June 06, 2012 - The Wolves gathered for the last post-pep talk under West Bloomfield's stadium lights last Friday.
Kevin Horton sends Brother Rice on a chase. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
They lost the MHSAA Regional Finals to Brother Rice, 19-4.
"It was a good game. It was a good year," said Brian Kaminskas, head coach for the Clarkston Boys Varsity A Lacrosse team. "The guys played well. They kept fighting."
Brother Rice opened with a 4-0 run and were slowed down when Clarkston gained possession of the ball in their turf. They took it down into Brother Rice's territory and made a few shots on the net.
With 4:32 left in the first quarter, senior Jordan Kincaid shot the ball past the goalie to put the Wolves on the board.
He struck again with nine minutes left in the first half for the second goal. Seniors Travis Craft and Kevin O'Grady added two more before the game ended.
It was the second consecutive year Brother Rice has stopped the Wolves from continuing the season. But the Wolves learned from last year.
"We did some things this year that quite frankly Brother Rice hasn't seen," Kaminskas said. "We talked to a lot of coaches. We watched a lot of film. We have never seen them fall into a zone formation. We attacked them hard and put them into a zone."
The boys beat Brighton in the regional semifinals, 12-9.
"It was a battle back and forth," said Kaminskas. "We told the guys stick to what they do and play for each other. It was a good game."
O'Grady led with six goals and had one assist. Kincaid scored three goals and had one assist; senior Kevin Horton scored two goals and had one assist. Senior Sam Moore added one goal. Craft had two assists.
The team loses 12 seniors - Craft, Horton, Kincaid, Moore, O'Grady, Nick Demattia, Ethan Frick, Adam Gohl, Brad Luenhagen, Nick Schuster, Jordan Stover and Mike VanderWeel.
"It is tough," said Kaminskas. " It is a special group of kids. It will be tough to see them go. But we told them it's life. We are going to kick them out of the nest and make them fly."
Most of them joined the team in their freshman year and have helped the program grow.
"When we were here four years ago we were at best an in the middle of the road team and we would scrap for anyone who would give us a game," said Kaminskas. "Now we are one of the top teams in the state, OAA champs two years in a roll. Credit to the team - they built the program. They could have chosen not to."
The boys finished 16-3 and ranked eighth in the state.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.