The last time the Blake Boys’ Lacrosse team stepped out on the field was Tuesday, June 14th, when they came up short against Prior Lake in their first game in the State Tournament in the pouring rain at Minnetonka High School. The team now enters the 2017 season with young talent and the brand new turf field to play on.
Young talent is expected to fill in the holes, left by i the departures of Nick Washuta ‘16, Crey Bankes ‘16, Patrick Clark ‘16, and Stuart Patterson ‘16, all salient facets to the defensive core, not only on defense, but all over the field. Noah Ragan ‘19 and Captain Rob Becker ‘17, both returning defenders, are expected to be the top defensemen.
After a year of sitting out due to eligibility rules, Bjorn Holm ‘18, an Air Force Commit, will be playing in his first varsity season with the bears. Holm is ecstatic for the start of the season, yet both Holm and BBL are coming in with no expectations. He says, “We try to come in each year with no expectations and try to play our best lacrosse and see where it takes us.” Some may perceive that the team would come in with high aspirations this year after going to the state tournament last year, while others may predict of the team this year to go through a developing year due to the many graduated seniors. Holm’s outlook nullifies both of those said perceptions and allows the team to solely focus on their play.
The team worked together all winter in scrimmages and practices and continues to work at captains’ practices before tryouts commence the second week of Spring Break. This hard work mentality is something that the captains have preached. Becker says, “We want to build a blue collared culture around work ethic and to become a cohesive unit before the season.” So, when the ‘real’ season starts, it will feel like the guys have been playing together for months before the first practice.
Although the State Tournament did not result in what the team wanted, the section tournament championship was very exciting. A huge goal was scored by Blake Weyerhaeuser ‘19, and now he is looking forward to the new venue the team will be playing at. He states, “Everyone is excited that we get to play on a nice field (the turf field). It definitely affects the style of play: the ball is going to roll a lot more(ground balls), you don’t have to get as low when you are scooping, the ball is easier to pick up from the ground, and I think people are excited for the fans that it will attract because of seating (Stands opposed to the lawn chairs or grass seating last year).”