LA CANADA — After starring the past two seasons as quarterback of the St. Francis High football team, Jared Lebowitz decided to take up another sport that had been dear to him when he was growing up in Vermont.
When Lebowitz found out last spring that St. Francis would field a lacrosse team for the first time this season, the senior jumped at the opportunity to participate in a sport he last played about four years ago.
“It’s a great sport,” said Lebowitz, a midfielder on the lacrosse team and the reigning All-Area Football Player of the Year. “It’s neat to be a part of a first-year program.
“There are no huge expectations. It’s just great to be with the guys and having a blast.”
The Golden Knights, who are a freelance team, suffered a 15-2 loss to visiting Malibu on Thursday at Friedman Field. St. Francis dropped to 0-3.
While wins and losses are part of the evaluation process, St. Francis Coach Geoff Watson said he’s more concerned about further honing the players’ skills on both sides of the ball.
“We’ve been spending a lot of time on various stick drills and putting them in situational plays to get them ready for games,” said Watson, who played attacker on the Harvard University men’s lacrosse team from 1997-2000 and is an English and Spanish teacher at St. Francis. “It’s about getting them to practice and play a lot.
“Lacrosse gave me a lot of opportunities and I’m trying to give back. We are learning. Our offense looked good and we had a bunch of shots.”
Malibu (2-2) provided a clinic on the art of offense Thursday.
The Sharks held a 5-0 lead after the first quarter.
Riley Smoller scored two goals 50 seconds apart to give Malibu a 2-0 lead early in the first quarter. The Sharks extended the lead to 8-0 on a goal by Kenyon Solomon with 9:34 left in the second quarter.
St. Francis junior attacker Miro Serrell-Freed scored as time expired at halftime to cut the deficit to 8-1.
“We are doing our best early on in the season,” Serrell-Freed said. “I had played lacrosse up through the eighth grade and this is an excellent opportunity.
“To be a part of the first team is unbelievable.”
Freshman midfielder Dylan Gomez scored for St. Francis to make it 11-2 with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter.
St. Francis’ attackers are Serrell-Freed, Will Nausha, Matthew Dionisio, Aaron Han, Ian Gordon and Dylan Sweet. The midfielders are Lebowitz, Gomez, Daniel Kawamura, Nate Clark, Matt Higashiyama, Stephan Krause, Patrick McGoldrick, Kyle Stanley, Matt Fernandez and Colin Treidler.
The defenders include Joe Velladao, Steven Molina, James St. John, Trevor Provencio, Tyler Barkley, Don Pontrelli and Matt Gonzalez. The goalkeepers are Michael Guido, who finished with six saves, and Luciano Santoro.