Athletes of the Issue: The Leaders of Boys Lacrosse
Matthew Stevenson ’19 and Alex Hughes ’19 have been committed members of Boys Lacrosse for years, the former since ninth grade and the latter since seventh.
Head Coach Scott Bartush said, “Both Matt and Alex are examples of what it means to be a Hopkins Captain… They set an example of excellence in the classroom, community and on the field. They continuously strive to be the best student [athletes] that they can be.” J.R. Stauff ’19 adds, “They‘re both great leaders and inspire me to be a better person every day.”
They have already started getting some practice in during the Sticks for Soldiers Tournament this past November. Stevenson said, “We actually did really well, better than every other year. We went 3 and 0 against pretty good teams. We had a lot of support from the Girls team, which was really nice... It was just a good experience all around, and it was the first test.”
Hughes also mentioned how the tournament eased the seniors into their newfound roles on the team. He said, “One of the things that I’ve found the tournament helps is transferring the leadership down from the old seniors to the new seniors… It’s a good place with very little consequence... for us to get out there and get to know everyone.”
Now, Hughes is using his experience with past Hopkins lacrosse players to guide him: “As a person, I’ve always learned a lot from watching the older kids. [When I started,] I felt like I didn’t fit in… The older kids, they really took me under their wing, and kind of protected me. I think that having that experience and, now, being one of the older kids, I’ve gotten to learn how to… manage younger kids. I’m more understanding of what the young kids are thinking… [Having] been in that position … it gives you a lot of perspective.”
Both captains have an idea of the tone they want to set for the team. Stevenson explained, “This year we’re really just trying to focus on what we control or what we can do, and then not worrying about other factors.” Hughes also noted, “I’m just out here to have some fun...But also, at another level, with a certain tone of seriousness… [I want to] get our stuff done[,] win some games, and hopefully make it to the championship this year.” Stauff added, “Alex keeps the practice fresh everyday with his passionate leadership. The captains are not only admired for their leadership, but also their skill. Zach Blake ’19 noted, “Matt has a really good shot that is incredibly accurate and fast. Alex is a “do-it-all” player who has played for us with a long pole and short-stick on offense and defense. This versatility has paid off for us in a number of big games.”
Together, they also want to develop team chemistry. Stevenson said, “I really like how the younger players have really come into their own this year. I’m hoping for just team play… Everyone has to be really together with some camaraderie to make it a team.” Hughes added: “Matt and I have been talking about going out early this year, during H block in the soccer fields and just messing around with the team… We’re going to have team dinners on Fridays, and, you know, just keeping it lively with the group chat.”
The captains, excited to start the season, shared their goals for the team. Hughes is “hoping to have a good time above all else, and get some wins along the way.”
Both Stevenson and Hughes plan to either walk on or play club lacrosse in college next year.