Friday, May 31, 2013

2013 Varsity Boy's Lacrosse Finishes 15-4

The Galena Grizzlies had a good year. Yes, it can be stated that simply. The team hit all the marks that a high school team playing in the Western/Pacific region of the U.S. could hope for. They travelled to three states for non-league games, won a league title, and saw five players named 1st Team All-HSLL. On top of all that, 17 quality seniors experienced success in the form of a 15-4 record in their last season in the black and gold.

Logan Harger (right) drives against the Woodcreek defense.
The team started the 2013 campaign by venturing to California and Idaho. The first four games of the season were scheduled to see how the 2013 Grizzlies would measure up against regional opponents. The boys returned to the Truckee Meadows with a 2-2 record which included a loss to the eventual 2013 Idaho State Champions, Mountain View. That was a meaningful start as the non-league competition gave the Grizzlies a taste of what would be needed to repeat as league champions in the HSLL. As league play began, the focus was to play the best games possible regardless of the opponent or any previous results. The undefeated 2012 season and league championship was in the rear view mirror and the local teams had changed. New coaches, better players, all hungry to take a shot at Galena. For the most part, the Galena players raised their game in 2013 with exceptions being two very close games in the heart of the season versus McQueen and Reno, respectively. The Grizzlies weathered the regular season with a high powered offense that averaged just over 16 goals per game and a solid defense that only allowed an average of 5.5 goals per game.

Following an undefeated HSLL regular season, the Grizzlies earned the top seed in the playoffs. They subsequently dispatched their semi-final opponent and found themselves on home turf (actually the grass of Grizzly Stadium) under the lights against Reno for a rematch of the 2012 Championship. After a solid game put forth by both teams, Galena emerged victorious and the team celebrated as undefeated HSLL champions for the second year in a row. Seniors Mike Wegener (#3, A), Logan Harger (#16, M), Tucker Stosic (#55, D), Cass Honebein (#77, D), and junior Cody Agrella (#15, D) all won the aforementioned league honors, but there was a solid supporting cast of players alongside each one of these individuals that also deserves credit. Coach Garner was voted Co-Coach of the Year, and similarly Eric Peacock, Curt Wegener, and Steve Bulera are equally as responsible for the team's success.

Following the HSLL Championships, the team headed north to Sisters, Oregon for the SALI tourney. In the Beaver State, Galena played two regulation games and three tourney-style games. The team went 3-2 with both losses at the hands of Summit (Bend, OR) who beat the Grizzlies in pool play and then again when the two teams met in the finals. Runner-up at the SALI event was not the desired result, but the games were a good learning experience for both the varsity and JV squads.

In sum, a varsity squad laden with seniors proved that Galena was still top dog (bear?) in the Reno/Tahoe area and has the ability to hang with talented teams from nearby regions. A young JV squad came out of it's shell at the end of the season hungry to step up to plate. A new and different team will take the field in 2014... stay tuned. Go Grizzlies!