Boys lacrosse starts season setting their sights on another State championship

The 2018 state champion varsity boys lacrosse team began their season with a win over St. John Paul II Academy by a score of 18-3 on Feb. 21. The team is looking to win another state title for the 2020 season. 

“We have taken every practice and game so serious and competing with each other in every way possible,” varsity captain and four-year varsity player Devon Rasmus said. “[Being captain] makes me feel a sense of accomplishment but also pressure because I don’t want to let my teammates down. It is definitely bittersweet that this is my last high school season but I am excited to see how this year goes.” 

The boys completed their 2018 season with a record of 21-2. Jupiter beat Bishop Moore High School in the state title game to become the first Florida public school ever to win an FHSAA boys lacrosse state title. In 2019, the team made it to semi-regionals. 

“Seniors felt like it was important to know each other well and to feel comfortable with each other because we believe everything is better and more fun if we are doing it together. We focus on the little things in the games because if we do the small things right we play better,” senior captain Kurt Pelchen said. “Our coaches have also always told us in order to hit grand slams you need to hit singles so we really stand by that.” 

Head coach Nick O’Hara has coached at JHS for 12 seasons and this is his third year as head coach. O’Hara started playing lacrosse in elementary school in Buffalo, New York. He then continued to play at Duke University and then professionally for seven years.

“It is our goal to return to the State Championship Finals and win, but we need to show steady growth and improvement on offense, defense, and facing-off throughout the season,” O’Hara said.

After college, assistant coach Danny Loftus and O’Hara moved to Jupiter when they learned JHS was in need of a new coaching staff.

“Jupiter was in search of a new coaching staff for the relatively new program and we decided to get involved.  It was the best decision we made and we decided to settle down here, raising families and growing the sport,” O’Hara said. 

The boys varsity lacrosse team’s next home game is on Monday, Mar. 7 at 7 p.m.