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Two seasons end, coaches share thoughts

May 30, 2012 - It's the time of year once again when high school sports are on the verge of disappearing for the summer while the students enjoy their summer vacation and two coaches shared their impressions of their 2012 seasons.

Randy McCoy, first time head coach of the girls varsity soccer team and Head Coach Brad Thomas of the boys varsity lacrosse both had interesting seasons full of surprises and growing teams. Thomas managed to lead his team into the playoffs with two dominating wins before being knocked out by Midland on May 23. Despite the loss, Thomas was upbeat about the season.

"It was an exciting year for lacrosse in Orion," he said. "We set a school record with 14 wins, the middle school programs started up and we won the OAA White title. I thought it was a very successful season in that we set out to accomplish goals and we did nearly every one we came up with. These guys really matured as the season went on and out senior set the standard."

McCoy's season was less successful but the coach said 2013 hold a lot of promise for his growing players. Most of the team consisted of underclassmen, with nine freshmen and three sophomores on the 22 person team, but McCoy said most players begin to improve drastically in their second year.

"The year where you see the biggest group improvement is in a player's second year," he said. "If you go back to the beginning of the season, we knew it was going to be a growth season. How quickly the freshman came along would determine our season. We played in the OAA Red so there was never a night off.

"These are not the 4-0 losses we had last year. We learned this year how to be competitive."

Leading the offense was freshman Hannah Cady with 11 total goals. McCoy said while senior Haley Barnes struggled early in the season due to injuries, she came back to play strong. Her best game was against Grand Blanc where she saved 13 shots.

For Thomas, the maturity of his team impressed him most. During the exit interviews, he learned most players believed there was a cohesiveness problem and while Thomas was surprised to hear this he was glad to hear it.

"They thought we were not as close as a team as we could be," he said. "I thought we did pretty good on that end but it turns out they want more team nights and dinners. It's a good thing and I'm glad to hear it.

"It's cool to see the older guys lead the younger guys and the younger guys rise to the challenge. We're losing eight seniors and more than anything it will hurt the leadership, but I think (the seniors) set the example for the younger team members.

Boys lacrosse ended with an overall record of 14-5.

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