New coach, experienced players for Piedmont boys lacrosse

2023 Piedmont boys lacrosse

Jeff Lamb has taken over as coach of the Piedmont High School boys lacrosse team. Former coach Alex Yu has moved on to a career as a pilot.

Lamb was named coach in late January. He is 36 years old and went to college at Georgetown, where he played until a broken femur ended his career. He lives in Alameda and works as an investment manager for a family investment office.

He comes to a program that has enjoyed a good amount of success in the sport. The Highlanders lost to Tamalpais 9-8 in the North Coast Section Division 2 championship match last year. Piedmont also won the Division 2 title in 2019 and played in Division 1 in the 2022 NCS playoffs thanks to the competitive equity model.

So what does Lamb like about his new team?

“I’ll start on work ethic which I think has been strong,” he said. “We’ve had two games. We have a lot season overlap that everyone deals with. Basketball and soccer both had strong years. On any given day we probably had 30-40 percent of our team that was at some other commitment. That means that when you’re there you need to make your time count and your players need to show up and concentrate.

I’ve been impressed with the work ethic especially from the senior players.”

Junior Gus Von Metzsch returns in goal for Piedmont.

“Gus is big,” Lamb said. “He’s probably 6-4, he’s quick for a big guy. It’s great to have somebody who takes up a lot of space in the goal but is also quick. Gus is smart too. Having Gus down there is like having another coach on the defensive side of the ball.”

The senior core is the four defenders: Keita Clear, Logan Huh, Scott Cooley, and Axel Saldanha. Clear is one of the team captains.

“He’s a leader,” Lamb said. “He’s always early to practice, he’s disciplined in terms of how he acts on and off the field. He’s a role model. He’s strong physically. He’s not a huge guy. But he’s a strong defender. Especially when you’re playing teams with good athletes, it’s important to have guys like Keita to match that.”

Of Huh, Lamb said, “He’s a little bit smaller than Keita but he’s very quick and again very strong one-on-one defending skills, technical skills.”

Cooley is new to lacrosse, but Lamb said he is 6-5 and athletic. For Saldanha, Lamb said, “the sky is the limit.”

The top players in the midfield range from freshman Connor Fredericks to senior Oliver Shafroth.

“Offense starts with being able to beat your guy and create motion and opportunities,” Lamb said. “(Shafroth is) capable of beating his defender and scoring but opening things up for other guys as well.”

Lamb said Fredericks will work the face off.

“His brother (Nathan) played last year,” Lamb said. “He could be a very good player. Like college-quality recruit. He’s contributing early and often to our offense. Connor is learning quickly and he’s learning to be a leader along with having the high-quality skill set.”

Senior Rylan Nelson is back to lead the attack.

“His technical skills are very strong,” Lamb said. “His stick skills. He’s quick too. He’s one of our team captains.”

Lamb will emphasize the team this year as he gets up to speed on East Bay lacrosse.

Piedmont opened the season with a 7-3 loss at Serra-San Mateo on February 28. Nelson scored two goals and Fredericks added the other. Mark Langridge, Phoenix Kelly-Zuckerman and Andrew Heneghan each scored two goals for the Padres.

On March 1, the Highlanders lost at Casa Grande, 6-4. Fredericks scored two goals for Piedmont and Nelson and Shafroth had single goals. Russell Karlson and Phoenix Smith each scored two goals for Casa Grande.

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