September 12, 2012-
The NC State Wolfpack of the SELC conference in MCLA Lacrosse had their first losing record in five years due to lack of offensive firepower. With two top notch attackmen graduating, the Wolfpack will need to find new ways to score, even if that means going through the midfielders such as Quinn Struble. Goalie and leader Ray Distefano was arguably the best keeper in the SELC, and the most reliable player on the field and between the pipes for the Wolfpack. Ian Pierno of inlacrossewetrust.com was able to ask had coach Chip Thurston some questions before September 17th, the start of Wolfpack fall ball.
Where are you looking to redeem the starpower and leadership you had in star attackman Chris Ragozzo?
You never know who will be the leader from year to year with club lacrosse. Kids can play one year and not the next. Â However we are hopeful that returning player Bill Nifong will provide us some scoring power. Â Bill was redshirted last year because of an injury.
Midfielders Colton Soref and Quinn Struble provided a balanced offensive attack combining for 31 points, both of these players are Â seniors that have only combined for 3 seasons on the team. With the Â experience these players have gained, how do you think their roles have changed?
Well Colton has graduated and will not be returing next year. Â Quinn is a transfer student and we will have him one more year. Â Quinn brings a lot of energy and experience and I am hoping he can provide the other midfielders some guidance and help set a standard.
Struble was taken from Green Hope high in Cary, NC. How did you two come across each other? Was it more luck, a recruiting progress, or meeting at a camp that allowed him to join the local team?
Alex Chapla who is the team President and a Senior Defenseman also went to Green Hope. Â When he heard that Quinn was transfering to NC State he got in contact with him to see his interest in playing on the team. Â Quinn then decided to join the program.
2012 was the first time the team had a losing record since the 2007 season, what is the team doing in the fall to bounce back to possibly be contenders again?
It was a very difficult season for so many reasons. Â It falls on the leadership of the team which begins with the me, the Head Coach. Â I must do a better job in motivating and preparing the team. Â We will have out team meeting on Monday before we begin our Fall Ball. Â Fall Ball this year will be filled with a focused attention to excellence and there will be more accountability
The team rode on the back of veteran goalie and SELC Honorable MentionÂ Ray Distefano, how is the team trying to take the load off of him this year?
We have a new defensive coordinator joing the Pack this year, Chris Demerest. Â Chris comes with DI and DIII playing experience and 8 years of coaching at the high school and college levels. Â We are hoping that Chris can help us reinvigorate our defense and become more displine in our slide packages. Â Ray is a tremendous goalie and team mate and we need to support him beeter with better defense. Â We are lucky to have Ray on our team.
Head Coach Chip Thurston:Â “Playing and losing is better than not playing at all and is damn sure better than playing baseball”