Sunday, May 13, 2012

Atlee Lacrosse IS HIGH SCHOOL Lacrosse

1 Vote

Atlee Raiders vs Christchurch Seahorses
The Atlee Raiders traveled to meet the Christchurch Seahorses for one of the best high school games that could have been played this year. The Raiders came riding high into Christchurch with a ton of momentum having successively navigated wins in all but two of it’s games. The Raiders’ only two losses of the year were close games, one of which was an overtime loss to Tabb and the other a 1 point loss to a select team based in Williamsburg. Tabb like Atlee is a self administered VHSL team and their only loss of the season came at the hands of Division II Private School Bishop Sullivan with a score of 4-5. Atlee had not played any private schools and accepted the invitation to play Division I Private School Christchurch. The decision to meet Christchurch was a huge step for the Atlee program and should be seen as a way to bridge the perceptual competitive disparity between private school programs and high school club teams. In the game last night Atlee proved that the disparity is perceptual and not reality.
The Raiders arrived at Christchurch a little late and when they stepped off the bus someone next to me remarked that they didn’t look to excited to be there. In what I suspect was a two hour bus trip through driving rain I am not sure that I would be that excited either and given the fact that these student/athletes had spent the day in school and now were heading onto the field with one of the best lacrosse teams in the state. The Seahorse’s only loss to a Virginia team was against perennial powerhouse St. Anne’s-Belfield.
In writing about this game I wanted to leave out the word rain and have decided to instead refer to it as Buckets of Liquid Sunshine or “BLS” and we had buckets and buckets of liquid sunshine “BBLS” throughout the entire game.
After about twenty minutes to warm-up the Raiders hit the field for the  first face off. The Seahorse’s scored a quick goal and the Raider’s matched it. The Seahorse’s then scored 3 unanswered goals and it would be easy to think that would be the way the rest of the game would go, but it seemed like the Raiders weren’t ready to play that script. As the BLS turned into BBLS the Raiders stepped up their game overcoming the deficit and even taking the lead just before halftime. The Raiders played with the determination of champions never giving up in a game that was never decided until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Late in the fourth quarter the Raiders were actually in striking distance of tying the score until the Seahorses scored successive unanswered goals to seal the win.
For anyone that has ever stood through that much BBS and BBLS to watch a game you know that when its over that everyone heads for dry land. Such was not the case at the end of this one. The handshake at the end was anything but perfunctory and what I witnessed was genuine respect for each other and huge respect for the game. Players, Parents, and Coaches all stood around talking expressing admiration for each team exchanging handshakes and hugs. It was one of the best impromptu celebrations that I have ever witnessed and when I saw at least  one of the Raiders attempting the dive slide “slippy-slide”  on the field and subsequent Facebook congratulatory messages I realized why I love this game.
Anyone that follows my posts knows that I am not a sports writer and that I support the high school experience at every opportunity. I couldn’t wait for this game because like many others I believed that it would be a tremendous way to show that high school club lacrosse teams can be competitive. I also believe that playing highly competitive lacrosse should not be exclusive to the private schools in Virginia. Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Colorado, and North Carolina are all good examples of states that have competitive lacrosse at both the public and private levels. The Atlee Raiders are also proving that when a club team can build a partnership with the school it benefits the entire community. The Atlee community is also driving force behind Roll with Cole and it is so great to see Cole at the games, be sure to click the link to see a calendar of fundraisers and events. You can also join the C+Squad on Facebook and I would like to encourage the whole lacrosse community to “like” the page to show your support for Cole and his family.

Join the C+Squad
The Raiders played again the following night defeating Deep Run by a score 8-6 and will meet Patrick Henry-Ashland on Tuesday, May 15th. The Seahorses will now enter the Division 1 playoffs, that schedule should be announced soon.
Update: We would like to send our love and prayers to Christchurch Head Coach Vince Smith and his family. Vince’s Mom  suffered a heart attack and is at UVA Medical center. Please pray for her and the entire Smith family.

Bring the Battle to your Bag!


No comments: