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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Mar. 28, 2019 10 months ago

Edgewater boys lacrosse team chasing second-consecutive playoff berth

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The Eagles are off to a strong start in pursuit of playoff spot.
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

Once a team gets a taste of success, it wants more. Just ask the Edgewater Eagles.

The Edgewater High School boys lacrosse team hopes to build on the success of last season — and make a run at the district championship.

With a 7-3 record to start the season as of Wednesday, March 27, the Eagles hope to grab a playoff spot and make a second-consecutive playoff appearance.

The first three games of the season included some solid showings, including an 18-6 win over University High School, a 16-2 win over Freedom High School and a 12-10 win over Olympia High School. More recent wins against Windermere Preparatory School, Jones High School and East River High School also have added to the team’s strong start.

It’s all building off of a standout season last year, when Edgewater captured the fourth playoff slot in the midst of a competitive district that includes Bishop Moore, First Academy, Windermere Prep, Dr. Phillips, Olympia and Freedom.

Three of the previous four years for the squad have been winning seasons, but two years ago was the first season in a new district comprising more teams. In years past, Edgewater was in a four-team district, meaning every team was given a playoff berth.

The Eagles hope once again to qualify for the postseason by taking advantage of the team’s balance of offense and defense, all led by captains JD Goin, Fred Asare-Konadu, John Motzel and William Motzel.

Many of the guys have been playing together for many years, building up chemistry that’s now paying off today, head coach Rabon Smith said.

“It’s a great group of guys — we have 21 juniors in the program,” Smith said. “Twelve of those guys are on varsity. Those kids have been together since fourth grade, so it’s been a big growing process with the club team (the College Park Firebirds).”

The boys lacrosse team has been on the rise in recent years — not only because of last year’s postseason appearance but also because of some records that could be broken.

Junior year attack JD Goin came into the season just 67 points away from being the all-time leading scorer at Edgewater High School. 

“The guy who’s in first place did it in three years, so he’s got that mindset of, ‘I have to get this done this year,’” Smith said.

Goin led his team in scoring as both a freshman and a sophomore. He is already off to a good start this year with some strong showings early in the season, including six goals and two assists against Olympia, as well as four goals and six assists against Freedom.

He recently broke the all-time record for most assists by an Edgewater lacrosse player during the March 8 matchup against Jones.

As of early Monday, March 25, Goin had 87 assists and was 27 points away from tying the school record for points.

“It’s nice to know that I’m leaving something here when I’m gone so other people can try to get there and excel at what they’re doing too,” Goin said.

Meanwhile, Edgewater’s senior captain at midfield Fred Asare-Konadu has been exemplary at balancing lacrosse with schoolwork and is set to become the school valedictorian for 2019, Smith said.

A deep playoff run would make senior year all the more sweet for Asare-Konadu.

“(It’s) knowing that this is my last year to leave a mark for Edgewater High School and kind of leave a legacy behind,” Asare-Konadu said.

The senior already has been accepted to Harvard and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“He’s the epitome of everything you want in a high-school athlete,” Smith said.

The Edgewater coach added that the team will continue to push itself in pursuit of that first ever district championship.

“Right now, the goal is to get through districts — qualify for playoffs again and then take a run to the district championship if we can,” he said. “For them to see, ‘Hey, we did it; we’ve made that first step,’ it obviously springboards them into that, ‘I got to make that next step. We want to be in that district championship game.’”

Tim Freed is the Managing Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. He previously spent six years covering the Winter Park/Maitland area and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

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