Public school lacrosse in the bigger Richmond spot is even now in its infancy and expanding rapidly, said Atlee boys lacrosse mentor Fielding Crawford.
On Saturday, that growth took a different step forward when Crawford’s Raiders turned the initial Richmond-space general public school to gain a boys state title in the activity, when they routed Dominion (Loudoun County) 16-4 in the Course 4 championship at Massaponax Substantial in Fredericksburg.
Dominion gained the very first faceoff and scored the 1st goal in advance of Atlee went on an 11- run to acquire complete regulate. Dominion did not rating again right up until the close of the third period of time.
“Our fellas seriously preferred it. It was a entire exertion from the faceoff X to protection to our goalies to our bench and supporters,” Crawford explained, noting a large team of pupils, alumni and mother and father who manufactured the push to assistance their Raiders.
“It’s a society, ideally it carries on to be a perfectly-oiled machine. I’m proud to lead these youthful adult males and be related with them and their family members.”
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The Douglas Freeman ladies last year grew to become the to start with regional community college to acquire a condition title in lacrosse, and this season adopted it up with a repeat performance.
Crawford, the chair of the Central Virginia chapter of US Lacrosse, took over the Atlee system in 2015 immediately after just its 1st year of VHSL level of competition.
Considering that then, the Raiders have been oh-so-close to achieving their supreme purpose. They’ve performed in 4 state title games —then playing in Class 5 — and dropped them all by 1 target, furthermore a state semifinal defeat, also by just one objective.
“For me, there was a large amount of scar tissue there,” Crawford said, adding that this year’s team’s ability to defeat its opposition in a variety of distinct techniques is what put it over the leading.
“Behind shut doors, we as a coaching personnel knew what this team was capable of. We did not disclose that to them, we had been extra about the approach and obtaining far better just about every working day. … But we realized their athleticism, that they have been superior all above the field. Offensively, they can rating in a ton of distinctive means and defensively, they could shut down some offenses. We have been just quite regular all above the area.”
Juniors Kevin Miller and Cam Ash spearheaded the Raiders offense during the year.
Miller, a Christopher Newport recruit and All-American honoree, “had a crazy year,” Crawford claimed — he ended up with 145 points (88 helps and 57 goals), by considerably the greatest details tally for a solitary time in application record.
Miller’s more mature brother, Drew, is staring at CNU’s nationally ranked application his more youthful brother, Ryan, was a standout freshman for the Raiders this period and the team’s 3rd-primary scorer and his sister, Kate, is a former All-Metro player of the 12 months at Atlee and scored 24 objectives in her freshman yr at UVA this spring.
Senior captains Matthew Alexander and Noah Apostolides anchored the midfield and offered critical leadership. Defensively, junior Garrett Bralley and freshman Reed Taylor, equally 1st-team all-location 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 reported, filling roles all in excess of the field and proving “a vacuum cleaner” on ground balls among the restraining traces.
On Saturday, Kevin Miller led the way with 7 goals and a few assists, and Ryan Miller included 4 helps. Alexander, Ash, Wheeler and Apostolides scored two apiece, and Scott Holmes extra a target. Junior keeper Eric Allen grabbed a few will save.
The Raiders (18-2) overcame some adversity midseason when junior faceoff male Connor Bade, a different CNU recruit, dislocated his kneecap in an April 25, 18-6 get in excess of Deep Operate. That resulted in a torn in ACL. Bade had been successful faceoffs at a dominant 80-85% rate, Crawford claimed.
So his team had to make adjustments and begin approaching the faceoff X as a team rather than relying on a single player. Wheeler was particularly very important in that regard, Crawford claimed.
“It coincided correct when we were heading into the gantlet of our timetable — St. Christopher’s [11-4 loss], Woodberry Forest [14-9 loss], Cosby [10-5 win], Douglas Freeman [14-13 win],” Crawford said.
“So I think it was superior for us. We experienced two losses to a very great St. Chris workforce and a quite very good Woodberry workforce that kind of woke us up a bit. Most people understood that it experienced to be a team effort and hard work just about every time we went out there.”
Right after coming so shut to a title in years previous, Crawford claimed, when the remaining whistle sounded Saturday, he was relieved to have at last gotten his plan to the top rated of the mountain.
But for his players, they’d simply just achieved their anticipations.
“That’s the splendor about this team. Some of individuals young ones when individuals benefits in the earlier happened, they have been young, seeing the software,” he stated.
“So for them, it was just, ‘We’re going to phase on the area and handle our business.’ That was definitely their intention from the get-go of the year, there was no question they wished to win a point out championship. So for them, it was all celebration. A large amount of blood, sweat and tears. The end result of a good deal of challenging operate and effort. It is born from the households in our group and what they instill in our young children.”
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