Viera lacrosse teams showing historic potential this season

Viera's Gavin Wessel (No. 33) is a big reason why the Hawks think they have a chance to not only contend for a district title, but advance deep into the playoffs.

 

Before their seasons were wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Viera High boys and girls lacrosse teams thought they had the potential to go far.

Well, it might be a new season, but those thoughts haven’t changed.

“This year, I feel we’re in the exact same position,” Viera boys coach Bo Barlett said. “As long as they keep their composure and they don’t beat themselves, I think absolutely (we can

go far).”

It’s already been a historic season for the Viera boys, who started the year 8-1 and scored their first-ever win against Melbourne Central Catholic. After that victory, top-scorer Tracy Tucker was feeling confident.

“If we keep going the way we’re going, I don’t see how we’re going to lose another game,” Tucker said. “I think it’s just up from here. This was one battle that we knew we were going to face this season, and since we (won) this battle, we can beat all the rest of the battles. It starts with one, then goes on to more.”

Tucker (Mars Hill) is one of three Viera seniors who have committed to playing lacrosse in college. Gavin Wessel (Florida Tech) and Jared Weiss (Emmanuel College) are the others.

Freshman Kyle Fischer has been a big addition on offense, and Viera has been getting strong play from a defense that includes Austin Smith, Jack Hathaway, Hunter Levi, Eli Menchetti, Jacob Glick and goalie Maguire Pedrick. Jacob Sharrow has done a good job of playing both offense and defense.

Viera’s girls were off to a 6-1 start with the help of tri-captains Micki Pippett, Olivia Vice and Brianna Staerk. Other key players include Lia Arbeeny, Lexi Fischer, Averi Foster, Isabella DiSciascio, Ellie DiSciullo and goalie Brooke Halfacre.

“In past years, it’s really been just a couple of dominant players being the whole team,” Pippett said. “But this year, it’s more like the whole team is a dominant player. It’s really kind of like a breath of fresh air to know you really don’t have to count on individual people every game. We know everyone’s going to be able to pull their own weight.”

That versatility should make the Hawks dangerous, not only when it comes to this month’s district tournament, but also when they take on some of the area’s top lacrosse programs in the regional playoffs.

“I believe they have a lot of potential,” Viera girls coach Alison Staerk said. “I have been telling them from the beginning, if there’s a team that can contend with some of the better teams in the state, or in this area, it’s this team right here. They’re the ones. If we’re going to do it, this is the year.”