Andy Kay wanted to keep things simple. In years past, the MICDS boys’ lacrosse coach and his staff would have the team set its goals at the start of the year, and a lot of times, those goals were large and lofty. It got to the point that Kay decided the grandiose goals and dreams weren’t cutting it. They were, in at least one instance, hurting the program.
So when this year’s version of the Rams suited up and took the field, its only goal was to win its first game. Then the goal was to win the second. And third. And so on.
That’s how it’s gone this season for MICDS. Every time it takes the field, its season goal is front of them. It’s treated them well. The Rams are 10-1 on the season and dominating the majority of their opponents. Sure there were one-goal wins over Rockhurst and St. Louis University High, the defending champion and another title contender. Nearly everyone else, however, has felt the wrath of the Rams.
The goals come in bunches, from bunches of players. Mac Cornwell is tops on the team with 39. He’s followed by Foster Bundy (27), William Moorehead (11) and David O’Hara (11). All told, 17 Rams have tallied at least one goal as MICDS has romped through the spring season.
Its lone loss came in Washington, D.C., to St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes near the end of March. St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes is a monster program that Kay has ties to. He coached there before taking over at MICDS four years ago. “They’re a national powerhouse,” Kay says.
The Rams are on the road to national notoriety. On Friday, MICDS will play Kent Denver in the inaugural Mile High Classic in Denver. Their match is sandwiched between a pair of college games that will be televised on ESPN. MICDS’s opponent, Kent, is among the premier prep programs in the nation. Its roster is dotted with players who will play at some of the most prestigious college teams. They even have a U. S. National team member. “They’ve got some guys,” Kay says. “On paper we are a heavy, heavy underdog.”
And that’s OK by Kay. He’s hoping Kent does something few local teams have been able to do—poke holes in their offensive and defensive plans. “This is a good opportunity to expose some of our weaknesses,” Kay says. “I see a lot of the mistakes we make, but when you’re beating teams 15-1 it can be hard for the kids to see it.”
It’s the kids that have been the driving force behind the Rams’ success. Kay focuses primarily on stick work and fundamentals. The Rams don’t run offensive plays. Instead, he wants his teams to be fit and fundamental. Because MICDS has such a strong senior class that has played multiple sports together, be it football, basketball or wrestling, this team couldn’t be any closer if they were crammed into a clown car. “Sometimes I feel like a glorified manager because these kids are so tight,” Kay says. “Our kids are really dedicated to each other.”
There is a healthy chunk of this team that lost the state lacrosse championship last year and lost the Class 4 state football title game in the fall. This is its last chance to come together and roll the dice at walking off with that elusive championship. “These guys are constantly around each other,” Kay says. “They’re really brothers.”