If you didn’t watch any lacrosse over the weekend, it’s just because you didn’t want to, not because there wasn’t any to be had. Championship Saturday – sponsored and run by the WA Chapter of US Lacrosse – featured six games, two youth Honor games, two High School All Star games, the D2 Championship (Seattle Academy vs. King’s Way) and the D1 Championship (Bellevue vs. Issaquah.) It was 11 hours of lacrosse, and frankly, I was a little overwhelmed by it on Sunday, and am late with my thoughts. But here you go, for the last time this season, some tidbits of observation from Saturday’s extravaganza.
It blows my mind the think that most of the kids playing in the 5th/6th Honor game on Saturday, have already been playing lacrosse for three or four years. Fast-forward six years and think what quality of play we’ll have in the finals in 2020.
It was nice to see a full complement of Mercer Island and Eastside Catholic players facing off against each other in the All-Star game. They had a great season and great careers and deserved to have some honor and recognition. Didn’t see any hard feelings on the field, even though EC knocked MI out the week before. And the Metro All-Stars solidly clocked Kingco in this game, which had to feel good.
We had a goalie score in each of the two high school All-Star games. Auburn Riverside’s “Subway” Scarbrough bullied his way down and blistered a goal to knock another item off his bucket list. And Mercer Island’s Benji Rothenberg, tried a couple of times, and finally got one in. He got stripped in traffic, but fought for the GB on the doorstep and dunked it into the corner. Congrats to both of you in proving your teammates wrong, you really can run 80 yards. 🙂
On another topic, on Friday night I watched the 7th/8th finals for the Greater Eastside Lacrosse League (GELL.) Skyline played a great game against Bellevue, pulling away in the 4th quarter for an 8-5 victory. Many of these kids will be on the high school roster next fall, and it looks like both programs will be in good hands. Now if only those last few Skyline Varsity folks could quit griping about the officials in the Bainbridge Island playoff game…
While the regular season was a hot mess (Final number – 35% of all games being decided by 12 or more goals) the playoffs had a lot of parity. There were 25 playoff games, and 12 of them were decided by 2 or less goals, and the average margin of victory was 4.72 goals. But only two overtime games.
All-Stars that caught my eye on Saturday? In the high school games, Jacob Cartwright of Bothell-Inglemoor, had a good game including holding his own on faceoffs against Sam Kopf. Kopf showed he belongs on any field and why Navy recruited him. Camas’s Austin Garwood handled himself well, Eastside Catholic’s D-pole, Arend Broekmate did also. Liew Rust of Kamiak was all over the field, ERP’s Brandon Seachriest, and Vashon’s Griff Jennings had nice games. Obviously, the McIlvennie/Lucchesi/York highlight reels made an appearance. And finally, Ezra Ende of Vashon had the most fun of any player, performing well on the field, but excelling in the sideline dance moves.
In the 5th/6th game University Place’s Gabe McGee was excellent in goal, Issaquah’s Zak Giannopulos showed he’s developing a solid lacrosse IQ, Northshore’s Bryce McDonald was a faceoff beast and Jake Steffanci had a couple of nice goals. Bainbridge’s Finnegan Arthur stood out as did Shoreline’s Travis Zapalac. In 7th/8th grade, Woodinville’s Benjamin Hirai scored well, Northshore’s Stuart MacDonald showed where his little brother learned everything, and Tahoma’s Dylan Vita seemed to be involved in every play.
I made a new friend at Saturday’s affair, a nice gentleman named Morrie Wetherhill. Morrie had taken a cab over from his condo on Capital Hill to watch the championship games. An octagenerian and a widower, Morrie played attack for Swarthmore a few, uhmm, years ago. “My dad was a goalie for Swarthmore in the early part of the 20th century,” Morrie told me, “I grew up hearing stories of lacrosse, because Swarthmore won several national championships back then. I never thought much of it until I got there my freshman year. I played all four years, and recently returned for an alumni event where they award me with an All-American jacket.” Morrie is partial to Bellevue, having lived in Hunts Point for 35 years, but mainly is a fan of the game and can’t believe how much it has grown in the past 10 years. He made my day much better just by listening to him.
In regards to the day’s Championship games, detailed recaps are coming, but I’ll tease you with a couple of facts about the Division Finals. First, it was a night for faceoff men and goalies. The two top faceoff men each won 75% of their faceoffs. Of the four goalies, one had a shutout, one saved 67% of shots seen, another 62% and the fourth played three quarters on a broken leg. Look for more in my game recaps.
Finally, we’re losing US Lacrosse WA Chapters David Low to a relocation. He’s headed up the local efforts for most of a decade and even if you don’t know him, you and your player have benefitted from his work. Additionally, Brooke Hartley ran a great event on Saturday and deserves for you to buy her a round next time you see her.
This year at SoundLacrosse, we’ve shot over 15,000 pictures, delivered over 4,000 live in-game tweets, and written 16 articles. Remember, the only reason we at SoundLacrosse do any of this is to raise money for NW lacrosse charities. All revenues this season go to the Dejon Hush Family Charity, to help defray some costs with their cancer battle. So take a look at these pictures from the Championship Day and make some purchases. It couldn’t be for a better cause.