October 20, 2018
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  • The Green Hornets junior boys finished the year 11-1 overall and closed the season with a championship win over Andover.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    The Green Hornets junior boys finished the year 11-1 overall and closed the season with a championship win over Andover.

Green Hornets Juniors Defeat Andover For County Championship

Colin Murphy
View Bio
June 26, 2018

The Green Hornets Junior boys lacrosse team coached by Mike Ruppert used an aggressive ground game and an outstanding defensive performance to wear down Andover for a 7-4 win in the Anne Arundel County Junior C county championship game at Kinder Park on May 20.

Three goals by Luke Durling, two by Zac Perchinsky, one each by James Ruppert and Ethan Lane and 11 saves by Ben Darley helped power the Green Hornets to victory over the Apaches, who were Severna Park’s toughest foe throughout the year.

“Andover gave us our toughest competition all year, and we won two one-goal games over them in the regular season,” said coach Ruppert. “[This team] is just a bunch of great kids at that funny age, and that you want them to love the game of lacrosse and continue playing. For a lot of these guys, this is their last game.”

The team of Durling, Perchinsky, Lane, Darley, James Ruppert, Grady McConnell, Ronan Byrne, Aaron Tiller, Aidan Salb, Jake McLaughlin, John Guerrisi, Ryan Minton, Keith Cingel, Patriot Knickerbocker, David Reusch, Joshua Boyle, Shane Feldmann, Collin Ryan and Sean Fitch finished the season 11-1 overall. The team lost only to CYLA in the regular season, but Severna Park then beat CYLA in the semifinals to advance to the championship game against Andover.

PHOTO GALLERY: Green Hornets junior boys lacrosse vs. Andover, 5.20.18

Belting out the team cheer of, “One, two, three — ground balls!” before the game, out of timeouts, out of halftime and even as their final team cheer of the season after the game was already won, the Green Hornets played true to their mantra by aggressively battling for possession in any ball-on-the-ground situation.

Their relentless pursuit wore down Andover in the hot midday sun at Kinder Park. Severna Park overcame an early 1-0 deficit, led 4-1 after the first quarter and never trailed again on the way to victory.

Coach Ruppert, who coached the team with Steve Darley, Shannon Byrne and Ron Reusch, said the team started the season without a true goalie and navigated through a goalie-by-committee period before Darley stepped up to claim the role.

“I asked all the kids to play goalie for one half of one game of the season,” said Ruppert. “Ben stepped up in the middle of the season and said, ‘I’ll take on the goalie job.’ He was phenomenal, and he really took the team to the next level.”

Ruppert said the team grew and developed over the season and stuck together to see it through.

“They all showed improvement and had great attitudes,” he said. “I always judge the success of the season by the number of kids that come to the practices at the end of the year, whether you’re in the playoffs or not, and if you have a full team at practice, then you’ve had a successful year, and we had that.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Green Hornets junior boys lacrosse vs. Andover, 5.20.18

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