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Inexperienced Titans Hope To Continue Program Growth

TC enters third season under head coach Mike Mulherin.

Junior attackman August Bryant will be one of the Titans’ top offensive threats this season.

Junior attackman August Bryant will be one of the Titans’ top offensive threats this season. Photo by Louise Krafft.

The T.C. Williams boys’ lacrosse program took great strides toward respectability during the 2011 season.

The Titans won a Patriot District tournament game for the first time since 2006, beating Lake Braddock to advance to regionals. TC finished with a 7-9 record, its best mark since 2007, and produced more victories than the program totaled during the 2009 and 2010 seasons combined.

This year, the Titans have aspirations of continuing their growth under third-year head coach Mike Mulherin. However, TC will have to do so with a green group after losing the majority of its primary contributors from 2011. Mulherin said one reason the Titans have a chance to weather a storm of inexperience is improvement at the junior varsity level, which has younger athletes better prepared to play with the varsity.

"I think we can build on last year’s success, continuing to be in the top half of our district, and looking for postseason success, even into the regional tournament this year."

— T.C. Williams boys’ lacrosse coach Mike Mulherin

"I feel like the players coming up are better equipped to transition to the varsity game," Mulherin said. "I still think we’re going to be competitive in all our games. I think we can build on last year’s success, continuing to be in the top half of our district, and looking for postseason success, even into the regional tournament this year. … We have a slim roster. We think we’re going to get a lot of playing experience for the guys this year and I think it’s going to continue our progression toward being a solid program with, hopefully, this year and especially next year being really fruitful for us."

Leading the way on offense are junior attackmen August Bryant and Ed Kargbo. Bryant has been with the varsity since his freshman year but has seen limited playing time. Kargbo played JV lacrosse as a sophomore.

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T.C. Williams junior attackman Ed Kargbo is a first-year varsity player who will be a primary contributor for the Titans.

"[Bryant] and Ed, they have our best stick skills on the team," Mulherin said. "I really trust that when the ball gets to them, I know we’re going to hold onto it. If they do lose the ball, it’s going to be either a really good defensive play or they are going to have made a pass or a shot, and it’s going to be worth it."

Mulherin said Bryant lacked the work ethic necessary to contribute as a sophomore, but enters his junior season with an improved approach.

"This year, he’s come back with a vengeance — great attitude," Mulherin said. "He’s doing a better job in the classroom to make sure he’s more focused out here and he’s stepping up and being a leader on the field."

Bryant praised his coach.

"Coach Mulherin has been doing good work building the program every single year," Bryant said. "We’ve gotten a lot better since he’s been here."

Juniors Jack Carver, a returning varsity contributor, and Michael McGonagle are standouts at midfield. Junior Sean Burstein is making the transition from attack to midfield.

Seniors Wes Taylor and Dominick Ballou will lead the TC defense and senior Cameron Lyons is the favorite to win the starting goalkeeper position. David Davenport, a junior, could also see time at goalie.

TC will open its season at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14 at Mount Vernon High School. The Titans’ first home game will be March 20 against Centreville and TC will open district play on March 26 at home against Lake Braddock.

"I think we’re getting better every day," Kargbo said, "and that’s pretty much what we need to focus on right now."