CVHS Boys’ Lacrosse to Make Spring Debut

Photos by Becky DALY
The team lines up with Coach Nik to go over some drills during practice.


Those who head to Osborne Field at Crescenta Valley High School any of these brisk winter mornings are guaranteed to see one of two things: a soccer match or lacrosse head coach Nikolaus Soforenko practicing with his team.

CVHS will be debuting its boys’ lacrosse program this spring. The team is composed of mostly freshmen, along with two sophomores, and is hoping to compete in the JV level of CIF – California Interscholastic Federation – competition.

Soforenko was offered the job over this past summer and was hired in early October.

The team huddled up at the end of practice at Clark Magnet High School.

“I sat down [at CVHS] and, within two minutes, I knew I made the right decision,” said Soforenko. “The athletic department is run well.”

Soforenko was previously a part of the coaching staff at another school. Upon hearing the news that CVHS would be starting a boys’ lacrosse program, many of his colleagues were excited at the idea of having some competition. Unfortunately, due to delays in getting the program started, the team is not currently a part of the CIF program. The hope is that, with the clamor from nearly all surrounding schools, CVHS will be able to streamline the process and get into the CIF before the spring sport season starts.

At CVHS, Soforenko was surprised at the overwhelming support from parents as well as from the pre-established booster club. The booster club has already gone as far as to help supply both home and away jerseys for the lacrosse team.

The buzz around the boys’ team can at least be somewhat attributed to the successful establishment of a girls’ team years ago. Girls’ lacrosse head coach Boz Crowther was the spearhead in getting the sport started in local schools.

“It was the spread of the sport in the area more than anything,” said Crowther.

Crowther helped spur the start of the girls’ program at Rosemont Middle School. Its inaugural season took place during the 2011-12 school year. From there, after a crop of kids had some experience, the transfer to CVHS was somewhat easy, finally establishing its girls’ program in 2014.

The girls’ team has come in second and first place respectively in its last two seasons.

Soforenko has also been impressed with the level of commitment from his team considering how many have never before played lacrosse. Although there were no scheduled practices over the winter break, many players would ask their coach if he would come down to CVHS to practice with them. Even on a Sunday, Soforenko found time to go down and work with team members.

The team still needs to work on the fundamentals, in particular their “stick work,” according to Soforenko. So far, getting together for practice has been one of the bigger challenges for the team. With limited time and space available at the school, the team has had to find places across the Crescenta Valley to practice. Rosemont Middle School, Clark Magnet High School and Wilson Middle School have all hosted the Falcons for their practices throughout the year.

Field space is a common problem for a school as athletic as CVHS.

“It’s probably [problems] number one, two and three,” Crowther said regarding field time.

Additionally, with many kids coming in from existing sports programs, finding time to get the whole team together has been somewhat problematic. Athletes who have already committed to soccer or baseball occasionally miss practices for their other sports.

Although Soforenko was prepared for this, he still wants his team to understand that they are a family and they need to show up and lift each other up on the field. Of course, Soforenko still wants his players to keep their grades up and have lacrosse be a tool for furthering their life, not sidelining it.

“Family, school and lacrosse,” said Soforenko, referring to the order of priorities he wants his team members to have.

Lacrosse is a ball sport played with netted sticks. Points are scored by flinging the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Whichever team has scored the most points after four quarters wins.

The Falcons have already played one scrimmage against Glendale High School when they lost 10-2 against the Glendale varsity team. Soforenko said he expects this season to be occasionally rough, but said success should come sooner rather than later.

“I want to fast track it, I don’t want to wait eight to 10 years [for success],” said Soforenko.

Crowther has echoed this sentiment, expecting the team to be “tremendously successful” due to many players being athletes already.

The Falcons plan on competing in more scrimmages before the spring season gets underway. If the team does not end up eligible for CIF by the deadline, it hopes to join a club league.

For more information, visit the Crescenta Valley HS Boys Lacrosse Facebook page.