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‘This is a team that will go down in history’

West Milford. The 2021 West Milford High School boy’s lacrosse program succeeded in ways few have before.

| 17 Jun 2021 | 11:05

Through good old fashioned hard work, as well as a belief in one another and the strategies, techniques and training methods put forth by the coaches, the West Milford High School boy’s lacrosse program found ample success on the field in 2021.

The Highlanders posted an overall record of 14-4 with a record of 7-1 in the NJILL Curcio Division. They tied for first place in the Curcio Division along with Tenafly and Paramus.

“We had such an unbelievable season but a couple games that stand out are our Senior Night win over Verona (14-12 on May 12), followed by our Paramus (10-7 on May 13) win,’’ West Milford head coach Gary Stoll said. “Our most impressive game actually came in a loss against West Morris Central (11-7 on June 3) in the (NJSIAA North Group 2 Sectional) State quarterfinals.

“We played the best we’ve played all season taking the No. 3 seed to a 7-7 tie with seven minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, we just ran out of steam but overall our team played with so much heart and passion I’ll never forget that game.’’

The value of leadership

The Highlanders benefitted by strong leadership from upperclassmen on the roster.

“Obviously our captains paved the way,’’ Stoll said. “Two-year captain Casey Fagan, Matt Dellapi and junior captain Aidan Bolger (were highly capable leaders). Our seniors and juniors really stepped up as well helping us have a very successful season.’’

Back to back titles

Improvements were seen across the board for West Milford this year.

“I would have to say our entire defense improved throughout the year and that truly showed in our quarterfinal game,’’ Stoll said. “We converted several senior short sticks to pole this year and one in particular really excelled down the stretch - Anthony Hanley.’’

There’s a lot of good things to look forward to for the Highlanders, but what they accomplished in 2021 won’t soon be forgotten.

“Luckily we return many of our starters next year so we have great confidence that we’ll be able to have another successful year,’’ Stoll said. “We’ll be looking for some young players to fill the huge shoes of our graduating seniors.

“This is a team that will go down in history, they have now won back to back Conference titles, broke the school record for most wins in a season, won the first ever state game not to mention the amount of individual records that were broken.’’

“This is a team that will go down in history, they have now won back to back Conference titles, broke the school record for most wins in a season, won the first ever state game not to mention the amount of individual records that were broken.’’
- West Milford head coach Gary Stoll