PROSPER — After finishing as the 2018 state runner-up, the Prosper High School lacrosse team has a lot more to look forward to as they head into the summer off-season.
Following their performances during the season, seven Prosper players have since been invited to compete in the Texas Lacrosse all-star game.
Although it isn’t the first time a player has been invited to the participate in the all-star game, having seven players represent the Eagles is incredible, first year head coach John Marano said.
Jared Brock was the lone senior invited to the game in addition to juniors Cole Schmitt, Hayden Stout, Cabe Parham, Luke Teigen, Zane Williams and Carson Fearin. It was the first time in the five-year history of the club that more than two players were selected for the all-stars.
But the guys will have some big decisions to make this summer, starting with whether or not they will actually attend the all-stars. While it is a prestigious honor to be invited, the Under Armor Games will be occurring at the same time.
“The Under Armour Games are made up of teams from each regions in the USA,” Marano said. “If you make it [through tryouts], you are playing against the very best kids in the nation, and every major college coach is at these games.”
According to Marano, the games are almost a requirement if one wants to play collegiate lacrosse.
“The North Texas All-Star game is a huge honor, but the Under Armour Games are a whole other level. If you want to play in college, you should be trying out for the Under Armour Games.”
While the players take some time to decide between the two prestigious games, Marano has taken some time to reflect on his first season with the Eagles and how he has turned the program into a successful Texas powerhouse.
Despite just missing their goal of winning the state championship, Marano and the Eagles finished the year 16-4, going on a sixteen-game winning streak before eventually falling to Highland Park in that final game. Additionally, they went undefeated in their district (7-0).
The Eagles also saw an incredible jump in the prospect of collegiate lacrosse. Jared Brock became the first ever player at Prosper to commit to an NCAA institution, while Luke Teigen became the first player to commit to a Division I program, Drexel University.
“We will come back stronger from this experience,” Marano said. “The kids now know what it takes and how to be better prepared.”
Looking ahead to the future, Marano said he hopes to work more with the Prosper community to get more youth involved with the sport and introduce it to as many interested young athletes as possible.
“We need to make sure the youth are learning the same systems, strategies and proper techniques that align with the high school program. I would like our high school coaches to actually attend and help coach the youth boys and girls,” he said.
Additionally, finding a way to put Prosper on the national spectrum is a big part of the growth of the program, Marano said. He hopes to take the team to a college expo during spring break next year to help put the Eagles on the map.
Marano will have strength in numbers next year, as they will only lose three seniors to graduation.
“[The seniors] will be missed, but never forgotten. They will always be a part of the Prosper lacrosse team,” he said. “They helped change the culture, provided great leadership, taught the younger guys how to work hard, started many new traditions and have cemented their legacy!”
As for the players who return next season, eight starters will be back on the field, and the addition of a talented freshman class will provide even more depth to the roster. Marano’s goal is to build from this year’s success, and win the state championship.
“I’m very proud of this team. We changed the culture [because] the kids all bought in and played for one another. They all put the team first,” he said. “To win a championship, it’s a long grind — seven months of practice five to six days a week — these kids worked incredibly hard, had the best attitudes, learned an incredible amount and raised their IQ. In the end, we came up just short.”