The boys lacrosse team tallies another win against Cranbrook High

The varsity boys lacrosse team went up against Cranbrook High School this past Saturday, March 6. A good amount of preparation went into the competition, for the opponent was a different type than the previous. Coach Andy Shira knew he had to prepare his team a certain way.

“We knew there was a slight dip in talent from the EGR game Tuesday to this game Saturday. Cranbrook is a really well-coached team, though, so we couldn’t take them lightly or think we could just show up. We didn’t want to play to our opponent’s level. We wanted to play FHC Lacrosse.”

The face-off occurred at noon, with famous junior face-off specialist Luke Wedder setting the energy for the game. He was going great securing possession every time; his successes motivated the boys. Not only that, but the boys built up a great dynamic—they made sure to prepare themselves fully. The energy drove the boys to success. 

“The team was feeling good,” said Shira. “They were there early in the morning, shooting around, and had good energy. Without having school Friday, we let them have a captain’s practice which I think was fun for them and energizing as a different dynamic.”

Not only did the energy stick throughout the first quarter, but it stuck throughout the entire game; this was quite an improvement for the boys. Generally, they were not present the whole game, but that was not the same for this competition. They kept the energy going and the adrenaline pumping, producing amazing plays which produced more energy—it was a positive cycle.

“Our ride was creating a lot of turnovers and getting extra offensive possessions. Our offense was executing early on, which sparked the whole team,” Shira said.

Taking victorious, the gentleman all contributed to the final score: 16-5. Leading in statistics, senior captain and attackman Jonah McConnell had five goals and four assists. Another captain, junior midfielder Nolan Hartl had three goals and one assist. Senior captain and attackman Graham Bennett dittoed Nolan. Also following the pattern, senior midfielder Jake Koning secured three goals. Reese Le, a senior midfielder, added one goal to the bunch; junior midfielder Mickey Mehney did the same. Senior midfielder Collin Webb, sophomore defensive midfielder Ty Ryan, and Luke Wedder all had assists. 

Within all of these goals were core plays from the boys. Shira had a few he highlighted. 

“Jonah McConnell had a part in nine goals, with five of his own and four assists. He struggled with some shots in the last couple of games, so it was great to see him hit those Saturday. Quinlen Sutherland had a really good defensive game for us, also. He was given our “Sweetest Play” award after the game for a picked-off pass he had on man-down defense.”

With all the positivity in mind, Shira still wants to pick some pieces up and sharpen up on the minor aspects of the game. Taking in the good and the bad, he knows exactly what he has in mind for the boys to improve upon. 

“As I mentioned, our ride was really good. But we can’t think that just because the goalie makes a save or there’s a turnover that the play is done. When we ride hard and create those turnovers, that’s an extra offense for us and fewer opportunities for the opposing offense.”

Considering everything, the gentlemen must begin to prepare for the next game. New goals will be set, and new expectations will be established. A nice, new, clean slate will be presented to the boys from offense to defense. Shira has some expectations for the team.

“Ball movement and moving off the ball will be a big focus for the next game. At times I thought we were standing still a little too much and playing one-on-one offense, but eventually, we got moving, which was good. Going into the FHN game on Tuesday this week, we know they’re probably going to run a zone defense, so we have to have that good ball movement and move off the ball to open things up,” he said. 

As Shira said, the boys will nextly be up against Forest Hills Northern on Tuesday. The face-off will occur at 6:00 p.m. in our own Ranger Stadium. Excellent job, gentlemen, and good luck!