The Peninsula High School lacrosse team has some new coaching at the helm. Two new coaches, to be exact.
Courtney Mauzy and Rusty Wilder have taken over for Tracy Lyon, and early results have been positive. The Seahawks have posted a 6-1 record to this point in the season and are pushing for a playoff berth.
Mauzy, who has the official head coach title, coached at Forsyth Country Day, a private school in Lewisville, North Carolina for 20 years. A job brought him to the Pacific Northwest, where he’s been living for the past three years. He jumped at the chance to be a part of the Peninsula program, which isn’t yet a WIAA-recognized sport.
“Out here, this is unbelievable,” Mauzy said. “There’s a ton of talent and there’s a good staff. I love the heart. They’ve just got a great attitude. They’re tough kids. They’re kids that have been playing for a long time, so the skillset is there. It’s just coming together as a team. That’s the way Rusty and I both feel. That’s all we need to do: help them trust each other as a group.”
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Senior Bryce Wilder, Rusty’s son, is the team’s most prolific goal scorer.
“We’re really upbeat and full of energy,” Wilder said. “Everybody is positive. The team really came together ... we have good chemistry. It’s been a work in progress over the last four years or so.”
Wilder said his old man doesn’t get on him too much.
“It’s just a lot of positive,” he said. “If I mess up, we just talk things over and go from there.”
Peninsula will get a chance at its rival, Gig Harbor, on May 5 in the annual Baggataway Bowl. While Mauzy said it “drives him nuts” having to share a practice field with his team’s biggest rival, he’s still excited for the big game.
“It’s fun because these kids grew up together. They compete and they’re rivals,” Mauzy said. “It’s just an interesting dynamic. They know each other really well.”
Mauzy is careful not to set expectations on his team in terms of wins and losses.
“I’ve told them from the very beginning, there’s no doubt in my mind they can beat anyone on the schedule,” he said. “The talent is there. I really make an effort not to set expectations except for getting better every day. I absolutely believe they can finish the season not losing another game.”
In addition to Wilder, some other key players are junior attacker Cameron Lewis, senior Jeff Costanzo, senior goalie Luca Mira and junior attacker Jackson Reid. Mira has 61 saves and is ranked the No. 1 goalie in the league.
“I believe we can finish with a playoff seed,” Wilder said. “We’ll see from there where we stand.”