Nearly every coach recognizes the need for their team to have a player or two who can step up and serve as a leader. It goes beyond the X’s and O’s, but nonetheless is important for a group’s success.
This season, East Chapel Hill boys lacrosse coach Dominic Koplar has consistently been able to count on senior goalie Luke Fajack to be that guy for the Wildcats.
“When you talk about who are the guys that we rely on, it starts with No. 2 (Fajack),” Koplar said.
Characterized as East Chapel Hill’s “general” by Koplar, Fajack has played an important role for the Wildcats (7-5, 3-2 PAC-6 4A) as both an older voice who can capture the attention of his teammates and as somebody who has performed well in the cage in his first season as the starter after serving as former goalie Vance Perkins’ understudy last season.
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Perkins was a three-time all-conference selection and holds the program record for career saves and save percentage. So it’s fair to say Fajack had big shoes to fill. But up to this point, Koplar thinks he’s done a good job and Fajack, a Bridgewater College (Va.) recruit, said the transition from backup to starter has gone well.
“It really hasn’t been that hard because a lot of these guys trust me with what I can do and my abilities,” Fajack said.
Through 12 games, Fajack has saved 57 percent of the shots he’s faced and Koplar said he’s “done everything we’ve asked him to do.”
“He tracks the ball fantastically and he’s the heart and soul of our clear,” Koplar said. “He finds that open guy and he puts it up to them. When that’s working we get a couple more transition goals.”
Despite his his coach’s praises, Fajack believes he can still become a better passer, which would help add a spark to the Wildcats’ offense.
As far as East Chapel Hill’s goals for the season go – the Wildcats lost in the first round of last year’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs – Fajack said he and his teammates “just take it game by game.”
Spoken like a true leader.