Senior midfielder Drew Brown finds playing lacrosse at De Smet Jesuit High School to be a rewarding part of his day.
"At practice, it's two hours of our day that we don't have to think about anything else," said Brown, a captain headed to the University of South Carolina as a microbiology major in the Capstone Scholars Program. "It gives me a break from all my school work and college (preparation), all that stuff outside of lacrosse.
"It may not be easy during practice, but it's rewarding."
He especially enjoys camaraderie with his teammates, whom he calls "my brothers."
"I want to do everything I can for them," he said. "Our motto is 'Count on Me,' so they can rely on me and I can rely on them."
The Spartans demonstrated that reliance on April 25, defeating Christian Brothers College High School 19-6 and improving to 10-4. Sophomore Daniel Kinzel led De Smet with four goals. Senior Jack Ross and sophomore Luke Wetzel had three goals apiece, and seniors Hayden Boldt, Mike McDonough, Tommy Trost and Derek Radke each netted two. Senior Max Rogers also scored for the Spartans.
"Possession was key," Brown said. "Our offense held the ball decently well. Also, our defense did a great job."
De Smet let in only two goals at full strength, with the other four coming when it was one player short due to penalties.
Teamwork and camaraderie have paid off.
"We're playing very unselfish," said Joe Douglas, a 2003 De Smet alum and the Spartans' coach since 2008. "It doesn't matter who gets the goal, who gets the assist. Guys are working very hard for things that don't go into the stat book. They're communicating with each other, which is a big part, too.
"One guy picks up another guy, it's contagious and they just keep going," he said.
Playing rival CBC adds intensity, too.
"Your adrenaline can carry you through there, especially when things are going well," he said.
The teamwork and brotherhood make De Smet feel like a second home, according to Boldt.
"Wearing this jersey with our name on it is like wearing my last name on the front," he said. "I'm standing for something more, for all the players who came before me."
Offensive players are in lockstep with defensive players, and vis-a-versa. The defensemen get pumped when the offense scores.
"We know that if they do their job right, we have to do our job right too," defenseman Tony Luebbert said. "We feed off the energy of each other without really talking to one another about it during the game."
The team prayed before every game and players strive "to do everything 'for the greater glory of God,'" Brown said, citing St. Ignatius'words that are the school's motto. "It means doing everything out of respect for Him and respecting our opponent."
De Smet defenders and goalie Dylan Radke stopped a number of CBC scoring opportunities. The Cadets, now 7-4 this year, tied the score 1-1 on a goal by Blake Bellinger, but trailed 9-2 by halftime. Two goals by John Cody and another by Tyler Cordova at the start of the second half brought the score to 9-5 before De Smet added to its lead. Timmy Patschorke and Drake Nickolaison also scored for CBC.
CBC coach Nick Silva liked the Cadets' response in the third quarter, but "we were too inconsistent," he said. "Hats off to De Smet. I felt they played really, really well tonight. They got big games out of their best players. Across the board on our sideline — the coaches and the players, too — we're disappointed we didn't give them a better shot."
The season is going well, though. "I like where we're our guys are at," Silva said. "Everything we want to get out of the season is still on the table for us. We gotta look to learn from games in March and April so we're playing our best lacrosse come May."
>> Marco Cup
The 13th Annual Father Marco Cup game between De Smet Jesuit and St. Louis University high schools was to be played Saturday, April 29, at 4 p.m. Father Michael Marchlewski (Father Marco), who taught at both schools and served as a spiritual leader for both schools' lacrosse teams, will celebrate a Mass 30 minutes before the varsity game in the chapel at De Smet, 233 N. New Ballas Road in Creve Coeur.
Three charities are recipients of game proceeds: the Joshua Chamberlain Society, which provides long-term support to veterans with combat injuries and for children of veterans who died in action; Loyola Academy of St. Louis lacrosse program; and the Michael Sennett Count on Me Foundation which provides scholarships, mentoring and lacrosse instruction to economically disadvantaged youth in the St. Louis area.
De Smet will play in the Midwest Lacrosse Championship May 5-7 in Crown Point, Ind., joining MICDS as the only schools from Missouri in the tournament.
De Smet will play two of the top 25 teams in the nation. De Smet coach Joe Douglas said "it's a chance to prove ourselves and prove that Missouri is one of the better places for lacrosse in the nation."