Defense has Butler boys lacrosse thinking playoffs
Tri-State Sports & News Service
APR 27, 2018
There haven’t been many days when Trever Monteleone wasn’t somehow affiliated with the Butler boys lacrosse program.
He played for the Golden Tornado through his high school years and was an assistant coach for two years after he graduated.
Now, the 22-year-old remains a fixture on the Butler sideline, but he’s the guy running the show as one of the youngest head coaches of any team in any sport in the WPIAL.
“It was kind of shocking at first, but I actually like it a lot and, in my interview with the school, it actually helped me with the age barrier,” Monteleone said. “It’s not an older guy yelling at you because you’re only a few years older than them and you can relate.”
So far he has gotten the most out of his team as Butler was 6-3 and tied for third place in Class 3A Section 2 behind powerhouses Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon. But the road has not been easy for the Golden Tornado in the early going.
“We’re one of the most northern teams and we got put into a travel division, but we do have playoff hopes,” Monteleone said. “We were in a really tough section two years ago with North Allegheny and Pine-Richland and Seneca Valley, so this year we were able to switch it and, hopefully, make the playoffs.”
Prior to the season, the WPIAL shifted from three sections to four with the top four teams in each qualifying for the postseason. It was designed to foster a more positive approach to development of the sport and gave teams that had little chance of qualifying for the postseason a realistic goal to get into the tournament.
“If you look at it from our perspective, you only need two wins to make the playoffs and be like a No. 4 seed,” Monteleone said. “It helps a lot.”
If Butler does make the playoffs, it will be through its defense, which has allowed only six goals in its past three games. Several of the team’s top players are defenders including Jake Tilko, Connor Bachman and Ben Kranbacher.
“We stay in single digits in most of our games,” Monteleone said. “We have a lot of juniors and seniors and they’re playing as a defense-oriented team.”