Wando High School Lacrosse
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Since 2011, Head Coach, Lance Renes has led Wando to become a perennial powerhouse in South Carolina AAAAA lacrosse, appearing in 11 out of the 12 state championship games, and bringing back 7 State titles. Wando has had a model of consistency that they look to maintain heading in 2023.
One thing that really stuck out to me while talking to a coach that has had as much success as he has, was how he spoke about the upcoming season as if they had everything to prove. He didn’t talk about having a target on their back or being feared by opponents. Instead, he focused on the new obstacles and how he planned on leading his team to adapt and overcome them going into 2023. Chasing an 8th State title is not going to be an easy task but they have already begun the process of focusing back in on their goals.
Wando will be an extremely young team this year after graduating 18 seniors in 2021 and another 19 in 2022. Losing key players after last seasons such as Lowcountry Player of the Year, Sam Goss, and All-American defensemen Peter Foulke, Wando will only have 5 seniors on the team in 2023.
Coach Renes has a philosophy that successful teams are the ones that are primarily player lead because other players react according to their counterparts. “On bad teams no one leads, on good teams coaches lead, and on elite teams, players lead”. In order to achieve their goals and chase an 8th State Championship, the warriors will need to see the emergence of new leaders. When I ask Coach Renes who he expects some of those guys to be, he mentioned Sheridan Bittinger, Garrett Mayer, and Sean Carroll.
Expect Sheridan Bittinger to be one of those guys that steps up as a leader on the defensive side of the ball for the Warriors in 2023. “If we need a spark in the game he would go in, he is a very vocal and physical player. He wasn’t a starter for us last season but he played his role extremely well and was very important to our success”.
Garrett Mayer is a senior Midfielder that has a very strong understanding of the game and of the offense that the warriors are running. Heading into his 3rd varsity season Garrett is going to play an important role in trying to pass on his understanding of the offense to younger players. He is very involved in the program and one of the oldest players on the team so he understands the dynamics of what it takes to be successful.
Sean Carroll has a chance to step into a leadership role on the offense in just his junior season. “The kid loves the game. He’s always striving for improvement and is very enthusiastic. He’s the type of kid to lead by example and his example is his enthusiasm towards the game and dedication to the program.” Sean recorded 12 goals, 21 assists, and 15 Ground balls in his sophomore season from the midfield position. Expect an even larger role for Carrol this year after the graduation of team captain and first team All Lowcountry player, Luke Tilden.
One position group that is set to shine in 2023 for the Warriors is the long-stick defensive midfield (LSM). Featuring a pair of juniors in Nico Boccabella and Connor Neal. “These guys are just scrappy athletic guys. They’re gonna be the guys to get the ground ball and really just compete all the time.”
The Warriors are facing one of the hardest schedules they have ever seen this season with out-of-state games including Lambert(GA), The Hill Academy(Canada), Dallas Episcopal(TX), as well as playing in the Faceoff Against Cancer in Georgia. They have also seen the emergence of multiple other extremely strong programs in South Carolina and in the Charleston area alone. The previous 5 AAAA State Championships have been claimed by Charleston teams with titles going to Oceanside Collegiate Academy(2), Bishop England(2), and Lucy Beckham since the creation of the AAAAA division in 2017 when Wando moved up divisions.
When I asked Coach Renes what he was most excited about going into his 13th Season as Wando’s head coach he said “The challenge. The dynamics in this town have changed as far as the approach to lacrosse. I’m really looking forward to that challenge of maintaining our standards, building relationships, and competing. I Like to compete, that’s my favorite part of being a coach.”
South Carolina State Championships
2022 Wando(7), Beckham
2021 JL Mann, Bishop England
2019 Fort Mill(3), OCA
2018 Wando(6), OCA
2017 Wando(5), Bishop England
2014 Fort Mill(2)
2011 Fort Mill