Senior defenseman Brock Hurley sees something unique with the North Harford boys lacrosse team this season.
The Hawks have 15 seniors — and many played together long before high school. It's a bond that Hurley believes can lead to a special season for North Harford. In his second year on varsity at close defense, Hurley is a team captain and responsible for shutting down the opponent's top attackman.
Hurley maintains a 3.75 grade point average and plans to study environmental science while playing for Stevenson next year. He also played volleyball and basketball at North Harford. Hurley, who works as a youth soccer referee and in a food warehouse, also enjoys playing ping pong, riding his dirt bike and hanging out with friends.
What has been the key to the Hawks' start this season?
The team is looking very good. We had some very good scrimmages that helped us prepare for the season, and we're playing at a very high level. We have a lot of seniors this year, and we're all focused and preparing very well for every game. We're very focused on getting through regionals, and our main goal is to go to states and win that. Our last state championship was in 1995, so it's been awhile.
How is this season different now that you are a senior?
It's hard to explain. Being a senior, you feel like you have a lot of responsibility on the team. For me, I have to make sure the defense is in the right positions. If someone is not doing something right, I try to tell them what they are doing wrong and what they can do to improve.
How does the strong bond of the seniors lead to wins?
Having 15 seniors, we have a lot of experience and we've played together for the past four years — and some of us have even been playing together since middle and elementary school days. I felt like we were good last year, but not as focused as we are this year. We have that mentality to go into every game and give 110 percent game in and game out.
What do you enjoy most about playing close defense?
I like playing against the top attackman from every team. I love the challenge and it gets me better. Just playing really good competition helps me in every way possible. I just try to make sure they don't have any goals or assists. My mentality is, if you can stop their best players, then they can't win. Playing defense with guys I grew up with really helps.
What's your best memory at North Harford?
My best memory is definitely every day in practice, just bonding with my teammates. If you play as a team, you're going to win games. I feel at North Harford we have the good bonding that has helped us be successful on the lacrosse field.
What impressed you most about Stevenson?
When I visited, I really liked it. [Head] Coach [Paul] Cantabene and [assistant] coach [Tim] Puls showed me around, and I felt like I was at home. The program is good, the kids seemed nice, and they're very successful on and off the lacrosse field.