South’s lacrosse team has a bright future


Used with permission from Nick Torchia

Preparing to play. South’s players stand around preparing themselves for the game to come. The team has done much work to improve their skills and perform better then years before. “The team this year not only improved in talent amongst players but also our leadership through our captains and Black Shirt Program. These connections led to a real brotherhood to be developed”, Nick says.

Kayleigh Emberton, Senior Editor

This year, South Forsyth High School’s boys’ lacrosse team has a new group of competitors to represent them. The young team has much room to grow but shows signs of a bright future for the program as well as for the community.

Head Coach Steve Hurlbut shared the rounded traits of his team, “We will have several players with a +4.0 GPA, some will be nominated as all county lacrosse players, and others are doing great things in our community as volunteers. Many of our players already do a great deal to help their community – Night to Shine, FoCo Cure, NHS tutoring, volunteering, etc.”

FoCo Cure

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society nominated three juniors at South, Nick Torchia, Chris Vitucci, and Keaton Gubbins, to lead a campaign in Forsyth County fighting childhood cancer.

The society asked one of the leaders, Nick Torchia, in August of 2019 to be apart of the campaign. It was a lot of difficult work but the campaign was very near to his heart. Cancer touched Nick’s family for years and now he was able to do something about it.

“It was an honor to raise money for such a great cause under South Forsyth’s legacy team,” Torchia commented.

Nick, along with Keaton and Chris, formed a group with 17 other members that lead a campaign in January to raise $100,00 dollars for this campaign. Every dollar of this fund was given to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society to help the 1.2 million Americans living with blood cancer. FoCo Cure was a big part of the South last year after the team was able to raise $90,000. This year they were able to raise $50,000. This all started after a 6-year old Cumming resident, Charlie Prince was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia on Christmas day in 2018. Charlie was a fighter and went into remission by the summertime in 2019. After much work with the society, it can be hard to balance school and this fundraiser but these boys along with the 17 others are able to do it.

Nick Torchia commented on how he handled lacrosse and the fundraiser, “During the height of our campaign for FoCo Cure, it also happened to be the start of the lacrosse season which was difficult to balance. This was beneficial however because it allowed us to get the rest of the lacrosse team and the families involved inside our campaign which gained us a lot of support.”

The Season

This year the varsity boys lacrosse were standing with a 4-4 record. The War Eagles have taken some hits to their program after last year’s senior class left, but Head Coach Steve Hurlbut is still confident in these boy’s abilities.

“We lost some great players last year and our guys have worked really hard to keep us competitive,” Coach Hurlbut explained.

The War Eagles lost a few close games, but they have been able to grow as a team since then. The younger players struggled with confidence and aggression on the field. By building a brotherhood they worked to overcome those insecurities.

Coach Hurlbut talked about the younger team and ways that they were working to overcome any doubts they had, “We are a relatively young team. We need more confidence in our abilities and trust in our system.”

This year the team took on more responsibility and they were willing to put in more work to be successful. The team has been through a lot of adversity but grew stronger through it. They worked with each other to make sure that everyone worked hard and to the best of their abilities. The seniors, Sean Snarey, Brendan Connolly, Brandon Magram, Bryce Yancey and Justin Romanowski, have made a huge impact on the team this year and have really stepped up to lead the team.

With these young players and a season that was off to a great start, Coach Hurlbut hoped to make it to playoffs. Through the many changes that happened this season, he hoped the boys were are able to continue their aggressive attitudes and put themselves in a great position to be in the playoffs. In the long run, Coach Hurlbut wanted to build a prestigious program of dedicated athletes who are willing to put in the time for the team and community.

“We want to build a culture of great players with great character,” said Coach Hurlbut.

Unforeseen circumstances cut their season short but the boys are continuing to improve the community and their skills. Next year, they will enter the season with a new appreciation for the game as well as the team atmosphere that they have worked so hard to create this season. The War Eagles will come back next year with a winning attitude, ready to make playoffs.