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Buckeye seniors instilling values, skills in underclassmen, future of the program

Andy Gottesman / Multimedia editor

As the Ohio State men’s Lacrosse team trotted off the field following Saturday’s win against Hobart, each player beamed from ear to ear. Amid pats on the back and laughter, one could detect a sense of appreciation and gratitude from the younger members of the team toward the upperclassmen on Senior Day.

The team, at first glance, seems to be dominated by youngsters, as much of the glitz and glamour is cast toward the statistical leaders on the team.

Sophomore Logan Schuss leads the team in scoring, trailed by classmate Jeff Tundo. The team’s leader in assists is freshman Tyler Frederick, and freshman goalkeeper Greg Dutton has been nothing short of spectacular in the cage this season.

The seniors, however, have been critical in their roles for the team. Aside from their four years of contributions on the field, which include a conference championship in 2008, shepherding the young players’ development has been key.

“I think it’s our role to show our experience and let them know how things are in Division 1 lacrosse,” senior middleman Paul Beery said. “A lot of them have stepped up and played an integral role, so I would say we’ve been successful.”

Even with 12 seniors on the roster, looking over such a large quantity of young players can still be difficult, senior middleman Scott Lathrop said.

“It’s tough when you’ve got 45 guys and they are at all different age levels,” Lathrop said. “You’re trying to funnel them all into one focus.”

Lathrop said he approaches the job by consistently working hard and leading by example for the younger players. He also said he will sit down and talk with the players if they need it.

Beyond the seniors’ job in helping with the younger players, Lathrop sees a bond that has developed among the seniors over four years.

“We all came in at the same time, and we’ve seen several different shades of this program,” Lathrop said. “We’ve been through tough times together and good times together. We have shared a special experience here.”

With the season well past midpoint, and graduation quickly approaching, the seniors will begin to mull over their future beyond lacrosse. Lathrop plans to embark to Europe on a two-month internship, and Beery plans to pursue a degree to become a Certified Public Accountant.

Senior captain Bryce Woodson has a more laid-back approach to his pursuits after college for the time being.

“I’m just going to take a little time off and enjoy life a little bit,” Woodson said with a smile.

Though Senior Day is over, there is still much at stake to add to the memories for the seniors. A shot at the Eastern College Athletic Conference still exists, and there are four games left in the regular season.

“I’m very happy for these seniors right now,” OSU coach Nick Myers said after the team’s win against Hobart. “We’re going to keep taking it one game at a time, though, and continue to improve.”

One game remaining is the Showdown in the ‘Shoe, in which the lacrosse team will face Fairfield in Ohio Stadium before the Spring Game on April 23. Lathrop said this game is particularly exciting.

“Playing in the ‘Shoe gives you chills every time,” he said. “It will be a special experience. Hopefully we can get as many people out there as we can.”

As the seniors’ careers wind down, Lathrop, Beery and Woodson say they plan on staying in touch with their teammates.

“I’m going to try my best,” Lathrop said. “These guys are my best friends.”

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