Sunday Sports: Carthage Lacrosse ready for this year’s competition

High school lacrosse preview
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 8:48 PM EDT
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CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - The high school lacrosse season kicked off Sunday and one Boys’ Frontier League team that will be looking to stay near the top of the league standings this season is the Carthage Comets.

The Comets finished with an 11-6 overall record in 2022 and finished 2nd in the Frontier League standings with a 9-3 record, losing in the quarterfinals of the Section 3 Class C playoffs.

Carthage heads into this season without their goal and assist leader, Carter Kempney, and their leading faceoff specialist, Lincoln Escudero, due to graduation.

But Comets Coach Jason Coffman feels confident about his 2023 squad, with a solid group of players back from last years team.

“You know, we did lose a couple of key guys. We lost 2 pretty good middies and a pretty good defender along with a couple other role players, but I’ve got a lot of kids that have been around for a couple years and have been a part of the Carthage program. We’re still chasing some other teams in the area, and certainly in Class C, but we look to be competitive this year,” said Coffman.

The cupboard isn’t bare for the Comets this season as they return senior midfielder Joshua Bigelow, who scored 29 goals last year, and senior goalie Corey Decker, who recorded 203 saves in 2022.

Both players feel that this year’s team has balance on both offense and defense and say the younger players have matured and are ready to step into key roles this season.

”I think we have weapons everywhere. I think we are- There’s no dominant spot on our team. We’re definitely built up now. We use to be a really young team going into all of these games, but now we’re old, we’re there, so we’re strong and I think we can compete,” said Joshua Bigelow.

”I’d say defense is definitely a strength. We lost one key player, but other than that, we have everyone we’ve had for the past 2 years. Everyone works together, everyone gets along great and I’m really expecting them to shut us out pretty well this year,” said Corey Decker.

Coffman says a key to his team’s success this year will be how well his team can win draws, and adds that the Frontier League will be a dogfight each and every game.

”Watertown’s got everybody back and they’re very good. You have to catch them on a down day and you have to play your best lacrosse against them to beat them. General Brown has got their 2 best players back and coming off a run to the state championship in football. Those kids got a lot of confidence. South Jeff won the 1812 Tournament last year. The Frontier League is strong this year and I look forward to the challenge,” said Coffman.

Expect the Carthage Comets to once again be in the mix for a Frontier League championship this season.

The Comets hosted CBA in a scrimmage on Friday, which marked the return of former Carthage All-American and 4 time Syracuse University All-American Ryan Powell, who is now the head coach at CBA.

Powell, who went on play play professional lacrosse and was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2018, said returning to the place where his lacrosse career began was pretty special.

”Yeah, it all started right here. This beautiful new turf was certainly not here when I played back in the day, but a lot of great memories of getting up and down here at the Carthage Stadium field and special moments. Now I get the opportunity to coach against one of my idols growing up in Jason Coffman, so that’s pretty cool as well,” said Powell.