Lacrosse season recap: 6 championship coaches reflect on final win

2024 ends with 4 1st time champions, 2 repeat champions

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

The lacrosse season ended last week, with six champions crowned across three days. Milton’s girls won their seventh in a row, and Roswell’s boys won back-to-back titles. Buford’s boys, Cambridge’s girls, Wesleyan’s boys and Wesleyan’s girls all are first-time champions.

Coverage of the title games, played at Denmark, can be found here:

Following the championships, the AJC reached out to the six winning coaches. Below are their responses:

Tyler Botts, Buford boys, on what the program’s firsts championship means: “I’m just really proud of all of the players for buying into the way we do things. We have a great group of seniors who have been all in since Day 1, and they make my job as a coach a whole lot easier. This community is unbelievable and gives our program all the support it needs and more, so I’m glad we could win a 7A championship for them.”

Tim Godby, Milton girls, on what stood out about this year’s run: “This team was inconsistent all season offensively but played consistently on defense. We had a lot of new players to mix in on the offensive end, as well as a revolving door of players getting injured, coming back, and new injuries, etc. It was a challenge to figure out the best lineups with all the changes, but we were able to get healthy by the final week and figure it out. (In the championship), we had our best offensive performance of the season by far, only missing one shot on goal, and the player was fouled on the shot. So, technically, no misses. Our defense even turned it up a notch as well. We just started out on fire. It was really nice to see us play to our potential after an inconsistent season offensively.”

Bryan Wallace, Roswell boys, on what stood out most about this year’s run: “I think what stood out most was the mix of seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshman stepping up throughout the season, and in really big moments. In really meaningful games, our guys were never scared of the big moments, and always played hard to support each other. They continued to fight, grow, learn and compete every day. I’m thankful we were able to play the first and last game of the year. This is a special team, and they earned it.”

Pam Masinko, Cambridge girls, on what program’s first championship means: “(It) was an incredible achievement for our program. It symbolizes the culmination of hard work, dedication and teamwork. It’s more than just a title; it represents the resilience of our players in the face of adversity with the numerous injuries we overcame throughout the season, their unwavering belief in each other, and their commitment to getting better each day. This championship was made possible by the incredible selflessness and leadership of our five seniors, who set the tone for the team from Day 1, and set an example for years to come. This championship is a testament to the strength of our team’s bond and their willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. It means everything to me as a coach, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart and in the history of our program.”

Connor Breslin, Wesleyan girls, on what program’s first championship means: “We are thrilled to bring this championship home to Wesleyan. With this win, Wesleyan has won a championship in every sport it fields. To us (a title) means that all that ‘coach talk’ about sacrifice, being team-first, trusting the process, and setting lofty goals is validated. It turns out the best culture does actually win. I am so thankful for the dozens of people it took to make this season so special and successful.”

Ame Conley, Wesleyan girls, on what program’s first championship means: “Winning state means so much to everyone in the Wesleyan community, especially to the coaches, players and parents that have put many hours in to get this far. Every player on this team has worked hard this season, pushing themselves and each other to give their best at every practice and at each game. Last year was our program’s first time (in the championship), and we fell short to Pace Academy. This year, the girls were mentally and physically prepared. What impressed me most about this group is they played as a united team. They have supported each other all season, either on the field or cheering from the sidelines. Thirteen years ago, my husband and I, and four other Wesleyan families, started the Wolves Lacrosse Association feeder program so Wesleyan students can play lacrosse together starting at elementary age until they can play for the middle school. Many of the girls and boys on both Wesleyan’s state championship teams were members of that program. It’s such a rewarding feeling that all these years of hard work have paid off. I look forward to what the future holds for Wesleyan lacrosse.”