Coming into a big league game against Eastchester, the Edgemont boys lacrosse team was looking to rise above .500 in league play. Eastchester, however, had other plans, dominating in a 15-5 win as the Panthers didn’t come out with the proper sense of urgency.

The early lead from Eastchester led coach Billy Locher to put in some younger, less experienced players, which often allows that up-and-coming talent to make a statement.

Freshman Ben Landes used previous games to solidify his role on the team. Being the only eighth-grader on an upperclassman heavy team last year, Landes only had a few competitive appearances. Despite his lack of varsity experience, Landes never backed down against some of Edgemont’s more challenging opponents. With the team struggling for offensive middies, Landes was asked to step up and fill some big shoes.

Young Panthers embrace chance to excel scoreboard

Landes is now one of the team’s top scorers from the midfield and has picked up some assists along the way, too.

“Ben has certainly come a long way,” fellow midfielder Griffin Frank said. “Picking up a few pounds and his improved stick skills in the offseason has given him the confidence and ability to make an impact this year.”

Aside from his tactical skills, Landes has turned some heads with his hustle plays, too. “Ben can really turn it on when getting after a ground ball,” Frank said. “Hustle and heart are two difficult things to instill within a player, but it is something that comes naturally to him.”

Landes is not the only younger player making waves this year. Sophomore Christian McGee has proven himself on the defensive end, thus earning a starting spot.

Making the leap from attackman to a long stick defensive middie, sophomore Anderson Ng has also found his niche on the team.

“A lot of the younger guys on the team have benefited from the upperclassman leadership,” Landes said. “They get on us a lot, but ultimately it has not only pushed us, but also the whole team to a new level. They have not only guided me, but also other young guys like Kyle [Klion] and Logan [Gordon] and have helped us find our specific roles for the team.”

The Panthers are heading into some crucial games. The confidence from all parts of the team will be important as the team looks to maintain its overall winning record.

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