HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker College men's lacrosse team, under the direction of fifth-year head coach David Olliver, is set to begin their 2018 campaign. The Cobras open up their season on Feb. 10 when they travel to North Greenville to take on the Crusaders. Opening faceoff is set for 2 p.m.
The Navy and Gold present a 28-player roster, made up of 12 returners and 16 newcomers. With a plethora of young talent on the team, the Cobras will look to a few key veterans to lead this year's squad to success. These pivotal returners include Charles Stafford, DeShaun Ormond, Cole Theodoropolous, and Rylee Marsh.
"Stafford and Ormond will be anchoring our midfield with their experience," said Olliver. "Defensively, we have a ton of solid young defenders and Theodoropolous will be leading the unit. Down at attack, Marsh will be directing the offense for our young guys."
Last season, Stafford and Ormond were groundball machines as Stafford collected 44 and Ormond hustled for 23. In addition, Ormond currently sits in fifth in the Coker record book with 108 career groundballs and fourth in caused turnovers with 39 in his career. On the offensive end, Marsh returns for his senior season after finishing second on the team in points with 34 (18g, 16a) last year. Additionally, Marsh has his name scattered throughout the Coker record book as he sits fifth in career points (90), seventh in career points per game (2.04), fifth in career goals (49), and third in career assists (41).
Coker will rely on their veterans this season; however, the Navy and Gold will need their young players to step up for the team to excel.
"Our freshman are making huge strides leading up to our opening game," stated Olliver. "Our numbers are a little down this year, but we feel really comfortable with the amount of talent we have. Having young players like Ethan Irizarry, Denton Wilks, Evan Bachman, and Chris Hagy step up has been a huge confidence booster for our team."
As mentioned, the Cobras will open up their season at North Greenville on Feb. 10. Following their season opener, Coker will travel to Chowan for a non-conference game on Feb. 17 before starting a five-game home stand on Feb. 21 against No. 12 Mount Olive.
"We open up with an up-and-coming North Greenville team," said Olliver. "Then we play in our home opener against a very tough Mount Olive squad that is challenging to play anywhere."
The Navy and Gold will wrap up their home stand with non-conference foes Embry-Riddle (Feb. 25), Palm Beach Atlantic (Mar. 3), and by opening up South Atlantic Conference play at the Coker Athletic Field on Mar. 10 against Lincoln Memorial. Other home conference games include Catawba (Mar. 15), Queens (Mar. 31), and No. 13 Wingate (Apr. 11).
"Our conference schedule is always a grind, but we enjoy the challenge of playing the strong conference teams," stated Olliver. "With that being said, we're excited about our schedule and it's set up for us to be successful."
Fans are encouraged to follow the Coker men's lacrosse 2018 season at www.cokercobras.com.