LOMBARD — When Steve Carlevato was a senior at Montini, the lacrosse program was just getting started.
Five years later, he is coaching the Broncos and they are off to a winning start this spring.
Carlevato, a 2008 Montini graduate, was part of the first Montini boys lacrosse team and he’s noticed the changes from his playing days.
“I think we had maybe 13 or 14, just enough to field a team,” Carlevato said. “The numbers have grown up a little bit, but the talent level is a lot higher from when I started here.”
The Broncos now have 24 players and some with lacrosse experience before high school. Montini beat IC Catholic 12-2 on Tuesday to improve to 6-0 heading into Thursday’s game at St. Laurence.
Montini competes in the B level of Illinois high school lacrosse, which is still a club sport. The hot start will give the Broncos a chance at getting a good seed to make a push in the B tournament.
The progress is notable, but Carlevato has bigger ambitions to match many of Montini’s extremely successful athletic programs.
“I want to get the program up to those numbers that some of the elite, the bigger programs are at with 50-60 kids where you have a varsity program and a JV program,” the coach said. “Eventually on down the line compete with those higher-tier A teams as well.”
In his efforts to get to that level, Carlevato has been actively seeking out current students and incoming freshman to get them to play lacrosse.
“It’s a fast growing sport and a lot of players are interested in it as an offseason sport for football or basketball or whatever,” he said. “It kind of ties all those elements into it and that’s why I think it’s been growing pretty quick in the region.”