In its first year as a NCHSAA-sanctioned sport, high school lacrosse is starting to get the recognition it deserves.
Lake Norman finished the best among area teams in both the boys' and girls' conferences, finishing first and second in their respective conferences.
North Meck was second in Conference 10 standings with a 9-6 record and reached the inaugural state playoffs. Lake Norman Charter was 8-8, while Hopewell was 4-11.
Cannon, 11-8, reached the NCISAA final four
On the girls side, the Titans - with a 8-5 record - made the playoffs as a wildcard. The Lady Vikings finished fourth in Conference 7.
All Lake Norman News Boys' Lacrosse Team
Attack - Danny Brown, Lake Norman : Led Wildcats with 45 goals on the season.
Attack - Max Copeland, Lake Norman: Score 44 goals to an already potent offense.
Attack - Patrick Hennigan, Cannon: Led the Cougars with 55 goals and 52 assists.
Attack - Chris Ahern, North Meck: Vikings top threat scored 26 goals.
Mid - Charles Copeland, Lake Norman: Steady player controlled the middle for Wildcats.
Mid - Kendall Moore, North Meck: Multidimension player also plays the attack for Vikings.
Mid - Grayson Spittel, Lake Norman Charter: Multitalented player for the Knights.
Mid - Andrew Gobble, Lake Norman Charter: Can play up front just as effectively.
LSM/Def - Patrick Wurtz, Lake Norman: Makes a big difference on defensive end.
LSM/Def - Brian Policke, North Meck: Uses long stick well to make Vikings defense tougher.
Def - Kyle Gradert, Lake Norman: Freshman already best defender on a stingy unit.
Def - Kevin Hart, Hopewell: Rugged defender also a standout on Titan football team.
GK - Justin Parks, Hopewell: All-conference goalkeeper helped keep Titans in games.
Boys' Coach of the Year: Kevin Gowan, Lake Norman Wildcats
Kevin Gowan is used to winning big. Gowan, who was a member of the 2002 and 2004 national championship lacrosse teams at Syracuse University, is bringing the same success to Lake Norman. Gowan led his Wildcats to a 15-3 mark, including a perfect 8-0 in Conference 10 play.
Boys' Player of the Year: Danny Brown, Lake Norman Wildcats
Danny Brown is only a sophomore, but the attacker played far beyond his years, netting 45 goals while dishing out 30 assists. Brown led a potent Wildcat offense that produced 228 goals in 18 games..
"He just has a knack for the game," said Gowan of his star player. "He's still so young. I think he is just going to get better and better."
All Lake Norman News Girls' Lacrosse Team
Attack - Alexa Gallo, Lake Norman: Led Wildcats with 42 goals this season.
Attack - Cindy Conrad, Lake Norman: Senior had 22 goals for Wildcats.
Attack - Payton McMahan, Hopewell: Scoring machine helped Titans to an 8-5 mark.
Attack - Hannah Kline, North Meck: Vikings top offensive option can score in bunches.
Mid - Esmi Morgan, Lake Norman: Another weapon on potent offense had 26 goals.
Mid - Elizabeth Koehler, Lake Norman: Junior's versatility allows her to play attack as well.
Mid - Megan Powell, Hopewell: Another big part of Titan's fast break style.
Mid - Bree Saya, Hopewell: Can do it all, both offense and defense, at a high rate.
Def - Kourtney Jones, Lake Norman: Freshman already making impact on defense.
Def - Samantha Hendrickson, Lake Norman: Talented defender helped lead LN defense.
Def - Bailey Leonard, Hopewell: Sophomore is another young, talented Titan.
GK - Catherine Savage, Lake Norman: Saved nearly 60 percent of shots on goal.
Girls' Coach of the Year: Dave Walla, Lake Norman Wildcats
Dave Walla knows lacrosse. In fact, Walla was a midfielder on the Naval Academy squad for all four years of college, winning the 1970 national championship.
This season, he led Lake Norman's girls' lacrosse team to a 10-3 record in his first season as head coach.
Girls' Player of the Year: Alex Gallo, Lake Norman Wildcats
Alex Gallo moved with her family to the Charlotte area this season after growing up in New York. Gallo, who still might play college lacrosse, made the most of her senior season, scoring 42 goals. Gallo was also fourth on the team in assists and second on the team in ground balls.
"Alex is the best player on our team with the most complete skill set and a great attitude," said Walla. "I think her numbers reflected how hard she works."