Seniors on Evanston boys lacrosse team leave behind lasting legacy

SHARE Seniors on Evanston boys lacrosse team leave behind lasting legacy

All five varsity lacrosse teams Adam Hughes has coached at Evanston are special to him.

This year’s group did its best to push its way to the top of the list and hopes to leave a lasting imprint.

For the first time in Hughes’ career, the Wildkits advanced to the state quarterfinals, where their season ended May 28 with a 10-2 loss to Benet. Evanston finished 15-5, but three of those losses came to teams that played in the state semifinals. Another was to Glenbrook North, a state quarterfinalist, and the other was a one-goal defeat to Fenwick.

“Wins and losses, hands down the best,” said Hughes, who owned one playoff win before this year. “This squad got us back to being one of the best teams in the state.

“They even said they wanted to get me to the quarters for the first time. They rallied behind that.”

Without hesitation, senior attackers Aidan Crowe and Jake Casati said this spring was the highlight of their prep careers.

“Oh yeah, by far,” Casati said.

Crowe, a four-year varsity player and three-year starter, said there was “no doubt about it.”

“Our team chemistry was great,” Crowe added. “Everyone wanted to come to practice and be around one another.”

Casati and Crowe were two of seven seniors who had played together since seventh grade, starting with Evanston’s feeder team, coached by Randall Mayne, now a varsity assistant.

Crowe led the Wildkits with 39 goals and added 11 assists. He scored the game-winning goal in their 9-8 overtime win over Stevenson in the second round of the playoffs.

Senior middie Charlie Cunningham, another four-year varsity veteran and product of the youth program, followed with 38 goals and contributed a team-high 20 assists to lead the team in points. Casati finished with 37 goals and five assists.

Crowe plans to play at the College of Wooster, and Cunningham plans to play at Tufts University.

“Both Aidan and Charlie have the natural ability to lead on the field,” Hughes said. “But they were surrounded by a lot of good players.”

Seniors Andres Balcazar, Jeff Enochs, Sam O’Donnell and Drake Smith all played with Casati, Crowe and Cunningham in middle school and contributed to the successful season.

“We were such a close group,” Casati said. “We talked on the bus ride home after losing to Benet about leaving our legacy. We want the guys coming back to keep going forward, to continue to be a top-10 team.”

The Latest
CPS made a mistake when it put temporary federal pandemic aid into its permanent spending base. Now, the money’s running out. A bailout seems unlikely.
At least 28 people in a dozen states have gotten sick. All of the people known to be part of the outbreak have been hospitalized.
El aclamado grupo de salsa colombiano actuó en la noche inaugural de un festival de cuatro días en el Pabellón Jay Pritzker para celebrar el 20º aniversario del Parque Millennium.
There have been racist attacks against Usha Chilukuri Vance from the far-right elements within the Republican party since her husband, JD Vance, was named Donald Trump’s running mate. Meanwhile, many Indian Americans have been wondering what place a Brown woman has in a party that is steeped in racism and exclusion.