100 wins and counting for Lexington boys lacrosse coach

By Thomas Grant Jr.

Mark Piepoli took over a fledgling Lexington High School boy lacrosse program 12 years ago.

He’s currently overseeing a team that just won the Region 4-5A title while surpassing 100 wins.

The Wildcats and Piepoli reached that milestone on March 18 following a 10-9 win at Dutch Fork.  

“Reaching 100 wins in any sport at the high school level is a huge accomplishment,” Piepoli said. “To be able to have all 100 at the same school for a program that I built from the ground up is hard to put into words.”

The program has come a long way from when Piepoli began his tenure with players as inexperienced to the sport as it was to the school. 

“The program started in the spring of 2013 with maybe 5-10 players who had ever picked up a stick before,” he remembered. “The rest were new to the sport and had good athletic ability that allowed them to take to the sport quickly.  Creating something that has been able to reach a consistent standard of 10+ win seasons and grow this great sport in the Lexington area is something of which I am immensely proud. But more importantly, I am honored to have played a small part in the lives of all of the players that have come through our program over the last 12 seasons.”

This is the Wildcats’ first outright region title since 2020. They’ve overcome the loss of 17 seniors, rebounded from injuries to starters goalie Garrett Gallagher and midfielder Justin Rindfiss and various sicknesses early in the season to go 7-0 in the region.  

“Once we got into region play, we started to figure things out,” he said. “Getting those first two wins over Chapin and Dutch Fork solidified that this group has every right to be in the conversation as the best team in the region.”

Junior Carter Elston has stepped in for Gallagher and has played the position at an equally high level, according to Piepoli. Senior attackmen Hudson Wood and Ian Lewis and midfielder Wyatt Wilson have led the offense, along with other contributors Holden Jackson, Junior Greysen Rewis, and Sawyer Headley

Defensively, the Wildcats have also just one opponent (Hammond) to score more than 10 points.  Davis Catalanotto is the team’s best on-ball defender and his speed and athleticism allow him to be an asset in the Wildcats’ transition game.

He teams up with senior Jacob Gepfert to solidify the midfield, Tucker Murphy is usually charged with containing the opponent’s top offensive player and Duke Cleary, Tommy Werny and Peter Tamas round out the defensive side of the ball.

Lexington has two games remaining after Spring Break to close out the regular season.

Having wrapped up the top seed in the Upper State for the Class 5A playoffs, Piepoli is using last year’s 16-15 second-round loss to state runner-up Wando as motivation.

“Our kids played their hearts out and unfortunately, just ran out of time,” he said. “By securing the region, we also lock up the number-one overall seed and will host each playoff game as long as we are able to find a way to advance. 

“The resilience of this team is unmatched in any that I have coached before, and I know they will come back from Spring Break ready to go and make that final push into the playoffs.”

Photo courtesy of Lexington High School