Though the boys lacrosse team saw its seven-year state title streak abruptly halted last year by a 16-15 loss to Mercer Island, “revenge” isn’t necessarily the defining word as this year’s team prepares for Sunday’s opening Jamboree.
“I’d call it ‘desire,’” said senior co-captain Adam Smith, who became the first player in the history of Washington prep lacrosse to account for 100 points in a season. “We played one bad half last year and it was in the championship game. The championship trophy deserves to be on this island and we’ll show the island that we’ll get it back.”
Coach Ryan Painter adds that “Talentwise, I think we’re a little better. Also, this is my second year in the program, so they have a better idea of what to expect.”
He also suggested that Smith – a modest individual who doesn’t make a practice of self-promotion – may have an agenda as well.
“He should have been an All-American along with Peter Bonoff (a senior last year),” Painter said. “He was easily the league’s premier offensive player last year.” Smith racked up 104 points as he led the state in both goals (57) and assists (47).
Smith was named first-team All-State, and he and fellow senior Jacob Hayashi (honorable mention All-State) headline the attackers. Others are senior Matt Steffen, junior Andy Kelly, sophomore Robert Vasta and freshman David VanderHoek.
Midfielders include seniors Scott Burkland and Cam Karsten, juniors Spencer Evans, Mac Laws, Ross Maloney and Luke Tjemsland, sophomores Tyler Bural, Sam Cameron and Joe Picha, and freshman Stefan Nickum.
Defenders are seniors Brian Cook (Division II All-State honorable mention) and co-captain Andy Crane, juniors Byron Masi and Ethan Piraino, sophomores Dylan Preble and Andrew Shelton and freshman Zach Kornfeld. Junior Charlie Delius returns for another year in goal, joined by sophomore transfer Alex Jacques.
“That gives us two strong goaltenders,” Painter said. “Whoever’s hot will get the shot.”
Painter himself is hot, as he was recently named Rookie of the Week by the professional National Lacrosse League. Painter plays for the Ottawa Rebels, one of five Canadian teams in the 13-team circuit.
“We play on turf in ice arenas,” he explained. “The teams are five-a-side and goalie, and the game is pretty similar to basketball with plays like the pick-and-roll. It gets pretty intense and pretty rough.”
He spent last week on Bainbridge organizing the team, then returned to finish the Rebel’s season. He’ll be back on March 24.
In his absence, Andy Constan and Neal McCulloch are serving as interim coaches.
Kii Yette returns for his third year coaching the Division II team, assisted by Tim Wolf. “We have a young team, mostly sophomores with a few returning players and a few freshmen,” Yette said. “Our stick skills are really good compared with the rest of the league.”
“Our goal is to go at least one step further and play in the championship game,” Yette said, whose team was eliminated in the first round of the league playoffs last year. “The B division is getting stronger every year.”
B players include senior Brent Horand and Brad Tatum, juniors Neal Bateman (Division II All-State second team), Matt Browning, Trevor Charles, Justin Davis and Charlie Kubin, sophomores Neil Acton, Zach Ainsley, Andrew Bergh, Nick Blakey, Todd Cohn, Joe Inslee, Harry Langohr, Nick Linne, Bryce Matthews, Aaron Olanie, and Kevin Wilson and freshmen Cody Bludorn, John Burns and Bryce Daviess. Grade levels were not available for Crosby Olsen and Charlie Vasicek.
The former JV team will step up a notch this year, competing in Division III.
“We can play for the playoffs and go for a championship,” said Coach Chris Kozina. “That’s a good motivator for the kids.”
The team includes three sophomores: John-Michael King, Paul Paskell, Michael Sutter and Spencer Winkler.
The freshmen include Austin Brawner, Win Doerschuk, David Elliott, Bryan Jacobson, Eric Johansen, Andrew Kok, Stephen LeMaster, Brenton Munson and Kirk Nordby. Other freshmen are Hans Olson, Tristan Owens, Tim Patmont, Kyle Saboda, Cameron Sachs, Zach Smith, Michael Stephen-McRae, Patrick Stewart and James Tjemsland.