Broughton’s boys’ lacrosse team, undefeated in Conference 3 play, is preparing for possibly its biggest test of the season.
The Caps have dropped just one game this season, an 11-7 nonconference loss to Plano West (Texas). Now Broughton is set to host 2012 Conference 1 champion Wilmington Hoggard on Saturday.
“We have one day of practice, and we have a pretty big conference game against Wakefield (on Tuesday), so that will show how far we’ve come,” said junior attack Davis Weaver, who leads the Caps in scoring with 32 goals and nine assists. “Then Hoggard will be a proving point to see how far we’ve come from the Plano game.”
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The early-season loss was a wake-up call for Broughton, he said.
Despite their league dominance, the Caps know they need to continue improving and stay focused on their goal of winning a state championship rather than be satisfied with regular season and conference wins.
“I think as a team, we saw that there are obviously better teams out there, and if we see teams like them in the playoffs, we have to be better than we were,” said junior goalie Paxton Massarelli. “We definitely have the skill we just need to be confident about it and play to our level. ... I think we have (gotten better since then), but I guess we’ll see when we play Hoggard.”
In years past, the Caps have finished the regular season near the top of their conference but have struggled in the state playoffs.
Broughton was the top seed from Conference 3 last year but was upset in the first round by Athens Drive, a No. 3 seed from Conference 2.
Hoggard knocked Broughton out of the state tournament in 2011, winning 14-6 in the second round, and the Caps fell to Chapel Hill in the first round in 2010.
Saturday’s nonconference matchup could be a proving ground for both the Broughton players and teams they might face down the road.
“I think if we can pull off the win, it will make a big statement for our program that we can compete,” Massarelli said.
Head coach Damian Hall said that while the Hoggard game is key, the Caps need to first focus on Wakefield, as conference play determines seeding in the state tournament.
Broughton can’t overlook teams like Wakefield, the league’s second-place team, he said.
“We’ll work on shaking the sand out and getting ready for Wakefield first, and as the week progresses, we’ll look at the Friday and Saturday games,” Hall said. “When we do play the out-of-area teams, we’ll look to show people we’re more than just a top Conference 3 team, put our mark back in the state.”
Broughton (8-1, 8-0 Conference 3) hosts Wakefield (5-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Caps will travel to Sanderson on Friday before facing Hoggard at 4 p.m. Saturday.