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Washington lacrosse undefeated, looking to make history in state tournament

Panthers are perfect 11-0 this season
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:47 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Washington lacrosse has taken on all comers this season. They’ve also beaten all comers and are currently sporting a perfect 11-0 record.

Whenever we’re firing on all cylinders, defense is playing good, offense is playing good, I think we can compete with anybody,” senior attack Tyler Richardson said.”

While lacrosse is a fairly new sport to many around the Heart of Illinois, it’s not new to these Washington standouts, something they think is helping power their success this season.

“I credit that to our senior leaders, they’ve been playing this game for a long time,” head coach Zach Davis said. “They bought into what we’ve been trying to establish for the last couple years, playing against some of those bigger teams up north especially when they were JV players. That’s helped set the stage for them as seniors finally and wanting them to create their own legacy.”

“This year I think especially because of how close we are, a lot of these guys we’ve played for 5, 6-plus years together,” Richardson said. “We’re really close. We know how each other play so I think we can go really far this year.”

While the Panthers players have been playing lacrosse for years, this is just their third full season as a varsity team. They’ve been through some bumps in the road, but that just makes their success this season even sweeter\

“It’s awesome,” senior defender Chase McQueary said. “It’s such a great feeling. We’ve struggled in the past but to finally overcome that adversity and become a strong presence in Central Illinois is awesome for the lacrosse community because it’s been such a small community throughout all the times for all of us growing up so being able to make a presence and taking on some of these large Chicago schools and make a presence has been really awesome for us.”

The Panthers have certainly made their presence known on the local stage and now they plan on taking it statewide. They think they have a great shot of making a deep run in the state tournament at the end of the month

“Yeah, typically it’s been a lot of the Chicago teams but with this team,” Richardson said. “I think we can make a pretty good run this year. I think we can do really well. I think we can go really far. All the stars have kind of aligned for us.”

“I think we’re gonna be really good come playoff time,” McQueary said. “Our defense is looking amazing. Our offense is getting things figured out. If we can stick together and play as a team, we’ll have a great run this year.”

“I think we have the ability to do something really special this year if we can continue to take it one game at a time and just focus on the now,” Coach Davis said. “I think we’ve got a shot to do something special for our school and our community.”

The Panthers are looking to become the first-ever team from the Heart of Illinois to make the lacrosse state finals. Sectionals kick off on Monday, May 23rd.

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