BENNINGTON >> The ultimate goal for every high school team in any sport is to win the state championship.
New Mount Anthony boys lacrosse coach Mark Lange and the Patriots talked about it — once.
"We talked about winning the championship and that was on the first day and we haven't talked about it since," said Lange, during practice on Wednesday. "We just want to get better one day at a time. At the end of the day, only one [team] can win the state title, only one can win the league."
The Patriots have a solid mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen, including five seniors. Three of them, Hunter Davis, Matt Pellon and Jeremy Bourgeois are the captains and attackmen, and really on-field coaches for Lange, along with midfielder Thomas Hendery and defender Devin Briggs.
"Our seniors have a good lacrosse IQ and they understand the game real well," Lange said. "The game of lacrosse is very much a read and react on the field and figuring it out on the fly and they do a great job of being a coach on the field."
The experience could be the difference in tight games, Davis said.
"We have a lot of experience, which can help us, we know when to slow the ball down, not be in a fast break," Davis said.
The Patriots will be strong in the midfield as well, with juniors Trey Lang and Ezra Royce leading the way. Lang was a captain for the Burr and Burton Academy boys hockey squad this winter. Lange also cited Ben Winslow as a player to watch this season.
"[Trey] knows what it takes to be a leader. He takes faceoffs, plays offense and defense," Lange said. "Ezra just impresses us more and more every day, he's very coachable, works hard, gets it and has good skills. Ben has a ton of speed, he can be very strong for us."
On defense, sophomore Matt Glanovsky will direct traffic on the back line. He played varsity basketball this winter, so he knows the speed of the varsity game, a skill that will prove well in lacrosse.
"Coach Lange has a different style of coaching than [Coach Reif]," Davis said. "He runs more pressure, a fast break and more [plays]. It's more set than fluid, but we'll get used to it. It's good to push the younger guys, to get better and get into the rhythm of playing on varsity."
In goal, Jackson Thibodeau is a three-year starter and the junior has continually improved. This year, he'll be a stalwart between the pipes for the Patriots.
"Jackson is a rock for us, he's unbelievable," Lange said. "It's one thing to have a three-year starter that's a junior, but another for him to be a very athletic kid and a lefty. He's solid, has good form in net, once he gets the communication piece, he'll be one of the best, if not the best, goalies in the entire state."
The Patriots will scrimmage in Keene, N.H. this weekend, start the season against Glens Falls, N.Y., before the home opener against Burr and Burton.
"We're trying to find ourselves and what we need to do, try to fix problems we have so it doesn't happen in the games," Davis said.