With a 9-4 win at St. Georges Tech Thursday, the Smyrna High boys lacrosse team finished the regular season 12-3, the best record in the history of the varsity program which started in 2012.
The Smyrna High School boys lacrosse team completed the best regular season record in the program’s eight-year history Thursday with a 9-4 win at St. Georges Tech.
The Eagles’ record of 12-3 tops the previous best mark of 11-4 in 2015. The Smyrna High varsity boys lacrosse program started in 2012.
“We are heading in the right direction in order to be competitive in Delaware,” said Smyrna Head Coach Mike Zulkowski. “There is elite competition amongst Cape, Sallies and CR. We are just trying to close the gap with the top ten in the state.”
He said the success at the high school level is a direct result of the initiative to grow the game by starting the youth program three years ago.
“It used to be that we were focusing on the fundamentals with throwing and catching. Now we have a more schematic approach to what we want to accomplish because players are coming in with experience and stick skills,” he said. “This team is the first wave of youth that have come through the Smyrna Clayton Youth Lacrosse Club.”
This year, a boys lacrosse team was started at Smyrna Middle School.
“It goes to show that the community stakeholders and the school are buying into the idea of lacrosse and falling in love with it,” said Zulkowski.
At the high school, he said the keys to this year’s success are “the amount of work these guys have put into the off-season and how much they truly care about each other.”
“Our motto is 'together.' They exemplify that,” he said.
Zulkowski is the second coach in the program’s history. The first was Mike Judy who started the team in 2011. Zulkowski took over in 2014 when Judy was appointed as head football coach.
“The progression since my first year has been players coming in with more experience and now starting to create high lacrosse IQ from that,” Zulkowski said. “That has been a major reason we have improved so much this year.”
Another milestone could happen
While the state tournament seedings haven’t been announced, the Eagles are hoping for the chance to accomplish a first for the program. The team has qualified for the state tournament four times, but has yet to win a first-round game.
“Those previous years, we were fighting to just get in as a goal,” said Zulkowski. “If we win, it would be a milestone for our program. Our goal from the beginning of the year was to not be a last seed and fight for a home playoff berth. With the loss to Middletown, home playoffs from what I have calculated are less likely. Winning the first round is a goal of ours.”
The first round games of the state tournament are scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 22.
Smyrna High boys lacrosse regular season records*
2012 – 7-8
2013 – 10-5
2014 – 5-10
2015 – 11-4
2016 – 6-9
2017 – 8-7
2018 – 9-6
2019 – 12-3
*The Eagles began playing varsity boys lacrosse in 2012.
Smyrna boys lacrosse 2019 game scores
Smyrna 11, Concord 3;
Smyrna 8, Polytech 3;
Smyrna 20, Sussex Tech 0;
Smyrna 20, Newark 0;
Smyrna 6, Dover 4;
Smyrna 19, MOT Charter 2;
Smyrna 12, First State Military Academy 3;
Cape Henlopen 18, Smyrna 1;
Smyrna 15, Lake Forest 6;
Caesar Rodney 14, Smyrna 3;
Middletown 10, Smyrna 9;
Smyrna 22, Sussex Central 5;
Smyrna 13, St. Mark’s 0;
Smyrna 11, Caravel 7;
Smyrna 9, St. Georges Tech 4.