Boys lacrosse team 3rd in division

WEST MILFORD. The Highlanders finish the season with a 10-10 overall record.

| 11 Jun 2024 | 10:50

Even with a very challenging schedule, the West Milford High School boys lacrosse team finished its season with a 10-10 overall record.

The Highlanders tied for third place in the Curcio Division of the NJILL Conference with a 3-3 record against division opponents.

Paramus and Lakeland tied for first place in the division with 5-1 records, followed by Westwood (4-2). Wayne Hills also was 3-3 in division play.

Even in defeat, the team learned valuable lessons, said head coach Gary Stoll.

“To be honest, it wasn’t even the games we won - it was all the heart-breaking overtime losses” that were most memorable, he said. “We learned so much from those games and most importantly we learned how to play in close games.’’

The team captains help guide the Highlanders all season.

“Obviously, our two captains (Nash Appell and John Biegel) stepped up as leaders,” the coach said. “But I also want to add our entire senior class as they all stepped up and led in their own way. Many of them changed positions for the good of the team and without complaint.

“Logan Acanfrio, Nick Lombardo, Brett Provenzano, Spencer Ribitzki, Matt Watt, Brayden Treloar and Drew Crouthamel all led in their own way, helping our team achieve success.’’

Several players impressed the coaching staff with noticeable improvements during the season.

“I have to say many players grew throughout the season, but two really showed the improvement down the stretch,’’ Stoll said. “Nick Lombardo and Brett Provenzano were critical in our clearing game, helping us successfully get the ball into our offensive end.’’

The Highlanders made it to the final round of the Passaic County Tournament, where they fell to Wayne Valley, 11-5.

The team was seeded 14th in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North Jersey, Group 2 tournament and was defeated, 11-2, in the first round by third-seeded West Morris.

The future looks bright for the Highlanders.

“We lose a lot of our depth with this senior class, but we do return some important pieces, including the cornerstone of our team: our goalie Tyler Acanfrio,’’ Stoll said.

Our entire senior class ... stepped up and led in their own way. Many of them changed positions for the good of the team and without complaint.”
- Gary Stoll, head boys lacrosse coach,
West Milford High School