UNC lacrosse opens up tough preseason

Last season, a trio of freshmen, Joey Sankey, Jimmy Bitter and Chad Tutton, infused the North Carolina men’s lacrosse team with a new, fresh energy.

After navigating through the beginning of their first collegiate season, the three freshmen worked their way into the starting lineup and made an instant impact.

Bitter was the second leading scorer on the ACC Championship-runner up squad with 27 goals while Sankey and Tutton netted 22 and 20, respectively.

This season the trio will have a year of playing and an offseason of weightlifting and training under their belts.

“(Bitter and Tutton are) both still improving,” senior attackman Marcus Holman said. “They’re not resting on their accomplishments that they had last year.”

On Saturday morning, the three sophomores, including preseason All-America honorable mentions Sankey and Bitter, got their first taste of competition this season in a scrimmage against a Denver team that “eliminated the Tar Heels”: http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2012/05/tar_heels_eliminated_in_first_round_of_ncaa_tournament in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season.

Though the game wasn’t officially scored, Holman saw improvements in the maturing trio.

“Jimmy (Bitter) definitely put on some weight and got stronger,” Holman said. “He’s really been getting after it in the weight room. Chad (Tutton) is Canadian and he plays lacrosse pretty much year round. He’s constantly getting better.”

In addition to returning Sankey, Bitter and Tutton, the Tar Heels also return the core of an attack that boasted the seventh best scoring offense in the country that averaged 12.18 goals per game last season.

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