Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. - The Whittier College Men's Lacrosse head coach Nicholas Marks has announced that the team has elected four upperclassmen as team captains for the 2018 season. The Poet captains are seniors Kevin O'Donnell, Conner Sexton, Sigi Ocker, and Max Thiele.
"I am pleased with the team's selection for captains," commented Marks, who enters his first season as head coach for the Poets. "We have a well-rounded group that possess strong leadership skills and traits. This senior class of seven is an experienced group with a clear vision of what they want to attain in 2018. The entire senior class has a strong leadership presence, and to be named a captain is a tremendous honor that these four do not take for granted. My staff and I are looking forward to developing our captains as student-athlete leaders. There is a lot to be excited about in 2018 with this team and I am looking forward to it."
Kevin O'Donnell is the Poets' lone unanimous captain for the 2018 season. O'Donnell has been a mainstay on the Poets defense over the past three seasons having played in 39 games. He has already scooped 100 ground balls and caused 52 turnovers in his impressive career. In 2018, besides serving as the team's primary long-stick midfielder, he will also serve as the primary face-off specialist. Kevin has experience with face-offs, having won over 50 in his career with a longstick.
Conner Sexton has appeared in 35 games in his career for the Poets. Mainly serving as a defensive midfielder, Conner has picked up 71 ground balls and caused 13 turnovers in his previous three seasons. Sexton has moved to offensive midfield for the 2018 campaign, where he will play an important role in the Poets offense. He finished Fall Ball with 5 points in games against USC and Concordia-Irvine.
Sigi Ocker has appeared in 19 games in his career as a Poet. Previously, Ocker has seen action as an attackman seeing his most time during the 2017 season where he appeared in 11 games. For the 2018 season, he has been moved to offensive midfield where he will run with the first line. He will play an important role in making up for the offensive production the team graduated from last season. Ocker finished the team's Fall Ball scrimmages with 4 points.
Max Thiele has appeared in 31 games for the Poets and has started 22. Thiele had a breakout season in 2017, scooping 16 ground balls and causing 26 turnovers. Thiele will lead an experienced defense in the upcoming season, one that last year finished 2nd nationally in caused turnovers per game. He picked up where he left off last season, causing 2 turnovers in the team's Fall Ball scrimmages while also adding a goal against USC.
Whittier is looking to build on a successful 2017 season that culminated with a victory over Colorado College in the Locker-Stabler Cup. The Poets return two of their starting close defensemen, their defensive leader in groundballs and caused turnovers, their starting goalie, and 57% of their offensive point production from 2017.