By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- While the area continues to have just four schools (Lewisburg, Mifflinburg, Danville and Selinsgrove) that offer boys lacrosse, the level of play has vastly improved.
"The playing level has gone up exponentially since I played and it is at a point now that most teams have a handful of kids that have experience," Danville head coach Matt Gerdy said. "Having Bucknell (lacrosse) right in our back yard is a big plus as they are very community minded and hold clinics and camp."
Gerdy, who played his college lacrosse at Bloomsburg, started the Danville team in 2004 as a senior for an Eagle Scout project.
"District 4 had just two teams 10 years ago," Gerdy said. "I am surprised that area schools have not picked up. It's kind of a shame as a lot of kids could benefit from it."
Danville was 8-4 last year.
"There were some rough years in 2005 and 2006 and I thought that the program might go by the wayside," he added. "After the first three years, its been a steady growth."
Gerdy is optimistic about this season.
"The seniors this year have had a chance to play at the middle school level and the experience on the team is the highest it's ever been."
Lewisburg is the defending Central Susquehanna Lacrosse League champion.
Third-year head coach Evan Dresser played his lacrosse at Lower Merion High School and then Susquehanna University.
"We did well last year; we played in a PIAA play-in game," he said. "We've been the District 4 champions the last two years. This year, we have several key returnees, but we lost Brian Knicely and PJ Brown, who were pretty experienced on the attack. Nathan Fox is a key returnee for us.
"We need to make sure that our defense doesn't give up any big runs (consecutive goal scoring)," he said of this year's team. "We need to be disciplined on closed defense and mental errors if we want to win districts again. Offensively, we need to get a little more scoring from the midfielders."