FORT MILL — Spring sports are ready to bloom and lacrosse is the first to emerge from the frost.
Both boys’ and girls’ 2014 lacrosse schedules begin next week for Fort Mill and Nation Ford high schools. Fort Mill’s boys are coming off a trip to the state finals, where they lost to Wando last year. This season, the Jackets are returning a good core from that team in hopes of making a successful run this year.
“This year, our expectations are higher,” Fort Mill head coach Steve Nadalski said.
Nadalski said this season its state title or bust; Just getting there won’t be good enough.
“Things are pretty promising for the season coming up,” he said. “It’s make it or break it.”
The Fort Mill boys’ team, which posted an 11-4 record in 2013, will open the season at home against AC Flora at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
The Lady Jackets, who finished 11-5 and got to the Upper State championship, will also start start the season at home Monday when they host Clover at 6 p.m.
First year Fort Mill girls’ head coach Emily Tobin takes over for Nicol Morris, who stepped down to spend more time with family.
Tobin, who works at Winthrop University, also has coached the Queen City Stars, a lacrosse club in Charlotte. She was an assistant last year for Fort Mill and played college lacrosse at Alfred University in New York, where she broke several school records. Prior to taking a position at Winthrop, Tobin earned a master’s degree from Canisius College in Buffalo.
Falcons on the road
Nation Ford boys’ lacrosse team also opens its season Monday, but will be on the road at Spartanburg. The program is in its third season. The Falcons made the playoffs for the first time last year and finished the season at 9-5.
“It looks promising,” said Falcons head coach Brian Holland. “I’m not going to be able to tell much until we get on the field.”
Last week’s snow storm pushed Nation Ford and Fort Mill behind schedule, the coaches said.
Holland said the Falcons lost a lot of senior talent last year and has underclassmen the staff is grooming to take over.
The Falcons’ first home game will be March 6 against Heathwood Hall.
The Lady Falcons are entering their second season after finishing 3-9 in their first year of varsity play. Like the Lady Jackets, Nation Ford will also have a new head girls’ head coach, Tom McNeil.
The Lady Falcons will also open the season on the road at Spartanburg Monday.