WRA positioned for a successful 2023 boys’ lacrosse season
Head coach Dylan Sheridan enters his third season piloting the Western Reserve Academy (OH) Pioneers with a senior-laden roster that includes 17 athletes committed to play in college next season. That depth will help Sheridan replenish a strong 2022 class that graduated 12 seniors and finished 17-6 a year ago.
“The class of 2022 was a really special group. It's incredible to see how many of them are making an immediate impact on the field at the college level,” said Sheridan, whose coaching resume includes stops at Division I schools Ohio State, Cleveland State, Princeton, and Denver.
“In many ways, that group laid the foundation for this year’s team. As of today, 17 of our 20 seniors are committed to playing at the next level. That number speaks to our depth, but also demonstrates the commitment they're making to the process necessary to reach their goals. They're supportive of each other, and constantly pushing each other to bring out the best in one another. The Reserve experience equips these guys with the tools they need to be successful college players.”
The Pioneer defensive unit is particularly stout, led by close defender, co-captain Ty Banks (Georgetown, 2023), Inside Lacrosse’s Number 5 overall player in the country. Banks will be flanked by Jack McCloskey (Bryant, 2023), Jack Deady (Dickinson, 2023), Brennan Williams (uncommitted, 2023), Brett Goldstein (Detroit Mercy, 2024), and Jack Olsen (St. Joseph’s, 2024). The defense is also bolstered by a trio of noteworthy short stick defensive midfielders: Zach Claiborne (Johns Hopkins, 2023), Owen Fischer (Princeton, 2023), and Luke Jaeger (uncommitted, 2025).
Tyler Coryea (Maryland, 2024), Inside Lacrosse’s Number 44 overall player in the 2024 class, anchors a solid goalie corps which also includes Brant Satterly (Denison, 2023) and Joe Budington (Michigan, 2024).
The middle of the field is led by face-off specialists Matt Warburton (Delaware, 2024), Charlie Quinn (uncommitted, 2025), and Ethan Wiegand (St. John’s, 2024). The LSM role is held by Aiden Bodonyi (Ohio State, 2023) and Gordy Gombold (Tampa, 2023).
Up front, the Pioneers have a variety of athletic scorers that Sheridan can rotate to match individual situations. Charlie Iler (Johns Hopkins, 2023), Alex Dixon (Ohio State, 2023), co-captain Jordan Ito (Tufts, 2023), & Nolan Byrne (Lafayette, 2023) lead the dynamic offensive core. Josh Schlackman (Rutgers, 2024) and Jared Maznik (Harvard, 2024) highlight the junior scorers.
Sheridan can also turn to a cadre of talented offensive players for a change of pace, including River Oudemool (Robert Morris, 2023), Jack Markert (Bates, 2023), Jaxon Bodonyi (St. John Fisher, 2023), Nick Bell (Colorado College, 2023), Andrew Dittmore (Centre, 2023), AJ Serna (Air Force, 2024), Magnus Salmon (uncommitted, 2024), Mason Sanden (uncommitted, 2024), and Rocco LaPerna (uncommitted, 2024).
With so much depth on the field, practices can be intense.
“Our practices closely mirror Division I practices. We have the necessary depth to structure practices exactly like I did while coaching at the college level. The athletes’ bodies are still developing so the strength and speed aren't quite there, but the skill level, decision making, and IQ these kids possess is pretty high,” Sheridan said. “There are definitely moments every day, especially recently, where I can visually see our team growing up by the way they compete and their approach to the day-to-day process of improvement.”
Sheridan assembled a 22-game schedule highlighted by a number of nationally-ranked powers including Culver Academy (IN), Archbishop Spalding (MD), and The Hill Academy (ON). It is supplemented with quality opponents inside the state of Ohio.
“During my time at DU, I always loved how Coach (Bill) Tierney put together our schedule. When I coached at CSU, I followed suit; we played a top 5 SOS in our first year as a D1 program,” Sheridan said. “Needless to say, I believe whether your program is in the building phase or at the top, in order to grow and improve you need to measure yourself against the best competition. At WRA, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to seek out competition with top teams, both regionally and nationally, to help us realize our potential.”
The Pioneers open the season on the road in Louisville, Kentucky against St. Xavier and Trinity, March 4-5.