Lacrosse Playoffs

By: Chris Cummins

Staff Writer

The Coppell Lacrosse team, a two-time Texas State Lacrosse Division II champion, is going to the state championship. The team is set to play St. Mark’s School of Texas on Saturday in a semifinal matchup is sure to be as heated and competitive as was their previous matchup, in which Coppell only came out on top in overtime.

The winner will play either Episcopal School of Dallas or Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, the other two schools still left in the tournament.

What makes this tournament different from others the lacrosse team has won is the fact that it’s a Division I tournament. This means the biggest and best lacrosse teams throughout the state of Texas compete against one another, and the best teams are separated from each other by a slim margin.

As of now, the Coppell Lacrosse team has won two Division II state championships, even though Coppell High School is a Class 5A school. This is the first year the team has competed in a Division I play, and the competition is stiffer than ever, as are the expectations.

Still, the fact that the team has a crop of high profile seniors on its roster always helps lessen the pressure somewhat. Seniors like Brandon Mullins, a recruit going to Syracuse, and Tyler Landis, a recruit going to Brown, stand out as just a part of the senior talent currently occupying a majority of spots on the starting roster. It’s seniors like these serving as the backbone of the lacrosse team throughout its trophy-laden stay in Texas lacrosse.

One potential reason for their success is the prevalence of so many dual sport athletes. Many of the same seniors who comprise the core of the lacrosse team also occupy starting positions on the football team as well.

Mullins played linebacker for the Cowboys his senior year, and was named the Associate Press Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts, while Landis was named to the 60th Annual Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State Football Team for achievements as a wide receiver.  This dual athleticism, according to Griffin Lynch, another stand out senior lacrosse player “helps a lot. Our best players are football players.” Chase Porter, an upcoming junior, agrees and cites the enormous amount of experience the seniors have accumulated over the years, and the difficulty of his class taking their place. “It’s going to be very difficult to fill their shoes. A lot of those guys were recruited, and we have to be as good as they were, especially as the best of the state looks to take us down next year.”

The road to a state championship is a long one, and this particular one is no exception. Populated by tough opponents like Jesuit, who beat the Cowboys in another razor thin overtime thriller by a single goal, not to mention the perennial athletic powerhouse that is St. Mark’s, the Cowboys will have to be at their best in order to take the trophy.