By Alex Petroski
The 2015 season didn’t go as Kings Park boys’ lacrosse head coach J.M. Simpson would have wanted, as his team struggled to a 2-14 record, but a silver lining was the development of senior attack and team captain Liam Winwood, who will go on to play at the college level next year.
Winwood recorded 19 goals and 10 assists in his senior season, his third with the varsity team, including five goals and four assists in Kings Park’s two wins this season. He will be trading in the maroon and gold of the Kings Park Kingsmen for the red and blue of the Division II Florida Southern College Moccasins of the Sunshine State Conference.
“Liam is a gifted playmaker with a great knack for finding the open man in tight spots,” Florida Southern head coach Marty Ward said. “His stick work is excellent and as he continues to mature as a player, he will be a great addition to our program.”
Winwood agreed with his future coach’s assessment of his skills, and credited his playmaking ability and vision as his greatest assets.
“I also rely on my high lacrosse IQ and my understanding of how my teammates interact with each other allows me to predict how everything goes down,” Winwood said. “I’m hoping in college I can continue to grow as a player by becoming stronger, faster, fine-tuning my skills and pushing myself to the limit every day.”
Kings Park will be losing a valuable member of their team next season, but its not just for his contributions on the field.
“Liam was a great leader for us all season,” Simpson said of his now former player, who received the academic scholar award following all three of his varsity seasons, for maintaining an average above 90 while playing a sport. “He was constantly putting guys in the right place and was an extension of the coaching staff.”
Winwood said he will miss Kings Park, and reflected on what his time there meant to him.
“I can’t believe it’s already over,” he said. “I’m going to miss my coaches, teammates and of course my two biggest and loudest fans in the stands, my parents.”
Family support is a big part of Winwood’s Kings Park lacrosse experience, and pointed to a family member as being one to look our for.
“Keep an eye out for Dylan Winwood next year,” he said, calling his brother a “straight playmaker.” Liam and Dylan’s older brother Andrew also played for the Kingsmen.
As Liam Winwood moves on to play at the next level, Simpson is eager to see what the future holds for his former captain.
“He really grew as a dodger and playmaker as the season progressed, which was a role he was not used to,” he said. “He should be a guy that goes on to do great things at the next level if he puts the work in. I am excited to watch him continue to grow as a player and a person.”