By Wayne Witkowski
New Egypt High School saw its greatest boys’ lacrosse season come to an end earlier than hoped.
The Warriors, who tied the school record for wins in a 13-4 season, were eliminated in their New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Central Jersey, Group I opener by an offense more explosive than their own, as New Providence High School prevailed, 18-6.
Although a humbling loss, it could not take away from a season of distinction in which the Warriors won the Burlington County Scholastic League title outright with a 9-1 record after sharing it a year ago in a three-way tie. They did it behind relentless scorer Kyle Prouty, who is headed to NCAA Division I power Johns Hopkins University in the fall, and playmaking midfielder Brady Mannion. Both players set season and career records at what they do best.
“I’m very proud of these kids. I wish I could coach them forever,” coach Brendan McCarthy said. “If they were getting paid and were paid less, they’d still take it to play on the team. It all started with teams that won one game and four games until coming on strong the last few seasons.
“In the states, we had 12 guys who play, and [New Providence] had more.”
Prouty led the state in scoring with 79 goals and leaves with what looks like an unreachable 258 career goals. He had 74 goals as a sophomore. Prouty also had 29 assists this season and 111 for his career.
Mannion had 49 goals and 47 assists this season. He finishes his career with 173 goals and 144 assists.
Goalkeeper Chase Durbin had 205 saves, as New Egypt outscored its opponents, 221-135, which was a school record for goals scored in a season.
“We came into the season with a bunch of goals and accomplished nearly all of them, and winning the league really defined this season,” Prouty said. “The defense was together for three years, and everyone was able to contribute. When we play, we left it on the field.”
“The key was our ability to make stops on defense,” McCarthy said, also pointing to Prouty winning 90 percent of the faceoffs.
Jake Kear anchored the defense with support from Mario Reed. They are both seniors.
The names Prouty and Mannion continue, as younger brothers Connor Prouty and Bailey Mannion start their high school careers with the freshman class in the fall. Bob Farrand, a sophomore, and junior Zach Young also will look to pick up the scoring after finishing with 31 and 29 goals, respectively.
McCarthy said next spring, he will turn to the sophomores to step up, such as Cole Curran, and players coming up from the junior varsity team, including Matt Carlucci and Vin Raucci.
McCarthy won’t call it a rebuilding year.
“It’ll be different, but it’s continuing what we’ve established the last few years,” McCarthy said.