RBC’s Connor Harms returns as one of Shore Conference’s top lacrosse defenders

March 29, 2024 at 7:00 a.m.
Seniors Connor Harms, number 13, and Logan Graham, number 10, will be the driving force behind a defense that is the most experienced unit on the Red Bank Catholic lacrosse team heading into the season. Photo by Jennifer Harms/ J Harms Photography
Seniors Connor Harms, number 13, and Logan Graham, number 10, will be the driving force behind a defense that is the most experienced unit on the Red Bank Catholic lacrosse team heading into the season. Photo by Jennifer Harms/ J Harms Photography

By RICH FISHER
Contributing Editor

Defense will be key for Red Bank Catholic’s boys lacrosse team early this season, and senior Connor Harms will be key to that defense.

Which is how he likes it.

“I love leading the guys, getting all the boys behind me and taking the role,” he said. “I did it in hockey, I’m doing it again in lacrosse. I’ll definitely have to anchor the defense early, and I think we’re gonna have a lot of success.”

Also returning on defense is senior Logan Graham, a football player who Harms said “is a very good, very physical pole,” and senior goalie Gianvito Viola, who’s “a really good goalie, he’ll be a huge help to us.”

“Our defensive group is very close, so it makes it easy to go out and talk to each other and have fun with it,” Harms continued. “We played East Brunswick in a scrimmage and our defense was lights out.”

Offensively, RBC returns a combined 70 goals from seniors Peter Villare and Jackson Lu but lost 96 goals and 57 assists with the graduation of Sam Fertal and Torin Harmon.

“Our offense has to hunker down,” Harms said. “The good thing is our defense will get the stops so it’s gonna keep giving our offense more opportunities, which will help them gain confidence. We have a lot of young guys so we’re trying to work everything out. It’s all about filling spots and building chemistry.”


Senior Connor Harms will lead a sturdy defense this season as Red Bank Catholic looks to take a final step and get to the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship game. Photo by Jennifer Harms/J Harms Photography

Harms feels that will happen and is confident in a big season. The Caseys were 11-8 last year and lost an 8-7 decision to Immaculata, Somerville, after taking a 7-4 lead in the NJSIAA Non-Public B state semifinal. It was RBC’s second straight year losing in the semis.


This season they are a favorite to win the Shore Conference’s Colonial Division, and Harms feels there is enough talent to get over the hump and into the state finals.

The Wall resident and parishioner of St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish, Spring Lake, will play a major part in whatever success the Caseys enjoy.

After getting bored with baseball in second grade, Harms took up lacrosse and played attack. He joined a summer league team in seventh grade that had nine attackmen so playing time was limited. Connor switched to defense and picked it up quickly. He missed gaining a year of experience when COVID hit in 8th grade, but easily picked up the position playing varsity as a freshman.

Despite his main sport being ice hockey, Harms was named second-team on the Shore Conference’s All-Division lacrosse team, and voted New Jersey’s top boys lacrosse junior last year after collecting a goal, 11 assists and 102 ground balls. He enjoys pushing the ball into the offensive zone and will look to score more goals this season. He knows, however, that his main job is to defend.

And just what does that entail?

“Mentally, you need to have a short memory,” Harms said. “It’s such an open field, you’re gonna get beat. If you get beat and a kid scores, you just gotta get a new go. If you’re not in it mentally you’re gonna be in for a long day.

“Physically, it’s just trying to stay with him,” he continued. “Being a good athlete is huge. You need speed to stay with him, trying to make contact. A lot of talking on defense is always good.”

Harms is the team’s leading returnee for picking up ground balls. He feels some of those skills are transferred from hockey.

“When the ball is on the ground some people think I stickhandle it trying to get out of piles,” he said with a laugh. “I just have a nose for the ball. I find it a lot and scoop it up.”

He helped scoop up plenty of toys for the second straight year, once again spearheading the Catholic tri-op ice hockey team’s holiday toy drive to benefit the Mercy Center of Asbury Park. Comprising players from RBC, St. Rose, Belmar, and Donovan Catholic, Toms River, the group donated more than 300 new, unwrapped gifts for Mercy Center’s Christmas Joy Toy Drive to benefit local children in need.

“We set record numbers,” Harms said proudly. “We had a great turnout to help, and the Mercy Center was very happy about it.”

Harms’ enthusiasm for the project reflects his Christian values of giving, just as his membership in the National Honor Society reflects his dedication to academics. With a 4.0 grade point average Connor is looking to major in civil engineering and hopes to play club hockey at either Syracuse, Connecticut, Storrs, Delaware, Newark, or Rowan, Glassboro.

As for now, he’s looking to go out on a lacrosse high note.  

“This group has been through it all,” Harms said. “We’re ready to take the next step.”

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.


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Defense will be key for Red Bank Catholic’s boys lacrosse team early this season, and senior Connor Harms will be key to that defense.

Which is how he likes it.

“I love leading the guys, getting all the boys behind me and taking the role,” he said. “I did it in hockey, I’m doing it again in lacrosse. I’ll definitely have to anchor the defense early, and I think we’re gonna have a lot of success.”

Also returning on defense is senior Logan Graham, a football player who Harms said “is a very good, very physical pole,” and senior goalie Gianvito Viola, who’s “a really good goalie, he’ll be a huge help to us.”

“Our defensive group is very close, so it makes it easy to go out and talk to each other and have fun with it,” Harms continued. “We played East Brunswick in a scrimmage and our defense was lights out.”

Offensively, RBC returns a combined 70 goals from seniors Peter Villare and Jackson Lu but lost 96 goals and 57 assists with the graduation of Sam Fertal and Torin Harmon.

“Our offense has to hunker down,” Harms said. “The good thing is our defense will get the stops so it’s gonna keep giving our offense more opportunities, which will help them gain confidence. We have a lot of young guys so we’re trying to work everything out. It’s all about filling spots and building chemistry.”


Senior Connor Harms will lead a sturdy defense this season as Red Bank Catholic looks to take a final step and get to the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship game. Photo by Jennifer Harms/J Harms Photography

Harms feels that will happen and is confident in a big season. The Caseys were 11-8 last year and lost an 8-7 decision to Immaculata, Somerville, after taking a 7-4 lead in the NJSIAA Non-Public B state semifinal. It was RBC’s second straight year losing in the semis.


This season they are a favorite to win the Shore Conference’s Colonial Division, and Harms feels there is enough talent to get over the hump and into the state finals.

The Wall resident and parishioner of St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish, Spring Lake, will play a major part in whatever success the Caseys enjoy.

After getting bored with baseball in second grade, Harms took up lacrosse and played attack. He joined a summer league team in seventh grade that had nine attackmen so playing time was limited. Connor switched to defense and picked it up quickly. He missed gaining a year of experience when COVID hit in 8th grade, but easily picked up the position playing varsity as a freshman.

Despite his main sport being ice hockey, Harms was named second-team on the Shore Conference’s All-Division lacrosse team, and voted New Jersey’s top boys lacrosse junior last year after collecting a goal, 11 assists and 102 ground balls. He enjoys pushing the ball into the offensive zone and will look to score more goals this season. He knows, however, that his main job is to defend.

And just what does that entail?

“Mentally, you need to have a short memory,” Harms said. “It’s such an open field, you’re gonna get beat. If you get beat and a kid scores, you just gotta get a new go. If you’re not in it mentally you’re gonna be in for a long day.

“Physically, it’s just trying to stay with him,” he continued. “Being a good athlete is huge. You need speed to stay with him, trying to make contact. A lot of talking on defense is always good.”

Harms is the team’s leading returnee for picking up ground balls. He feels some of those skills are transferred from hockey.

“When the ball is on the ground some people think I stickhandle it trying to get out of piles,” he said with a laugh. “I just have a nose for the ball. I find it a lot and scoop it up.”

He helped scoop up plenty of toys for the second straight year, once again spearheading the Catholic tri-op ice hockey team’s holiday toy drive to benefit the Mercy Center of Asbury Park. Comprising players from RBC, St. Rose, Belmar, and Donovan Catholic, Toms River, the group donated more than 300 new, unwrapped gifts for Mercy Center’s Christmas Joy Toy Drive to benefit local children in need.

“We set record numbers,” Harms said proudly. “We had a great turnout to help, and the Mercy Center was very happy about it.”

Harms’ enthusiasm for the project reflects his Christian values of giving, just as his membership in the National Honor Society reflects his dedication to academics. With a 4.0 grade point average Connor is looking to major in civil engineering and hopes to play club hockey at either Syracuse, Connecticut, Storrs, Delaware, Newark, or Rowan, Glassboro.

As for now, he’s looking to go out on a lacrosse high note.  

“This group has been through it all,” Harms said. “We’re ready to take the next step.”

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.

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