Boys varsity lacrosse begins play with back-to-back wins against Indiana powerhouses


It wouldn’t be boys varsity lacrosse season at FHC without an early-season slate against top programs in the Midwest. On Saturday, the Rangers squared off against a pair of frontrunners in the state of Indiana: Carmel and Hamilton Southeastern.

Throughout the day, the boys’ defensive efforts were noticeable. They allowed just 13 combined goals en route to 11-8 and 8-5 victories. Senior John Tomsheck and juniors Jonah McConnell, Graham Bennett, and Crandall Quinn were key players in both outings.
In light of the fact that teams in Indiana have been playing for weeks and FHC’s tryouts just wrapped up, the outcome was even more impressive. The Rangers had to exercise their grit and determination to come away 2-0.

“I think our success was based around energy and effort,” head coach Andy Shira said. “Our opponents played very tough in both games but I love the way our team competed.”

This spunk and spirit were evident in the first half against Hamilton Southeastern–Indiana’s reigning state champion and FHC’s first opponent of the day. After trailing 3-1 just under eight minutes into play, the Rangers scored six unanswered goals to surge ahead 7-3 at the halftime break. The run was led by a pair of scores for Bryant University commit John Tomsheck along with goals from juniors Magnus Salmon and Graham Bennett.

The FHC defense did its job to close out the 11-8 win. Tomsheck started off his senior campaign with a game-high of four goals and a handful of assists. Most importantly, he helped lift FHC out of its early hole. 

“We were really impressed as a staff at how well our guys handled themselves in a lot of different situations,” coach Shira said. 

Just a few hours later, the boys retook the field with a showdown against Indiana’s runner-up last season: the Carmel Greyhounds.

Overall, the Rangers made it difficult to score for both teams. Against Carmel, though, goalie phenom Crandall Quinn came up with a couple of monumental and momentum-shifting stops.

It was the juniors that got FHC going in this one. Jonah McConnell dodged two defenders and scored, which fellow junior Jake Koning followed with pretty touch around the net for a goal after a fantastic feed by Tomsheck. Graham Bennett also joined the action with a snipe into the top right corner.

The headlining sequence came just before halftime when FHC trailed 4-3. Jonah hit John in the middle for an easy score, and then roles reversed. On the ensuing possession, Tomsheck found Jonah for a lead-snatching goal.

McConnell–a junior attackman–proved that he can seriously play, which adds just another component to the Rangers’ lethal offense. He showed out in his first-ever varsity experience.

“My strategy heading into the day was to just play my game and try to make minimal errors,” Jonah said. “At first, I was a little nervous, but once I figured it out it was all good.”

The 5-4 halftime advantage gave the team the confidence it needed to close another one out. John added two more goals in the second half to his total of seven between the two games, and senior Jacob Bonnett showed some promise. At one point near the end of the third quarter, he outran everybody on a clear and dished it off to Jonah, who put it away. 

FHC’s defense finished the night with a couple of crucial stops, and the Rangers walked away with an 8-5 victory and 2-0 record to begin the season.

It doesn’t get any easier for the boys, as they host Detroit Country Day on Wednesday, March 30. A win over the YellowJackets would go a long way towards proving FHC’s rank among top teams in Division II.

“We pride ourselves on having one of the top strength-of-schedules in the state, and this year is no different,” coach Shira said. “We’re looking forward to seeing what this group of young men can do, and Wednesday should be another tough battle.”