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Team focus buoys Glenbrook North boys lacrosse team’s James McFarland

Glenbrook North senior James McFarland could have started on any lacrosse team in the state this season, according to Spartans coach Justin Georgacakis. The three-year varsity player led the CSL champion Spartans in goals scored and total points.

Despite his strong performance, the attacker wasn’t selected to the all-state team this spring.

“He got hosed, but he took it in good stride,” Georgacakis said. “He’s always been more about the team and the program anyway.”

McFarland said he was disappointed to not receive the all-state honor but did not dwell on it. He said he plans to use the perceived snub as motivation for the rest of his career.

“Individual awards are nice, but it’s about the team at the end of the day,” said McFarland, who plans to play at Williams College, one of the top NCAA Division III programs in the country. “Something like that keeps me humble and working harder.”

The conference championship was the first for Glenbrook North, which finished 6-0 in league play. This was the third consecutive year that the Spartans (16-6) got as far as the state quarterfinals; their season ended May 27 with a 16-5 loss to Lake Forest in the quarters.

“This year was another steppingstone for us, a step in the right direction for the program as a whole,” McFarland said. “We hope the team can take it a step further next season.”

McFarland was one of 16 seniors and four captains on this year’s squad.

Despite the roster turnover, McFarland said the Spartans should be in good shape for the 2015 season.

Midfielder Kyle Slovis and attack Logan Nein, both juniors, and sophomore midfielders Nick Hilgendorf and Michael McFarland (James’ brother) are expected to lead the offense.

Defensively, Glenbrook North will have junior goalie Chad Yale and junior defenseman Tommy Metzger.

“I told James his success will be judged by how he makes those around him better, the team better,” Georgacakis said. “That’s what he did. He got the people around him to excel, and that’s something that will help us in the future. You have to play good team lacrosse to be successful.”