JV lacrosse ends roller coaster of a season with a 10-4 record

JV lacrosse ends roller coaster of a season with a 10-4 record

Heading into the JV lacrosse season, the team had high expectations. There was a copious amount of hype surrounding the class of 2024, and the returning sophomores brought the much-needed experience back. But after a few players got pulled up, including Luke Wedder, Magnus Salmon, Crandall Quinn, and Jack Elliot, the team was labeled as short-handed. This did not slow down the Rangers, as they dominated teams throughout the season.

Sophomore goalie Graham Bennett led the team. He was a lockdown force in the net, barely giving up any goals. However, it was not just Graham’s presence on the defensive end that helped FHC keep each game low scoring. Sophomore defender Michael Cambell and freshmen Luke VanGorp and Brady Drueke all held their own and barely allowed penetration to the net. Switching to the offensive end, the team had many talented attackers. With that being said, sophomore Jonah McConnell was the stud. He scored multiple times in almost every game and brought the Ranger’s offense in a full circle. He was not the only big name on the offense, as sophomores Reese Le, Jake Koning, and Dom Shipani all had big games of their own. Lastly, freshman Nolan Hartl made the offense high-powered by his face-off ability. In the majority of their games, Nolan dominated face-offs, which gave FHC an advantage on offense. Although the team played every game, COVID still had its effects on FHC’s season.

“COVID had many impacts on our season,” head coach Tate Ferris said. “We had weekly testing and followed many COVID guidelines, but we didn’t let that affect the team and its chemistry. I’m proud of the boys and how they pushed through every obstacle they faced, whether it was getting quarantined or getting tested every week.”

As coach Ferris said, COVID only made the team closer and stronger. This showed on and off the field. Specifically on the field, as the Rangers had an impressive 10-4 record on the season. They started off the season with two tough matchups in Indiana against Hamilton Southeastern and Carmel. FHC was outmatched but fought until the end, losing 5-16 and 5-11. In both games, the team struggled to create a flow on offense and could not find the net. However, the team would then go on a huge winning streak, gaining four straight wins. They defeated Forest Hills Eastern, Hartland, Hudsonville, and Caledonia. For some, including freshman Luke VanGorp, the Hartland contest was the most exciting of the year.

“The Hartland game was for sure my favorite game of the season,” Luke said. “The fact that it was that close and the energy that came from it was unmatchable made it a memorable game.”

The team used the Hartland game as a confidence builder. When they faced Brother Rice, though, they hit a roadblock. FHC lost 7-16 after a dominating performance from the Warriors. After the loss, FHC took it out on rival Forest Hills Northern and Rockford, demolishing both teams’ defenses. The Ranger’s next game would be its biggest. Playing against the Pioneers of East Grand Rapids, the boys were in for a challenge. After a back and forth game, EGR came out victorious. A tough loss at the hands of the Pioneers provided fuel for FHC in its last game of the season versus Detroit Catholic Central. They responded well to adversity and handily beat the Shamrocks by a score of 17-5. 

“This season brought many ups and downs, but I was very proud of the boys and their effort,” coach Ferris said. “There were a few games I wish we could replay, but I am content with the progression that the team saw this year.”