Beltline Battle: the boys varsity lacrosse team victorious against East Grand Rapids


The so-called “Beltline Battle” took place this week on Tuesday, March 2. Our Rangers went up against the East Grand Rapids Pioneers. They took victorious after a long and busy game. 

The final score of the game came to 11-9. Leading in goals, senior midfielder Magnus Salmon secured five goals. Another senior, captain and attackman Graham Bennett, scored three goals. All senior midfielders, Jake Koning, Collin Webb, and Reese Le all added one goal each.

These numbers were not easy to secure. Because East is such an intense competition for the boys, they had to work like they never had before; they prepared mentally and physically and hyped themselves up. 

“Going up against East is always a game every player is looking forward to, and the guys are always pumped,” said Graham. “As soon as we step onto the field, we know it’s going to be physical and an all-out battle. To start the game, our energy was completely there. The boys were rowdy; we were all dialed in.”

From player to play and defense to offense, the rowdiness and the excitement produced some notable highlights from our boys. 

“I think something to focus on was an amazing turnout and an astounding amount of support; this brought the energy up and made the game so much better to play in,” said freshman LSM and defenseman Joey VanderVeen. “This energy helped us create a great game for ourselves. Our transition play has improved a ton, and our offense was moving the ball super well. We were taking good shots and making smart moves. Magnus definitely takes the cake when it comes to a player that sticks out.”

The energy was the best part of the game, no doubt about it. These excellent performances are something to take into consideration, always. But even with the most remarkable plays, there will always be something to improve upon. One common theme continues to occur for the boys. 

“Our consistency has been our biggest problem this year, and that’s the one thing I think needs to be improved most,” Graham said.

The guys need to work on playing as a team and coming together; when united, their opponents stand no chance. 

Looking to the future, the boys will be playing a variety of competitors, and some will be teams they have already faced. The edges need to be rounded, and much work still needs to be done, but the boys will pull through.

“Our next game is Saturday,” said coach Andy Shira. “We weren’t 100% pleased with Tuesday’s whole game, so it’ll be interesting to see how the kids respond to some of that, especially with three days of work before Saturday. It’s also Prom that day, so the guys need to push that aside for a few hours and be mentally focused on the task before they enjoy their night.”

The guys’ skills will be tested this weekend on Saturday, March 6. Cranbrook will travel to our Ranger Stadium, where the face-off will occur at noon. Graham left us with a few words of his own.

“We know when we play our best lacrosse, we can beat anyone, anywhere.”