Everyone on the West Genesee boys lacrosse team was in uniform last Tuesday night when it took on long-time rival Fayetteville-Manlius at Coyne Field.
And that was a big deal.
Ever since Ryan Barber broke his foot in the team's March 29 season-opening win against Downingtown East, the Wildcats have operated at less than full strength.
Barber went out, as did Mike Fetterly when he contracted mononucleosis. Tim Besio, Ike Hopper and Jordan Rogers all missed time due to various injuries, and WG's offense suffered as it took losses to Baldwinsville, Saint Albans and Auburn.
Gradually, Besio, Hopper and Rogers returned. Then Fetterly came back May 9 and got three assists in a win over Rome Free Academy.
Finally, Barber, a week ahead of schedule, showed up in uniform at Coyne to face F-M -- and whole again, the Wildcats took apart the Hornets in all phases of the game in an 11-5 victory.
"The whole team is feeling better," said head coach Mike Messere. "It (having Barber back) is a psychological lift."
Fetterly, Barber and Rogers still are not starting, but the Wildcats used that fact to its advantage to lure F-M into a defensive trap.
As he has done for much of this spring, Luke Cometti carried WG's offense in the first quarter, the senior midfielder making terrific one-on-one moves to produce a three-goal hat trick as the Wildcats fought its way to a 3-2 lead.
Then Fetterly and Barber went out there. Though it was painful on the hard Coyne Astroturf, Barber played large parts of the second and fourth quarters, and his mere presence seemed to electrify the rest of the team.
Fetterly would make an impact, especially at the tail end of the first half. With the score 6-4, he parked himself on the doorstep and, taking passes from Besio and Cometti, hit on two goals just 15 seconds apart to make it 8-4, and break the game open.