Defining Panther Creek Men’s Lacrosse


Monica Arneja

Group shot of the Panther Creek Men’s Lacrosse team before taking on Cary High.

Group shot of the Panther Creek Men’s Lacrosse team before taking on Cary High. (Monica Arneja)
Class of 2022, Josh Crist, stays on his toes for the next play. (Monica Arneja)
Senior, Bryce Beatson, stretches on the sidelines after a calf cramp on field. (Monica Arneja)
Monica Arneja
Monica Arneja
Class of 2021, Bryce Beatson, takes a break on the sidelines after scoring a goal for Panther Creek. (Monica Arneja)
Junior, Ryan Stines, guards one of Cary’s defensive players in between plays. (Monica Arneja)
During time out, Coach Lombardi takes minute to talk to (Left) Isaac Acquarulo and (Right) Patrick Sutton. (Monica Arneja)

We are aware of students’ response to virtual learning but now it is time to hear the stories of these high school athletes and how the pandemic has affected their sports seasons.

Defining sports this season is unlike any other year ever imagined for a high school student athlete. COVID-19 has surged all across the globe having each and every individual adapted to a new life. We take a deeper dive into the student athletes at Panther Creek, more specifically the men’s lacrosse team.

The pandemic has limited interaction worldwide. From being quarantined in our homes to remote learning, our society has adapted to the changes this pandemic has brought to us. I had the opportunity to interview two seniors that have been with Panther Creek’s lacrosse program since their first year of high school. Class of 2021, Bryce Beatson and Ryan Stines, share their thoughts on how our lacrosse program is now defined this year, despite the effects of COVID-19.

“Having to endure the circumstances that we are in has made us become more reliant on our teammates in a good way. Supporting each other and improving as a whole has become a greater priority because of the obstacles we are facing this year.” states Ryan Stines.

Senior, Bryce Beatson states “The presence of the pandemic has brought the team closer then we have ever been before. It has forced us to take advantage of every opportunity we have on the field.” Beatson later states how important it is to take on these challenges, which builds a stronger relationship amongst the team.

The pandemic has affected the daily lives of individuals by making everything much more isolated. The Panther Creek Men’s lacrosse program can relate to that change, especially when it comes to school, social life, and sports. “COVID has definitely brought us closer together. We have a very small roster so we are working extra hard to compete with the stronger teams we will face” states Beatson.

Due to the spread of COVID it has impacted the men’s lacrosse team significantly. “The pandemic has resulted in a change of schedule and delayed season, as well as influencing us to follow protocols everyday to keep everyone safe.” says Stines.

I asked the two if they could define the program in one word this year what it would be. Beatson said “eager”. “I would define our team this year as eager. It has been a while since we have had the chance to be back on the field and play the game safely with the COVID-19 safety regulations. However, everyone is just as excited to be back on the field playing the game we love.”

Stines states he would define the program as “upcoming potential”. “Overall, this year we have a younger team that definitely has a learning curve, but we are all collectively working to improve together every week.”

I asked Stines if he personally prefers the effects of COVID during their season or not. “I think that all in all our program would be better off without the virus affecting our daily lives. However, I also think that realizing that this pandemic is much greater than our own situation. It has allowed for us to feel gratitude for our opportunity rather than being upset about our circumstances.”

Men’s Lacrosse