Calhoun's winning culture continues


At the start of the season, coach Jim Femminella was cautiously optimistic for Calhoun’s boys’ lacrosse team. He had heard what many around the county thought about the Colts after falling short in last year’s county championship game and graduating 23 seniors.

The players heard it, too, and they let it fuel them.

“The seniors and juniors had a chip on their shoulders because they heard around the county that not much was expected from them,” Femminella said. “They became a tighter-knit group because of it.”

The Colts remain the talk of the county but are so now with a 15-1 record atop Conference B, picking up where last year’s team left off.

“It's never a different group as long as you keep to what your principles are. Our expectations stay high,” Femminella said. “We told them just because all those seniors graduated doesn't mean we were going to coach them less. It doesn't mean we're not going to work as hard as coaches. We're going to continue to work as hard as we can and we expect the same thing from you guys.”

Junior attackman Harley Finkelstein headlines the team with 70 points and 43 goals, working in tandem with senior Sean Walters (44 points) and sophomore Nicholas Voll (54 points) to lead an offense that has more than doubled the output of its opponents. Junior midfielder Braden Garvey has 41 points.

Of anyone, Voll has added the most substance, using grit to chisel out his own role as one of the younger members of the varsity team.

“He's going to get down on every ground ball, he's going take slashes and he's going give them,” Femminella said. “He's going to be the hardest worker on the field for us. The thing that has been the most impressive for Nick, as a sophomore, has been his ability to find his teammates and get assists. His vision has definitely exceeded what I had seen from him in the preseason. His ability to do that, in transition or just at the six-on-six, has been great.”

Longtime starter Xander Megias has stabilized the backend, pairing with fellow senior and standout newcomer Brandon Sherman to lock down opposing offenses in front of goalie Mark Restivo. Not that he’s needed much help, though. In his final season at Calhoun, Restivo is having one to remember, stopping 68 percent of the shots he’s faced while allowing just 56 goals.

Even with all going so well, Femminella knows there are still areas to improve before the postseason, as he wants to see more fluidity from his offense.

Having already put together one of its best regular seasons ever, a 14-2 win for Calhoun in its finale May 7 against MacArthur was the perfect way to punctuate a regular season that began with so much speculation from those on the outside.

As for the Colts themselves, they never felt the need to prove anything.

“This group is very even-keeled,” said Femminella. “They never get too high, and they never get too low. This group just stays level-headed the whole time. They know that they’re never out of a ballgame.”