkins are seeking their second state championship in a row. But, Coach Hopkins was adamant that this team will be the hunter as opposed to the hunted.
“This team is attacking a new championship,” Hopkins said. “We have an incredible group of young men, including 18 seniors, that are hungry to write their own story.”
After completing a successful regular season that saw the Bears finish an undefeated 8-0 against in-state competition, CHS will host the LHSLL Final Four this weekend at Dale Weiner Field. The Bears’ semifinal opponent is a familiar one, Newman High School. Coach Hopkins’ group defeated Newman 14-2 less than two weeks ago. But, the Bears know this game will be different.
“We must guard against overconfidence. Beating the same team twice in such a small window is a tall task,” said Coach Hopkins.
The No.1 seed Bears have been led in 2023 by their stifling defense and improved offense. In the team’s eight regular season games, opponents have only scored 23 goals. Goalie Brady Pastorick and Defenseman Hudson Brown are the key elements to that side of the field.
“Hudson terrorizes opposing offenses, and Brady has been excellent for us in goal,” Hopkins said of his defenders.
Lincoln-Memorial University signee, Jaime Delahoussaye, is another key cog in the Bears’ defensive group winning nearly 81% of face-offs.
Offensively, Coach Hopkins complimented the team’s emphasis on transition opportunities. Combined with an elite defense, the improved transition offense has led to some lopsided results for the Bears this year. Senior Captain Nathan Schlegel leads the CHS offense with 26 goals.
The events begin Friday at 4 p.m. as the Bears take on Newman followed by the second semifinal match between St. Thomas More and Jesuit at 7 p.m. The Championship game will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. All matches take place at Dale Weiner Field. Tickets can be purchased online at slocaltix.com.