The Hereford boys' lacrosse team has traditionally leaned on its defense and transition game to generate offense.
This year, though, the attack has created its own scoring opportunities. Furthermore, the offense has developed a swagger and has challenged the Bulls' defenders with spirited battles in practice.
Hereford has opened the season at 7-3. The losses have come against area powers McDonogh, Gilman and Severna Park, which recently knocked off Severn. The Bulls handed Broadneck its first loss of the season, 9-5, April 15. Hereford then picked up another big 12-11 overtime win against Towson April 18.
The Bulls have shown they can play with any team.
"Kids know we can play with any of the elite programs in the state, and quite honestly, based on the results of those games, we can play with anyone, anywhere," head coach Sal Picataggi said. "Our schedule is purposely tough so we can improve through the year. We hope to set the standard for the county, and we realize we are a lot of county teams' big game. We enjoy it."
The Bulls' offense has been led by junior attackman JD Nozemack (Monmouth), who has more than 50 points in 10 games. Hereford has also received solid play from junior long-pole midfielder Scott Middleton (Loyola), who Picataggi considers "one of the best players in the country."
The defense has been led by juniors Will Reott and Troy Tuveson, along with senior Campbell Carr. Hereford has the talent for a county, regional and state title this season. The Bulls already have a strong tradition in place, winning six straight state championships from 2008-2013.
Now, there is an added advantage to this year's squad.
"This team is very balanced," Picataggi said.