Source: Sherman Publications

Boys lacrosse has age, speed, endurance

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

April 11, 2012

A senior filled team is almost never a bad sign and that’s what Orion’s Boy’s Lacrosse team is looking at for their 2012 season.

Three games in, the team has a winning record of 2-1, including a win over Rochester Stoney Creek - a team the Dragons have never before defeated. The team behind the win is what Head Coach Brad Thomas, and assistant coach John DiPonio called a good balance of seniors, juniors and sophomores.

“We have seven seniors, 13 juniors and five sophomores, so it ends up being a good balance of seniors and the rest of the grades,” said Thomas. “This is a really great group of guys, and the seniors leadership has been great. They’ve really done a great job of mentoring the younger group. I’m happy with how much work they’re all putting in.”

The team’s strength this year, according to Thomas, is a heavy concentration of fast players. Besides speed, the Dragons have traditionally been a scrappy team that Thomas said does not give up and “plays the full 48 minutes.”

“We have a very tight team,” said Thomas. “We’re fast and we work hard. We lost our goalie and our entire starting close defense line, so we’ve been leaning on our offense a bit more, but the new guys are improving.

“We’re just working hard every day and our seniors have really helped us grow.”

The team began their 2012 run on March 21 with a loss against South Lyon 13-4 but swung back March 23 to defeat Waterford 7-0. Despite struggling to shoot the ball, senior Brad Bogus managed four goals and an assist, junior Nick Booker shot a goal and an assist while sophomore Tyler Gattinger and junior Zach Miller each shot another goal. Goalies Devon Fulcher, a sophomore and junior Riley McGee worked together for the shutout.

The 8-4 win over Rochester Stoney Creek on March 27 has so far been the defining game for the Dragon’s 2012 season. Thomas said the team owed the win mostly to their ability to win the “ground-ball game.”

“They came out really strong, but so did we,” said Thomas. “The defense really stepped up but we managed to win the ground-ball battle and Fulcher played well. That was probably the best team performance we put together this season.”

Bogus netted two goals and seven ground-balls, Miller scored a goal and three assists, Booker shot two goals and assists, while seniors Grant Glende, Ian Schlitt, Joey Friedman and junior Ian Leahey all had five ground-ball recoveries.

Fulcher made seven saves.

Up next for the Dragons is Flint Powers - a team with the same current record as the Dragons. Following the Powers game on Thursday, Lake Orion will match up against the Highlanders of Rochester Adams.