The Nutley Boys’ Lacrosse team has been above par this year. The 2018-2019 NHS Varsity Lax team is 4-5, and the coaching staff is content with that record. So far, this season has been better than in previous years, and they look to capitalize on the games that they should be winning. Now, sitting at the middle of the pack in their league it’s time for Nutley to make a break for the upper half of the table.
Coach Rich Noonan, who has a deep passion for the game of lacrosse, said, “I love the game, and I absolutely love the kids who are a part of my team.” After being part of the lacrosse program for more than five years, Noonan has a sense of where certain players will be successful and where they might struggle. “My job is to just put these kids into positions on the field where they can be successful. When I do that, I know that I have succeeded in my job as a coach, and that is the most rewarding thing.”
This year’s lacrosse team only has three seniors, which sets next year’s season up confidently for the team’s 13 rising juniors to take the reigns of the program. “The future’s pretty bright,” Noonan said when asked about what the near future holds for the program. He credits this confidence to this year’s seniors who seem to have really lead from the front even with their small numbers.
Justin Eltzholtz, a junior lacrosse player at NHS, had this to say in regards to this year’s team, “The team is not having a bad season. It’s a great time being with the boys and everyone works really hard.” For Justin and the rest of the team, the things that they do off the field are just as important as what they do on it, and watching game film is a big part of their off-field routine.
Noonan, who is also a physical education teacher at NHS, benefits from being in the building and with the students all day. “Being a teacher here allows me to do things that I would not be able to pull off if I wasn't,” Noonan said.“During our lunch period, we take the time to come together as a team and watch game film on the competition, and its perks like those that help the team get even better.” For several years the team has been down and Noonan and the lacrosse team are looking to come out for the second half of this year’s season and come out with a few unexpected wins against the leaders in the league.
For those that were wondering, Noonan, who is retiring from the teaching staff after the end of this academic year, will still play a major role in the NHS lacrosse program. Despite his retirement from NHS’ physical education department, he will still be head coach of the boys' lacrosse program.
For more information regarding the lacrosse team’s season and their schedule, you can visit the Nutley school website and NJ.com.