Sports

Lacrosse | Bainbridge ready for road match-ups

Lacrosse goaltender Julian Skotheim practices some blocks during practice Monday at Bainbridge High School. Skotheim has 44 saves on the season, 18 of which were during league play against Lake Tapps, Mercer Island and Stadium in March. Bainbridge resumed league play Thursday against Puyallup.   - Brad Camp/For the Review
Lacrosse goaltender Julian Skotheim practices some blocks during practice Monday at Bainbridge High School. Skotheim has 44 saves on the season, 18 of which were during league play against Lake Tapps, Mercer Island and Stadium in March. Bainbridge resumed league play Thursday against Puyallup.
— image credit: Brad Camp/For the Review

With two home games remaining before a tough road trip to Oregon, the Bainbridge boys club lacrosse team is ready for the match-ups ahead.

“We definitely go out of state for competition,” senior co-captain Alex Johnson said. “We’re going down to Portland to play Lincoln – one of the best teams in Oregon – so that helps us a lot.”

The team graduated 11 seniors from last year’s squad that advanced to the state semifinals.

“They’re still figuring out (the team personality) because of how young they are,” co-coach Dejon Hush said. “The two seniors tend to be leaders more by example than vocal leaders.”

The team returned three seniors – Johnson, Jordan Wagner and Jason  – but Haley will miss the season with a broken hand.

“Two of our key returners are Wagner on the offensive end and Johnson on defensive end,” Hush said. “After that it’s a large class of juniors.”

As a newer sport, there is often a great deal of disparity between teams, Hush said.

“It’s been that way in Washington,” Hush said. “There are about six teams that are the dominant teams and outside of that scores get pretty lopsided.”

Bainbridge competes in a league with teams like Tacoma, Curtis, Kings Way and Puyallup.

“Those are the teams in our bracket that we have to go after to be successful to get a good playoff position.”

Bainbridge’s schedule includes four Portland teams, two of which they will face next weekend.

“Portland’s very young at lacrosse like we are,” Hush said. “They have a group of teams that are really dominant and a group of teams that are new, too. The dominant teams destroy other teams. They’re looking for competition.”

Bainbridge has recorded lopsided victories over Lake Tapps and Stadium, but fell to Mercer Island and Westminster, B.C. by more than 10 goals.

“Because there’s such a disparity, you don’t want to go and never have a good game, then all of a sudden you play a hard team and you don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to handle yourself,” Hush said. “There’s been a lot of back and forth between Oregon and Washington teams trying to play together, match-ups to get ready for the playoffs.”

Hush, who joined the program in 2003, serves as co-coach with Jack Visco.

“There’s definitely two sides to them,” Crane said. “On the field you can even see if you watch. They’ll yell at us, ‘We’ve got to be faster we’ve got to be stronger. As soon as the game is over they’re really good helping us recover – especially when we travel. It’s not like they’re not part of the team. They’re definitely just as much in it as we are.”

Their contrasting styles add to the team dynamic, Crane said.

“They love playing good cop, bad cop on us,” he said. “Coach Hush definitely gets us more. Coach Visco is more, ‘This is how we’ve done it since I was in high school.’”

When the team returns from Oregon, Bainbridge will host a rematch of last year’s state semifinal game against Issaquah.

“We’re just looking to get back,” junior co-captain Alex Crane said. “We disappointed a lot of people in our Mercer Island game at home. We disappointed our home crowd and we’d like to make it up to them and get a win over Issaquah.”

While Bainbridge will take on lacrosse powerhouses West Linn and Lincoln on its road trip, the game experience will benefit the new varsity players.

“We’ll get a lot of experience for the younger guys to get in and keep bonding,” Johnson said. “We have a good core going and we want to keep that getting stronger.”

“A lot of new guys who haven’t played varsity before,” Crane said. “It’s kind of a shaky start to our season, but we’re looking to bounce back. It’s a happy team.”

*****

Out-of-state competition

New Westminster, B.C. (L, 13-2); Palo Verde, Calif. (L, 14-5; Lakeridge (L, 12-6); West Linn, Ore. (April 17); Lincoln (April 18); Lake Oswego, Ore. (May 15)

“It’s good for us to play some really experienced teams. I hate to lose, but sometimes it helps you more than winning does.” -Alex Crane

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