The boys varsity lacrosse team takes two victories against HSE and Carmel over the weekend


The boys fight for the ball.

On Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25, the boys varsity lacrosse team faced two teams down in Indiana. Despite playing two games and being so far from home, the boys still pulled through with two more victories to add to their record. 

For the first game, the boys knew they had to recover from their rough playing on Wednesday. The team reviewed the film from its Grand Ledge game and gathered itself to pull through with a better performance. 

“As we entered into the weekend after a tough game, we knew we had to focus and play at the top of our game if we wanted a chance at winning,” said freshman LSM/defensemen Joey VanderVeen, “Everyone knowing this helped create a productive and serious dynamic because we did not want the same thing to happen again.”

Being around four hours away, the boys needed to adjust to the change in environment. It was easy for most of the team; it was like any other game. Senior captain and goalie Crandall Quinn had a positive outlook and mentality about the game.

“It’s always hard to go into someone else’s home and try to win, especially when it’s so far away. But you have to think about it like it’s just like any other game.”

Crandall’s positive energy greatly impacted his teammates; everyone played amazingly in the first game. Both midfielders, seniors Magnus Salmon and Jake Koning, secured two goals each for the team—Jake also attaining an assist. Junior captain and middie Nolan Hartl acquired two goals; senior captain and attack Jonah McConnell did the same. Senior captain and attack Graham Bennett pulled through with one goal and one assist, and senior middie Collin Webb had triple the amount. In the crease, Crandall had 17 saves, only letting six in. But best of all, senior captain and LSM Sam Sneider secured the most goals. Coach Andy Shira explained how this was his favorite event, for it showed how the team was working. 

“I was very thrilled with our transition play, defense, and shared offense,” he said. “We had a lot of transition offense Friday night, with Sam Sneider getting four goals as an LSM. Our attack and midfield created a lot of turnovers that led to good offensive looks, whether we capitalized or not.”

The first game ended with an astounding score: 13-6. After their victory, the boys returned to their hotel, where they were to prepare for their game the next day. Bright and early, the boys studied their previous games for breakfast. They discussed what could have been done better and what was done well. 

“Saturday, we had an early breakfast and film at the hotel. We got off to a good start against HSE but started to waiver from what we had success with Friday night. We have to stick to playing team lacrosse if we’re going to be successful this season.”

As for the second game, the final score was 10-9. Jonah, Sam, Collin, and senior defensive middie Jack Benner all scored one goal each. Jake and Nolan had two goals each; Crandall followed as well, scoring two.

Both games this previous weekend reflected the boys’ effort after their Wednesday game.

“I think just their preparation and mental focus were a lot sharper. I think Wednesday was a little punch in the gut, and we needed to wake up a bit,” coach Shira said. “You never really know what to expect with your first game, regardless of how practices have been. I think my staff and the players did a really good job refocusing the group and making some small adjustments that the kids responded really well to.”

 Even with the rough start and unfocused playing, the team managed to recuperate and put up impressive scores in some amazing games. Putting everything together, the things that the boys accomplished were something to be excited about. Junior defenseman Quinlen Sutherland was especially ecstatic about his team’s playing.

“I am super proud of how we performed against Carmel, but also, being able to pull out a win against HSE was amazing.”

The boys will have a day or two of practice before facing their next opponent. There are many tweaks to be made, but Nolan wants to focus on one specific aspect in an attempt to sharpen up the team. 

“I think we need to work on running our plays better for next time,” said Nolan. “It is substantial to know them in and out for games.”

It won’t be easy to complete in such a short time, but the Rangers are committed. They will work hard during practice until their next game on Tuesday, March 28, at 6:00 p.m., in Detroit, when they will travel to face off against Detroit Country Day High School. Good luck, boys!