Building a Team Culture Based on Character, Hun Boys’ Lacrosse Primed for Special Spring
By Bill Alden
While the Hun School boys’ lacrosse team is stocked with players heading to such Division I college programs as North Carolina, Johns Hopkins, the Naval Academy, Yale, Marquette and Hobart, M.V. Whitlow doesn’t view talent as the group’s defining quality.
“As a coach, I am personally proud of our culture and the young men that are on our team,” said Hun head coach Whitlow, who is heading into his seventh season at the helm of the program. “They are good citizens and good student athletes of character.”
The Raiders feature a very good one-two punch at attack in UNC-bound junior Trevor Deubner and senior Devon Cowan, who is headed to Marquette.
“They have emerged into veteran leaders,” asserted Whitlow, who guided the Raiders to a state Prep A title and 9-2 record last spring.
“It is great as coach to have guys who been with the program three or four years that project such good decision-making; the skill and athleticism part helps too. Jeff Snow, my assistant coach, has worked so closely with them. Our offense has evolved and hopefully will continue to evolve.”
Senior Jackson Barletta, heading to play football at Fordham, junior Princeton commit Grant Hansen, and Stevens-bound senior Jake Wright lead the midfield.
“Barletta, Grant Hansen, and Jake Wright are pretty dynamic and we are trying to be as dynamic as we can,” said Whitlow, who has brought in post-grad face-off specialist Nick Ramsay, a Yale commit.
The defensive unit is spearheaded by a pair of seniors, Johns Hopkins-bound Jack Ruddy and Hobart recruit Blake Hansen.
“Jack is back as a captain and Blake is back there with him,” said Whitlow, noting that the other spots are up for grabs.
Navy-bound junior standout Gabe Craven is returning at goalie. “Gabe is as energetic as ever and he does have the quick hands,” added Whitlow.
With Hun hosting crosstown rival Princeton Day School on March 28 to open the 2019 campaign, Whitlow is hoping for a quick start.
“With a veteran group, we are trying to keep the growth trajectory sharp,” said Whitlow.
“We are doing a lot of new things this year, staying fresh. The culture is something we are very proud of, but we are still a very hungry group of guys focused on victory.”