Public faculty lacrosse in the higher Richmond location is however in its infancy and developing fast, explained Atlee boys lacrosse mentor Fielding Crawford.
On Saturday, that progress took yet another step forward when Crawford’s Raiders became the very first Richmond-spot public school to win a boys point out title in the activity, when they routed Dominion (Loudoun County) 16-4 in the Class 4 championship at Massaponax Substantial in Fredericksburg.
Dominion gained the to start with faceoff and scored the initial objective ahead of Atlee went on an 11- run to just take complete command. Dominion did not score once more right up until the end of the 3rd time period.
“Our fellas genuinely wanted it. It was a comprehensive work from the faceoff X to defense to our goalies to our bench and enthusiasts,” Crawford claimed, noting a significant team of pupils, alumni and parents who created the push to help their Raiders.
“It’s a society, with any luck , it carries on to be a perfectly-oiled equipment. I’m very pleased to direct these youthful men and be connected with them and their people.”
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The Douglas Freeman ladies very last season turned the initial community general public faculty to gain a condition title in lacrosse, and this period adopted it up with a repeat functionality.
Crawford, the chair of the Central Virginia chapter of US Lacrosse, took about the Atlee plan in 2015 right after just its 1st time of VHSL competition.
Given that then, the Raiders have been oh-so-near to reaching their ultimate objective. They’ve played in 4 state title video games —then participating in in Class 5 — and dropped them all by one intention, additionally a condition semifinal defeat, also by 1 objective.
“For me, there was a whole lot of scar tissue there,” Crawford claimed, including that this year’s team’s capability to beat its opposition in a number of diverse approaches is what place it more than the prime.
“Behind shut doors, we as a coaching employees knew what this group was capable of. We did not disclose that to them, we have been more about the system and acquiring greater just about every working day. … But we knew their athleticism, that they were being very good all in excess of the subject. Offensively, they can score in a great deal of distinct ways and defensively, they could shut down some offenses. We have been just extremely dependable all about the subject.”
Juniors Kevin Miller and Cam Ash spearheaded the Raiders offense throughout the time.
Miller, a Christopher Newport recruit and All-American honoree, “had a mad time,” Crawford said — he ended up with 145 factors (88 assists and 57 goals), by far the greatest details tally for a one period in plan record.
Miller’s older brother, Drew, is staring at CNU’s nationally ranked system his younger brother, Ryan, was a standout freshman for the Raiders this period and the team’s third-leading scorer and his sister, Kate, is a former All-Metro player of the 12 months at Atlee and scored 24 goals in her freshman year at UVA this spring.
Senior captains Matthew Alexander and Noah Apostolides anchored the midfield and furnished critical management. Defensively, junior Garrett Bralley and freshman Reed Taylor, equally initial-workforce all-area honorees, were rocks of the again line. Crawford termed Taylor “a maniac out there.”
And senior Jacetin Wheeler was the Raiders’ Swiss army knife, Crawford mentioned, filling roles all in excess of the subject and proving “a vacuum cleaner” on floor balls between the restraining traces.
On Saturday, Kevin Miller led the way with 7 aims and three assists, and Ryan Miller additional 4 helps. Alexander, Ash, Wheeler and Apostolides scored two apiece, and Scott Holmes included a target. Junior keeper Eric Allen grabbed a few saves.
The Raiders (18-2) overcame some adversity midseason when junior faceoff male Connor Bade, yet another CNU recruit, dislocated his kneecap in an April 25, 18-6 earn around Deep Run. That resulted in a torn in ACL. Bade had been successful faceoffs at a dominant 80-85% rate, Crawford stated.
So his staff members had to make changes and start out approaching the faceoff X as a team somewhat than relying on 1 player. Wheeler was significantly vital in that regard, Crawford claimed.
“It coincided ideal when we were going into the gantlet of our schedule — St. Christopher’s [11-4 loss], Woodberry Forest [14-9 loss], Cosby [10-5 win], Douglas Freeman [14-13 win],” Crawford explained.
“So I think it was very good for us. We had two losses to a quite fantastic St. Chris group and a quite fantastic Woodberry group that variety of woke us up a little bit. Everyone realized that it experienced to be a team work every single time we went out there.”
After coming so shut to a title in years earlier, Crawford mentioned, when the last whistle sounded Saturday, he was relieved to have finally gotten his software to the best of the mountain.
But for his gamers, they’d merely fulfilled their anticipations.
“That’s the splendor about this workforce. Some of those youngsters when these outcomes in the earlier took place, they have been youthful, watching the application,” he claimed.
“So for them, it was just, ‘We’re going to phase on the discipline and take care of our enterprise.’ That was certainly their target from the get-go of the season, there was no question they wanted to win a state championship. So for them, it was all celebration. A large amount of blood, sweat and tears. The end result of a whole lot of challenging function and work. It is born from the households in our group and what they instill in our youngsters.”