West Stokes lacrosse program banked eight wins this spring, marking their best season to date since beginning in 2014.
“We had over 35 kids participating this year and that allowed us to add a JV team. Since we haven’t had previous success, this can’t be referred to as a rebuilding year, but is definitely a building year,” said coach Colon Moore.
A moment most players will remember long after high school was the home game against Glenn where the Wildcats were down three goals midway through the fourth quarter and came back, tied and were forced into overtime. In the first overtime, West was flagged for a penalty and was a man down. The defense rallied, refusing to give up a goal and eventually won in the second overtime.
“We had played Glenn close the last two years but could never get the win. That was our first win over them and it really helped jumpstart our guys into having a successful season,” Moore said.
A statistic the coach is proud of this season is the team wasn’t shut out once.
“Our offense always found a way to get on the scoreboard and a lot of newer programs can’t say that. They learned they could compete in lacrosse. We have a long way to go to be a great program, but they learned that with hard work we can get there,” Moore said.
While the team is losing six seniors, two of them four year starters in Jaden Knowles and Jacob Moore, the coach believes the program is heading in a positive direction.
“We had two or three games we could have won if we hadn’t made some really inexcusable mistakes. Winning one or two of those games would have given us a better draw in the playoffs and a home playoff game. When the guys realized that, it made them realize the effect that one or two games have on your season.”
A challenge the team has faced over the years is going head-to-head with strong, more established high school lacrosse programs.
“It’s been hard, but it helps the guys see what it takes to be a good lacrosse team. You can’t just tie your shoes, snap your helmet, and bam, you’re a lacrosse star. You have to work at this game. You have to have stick skills, you have to have footwork, and you have to have lacrosse IQ,” Moore said.
It helps that the lacrosse community is growing in this area and is slowly becoming more mainstream.
“I tell people that lacrosse is the soccer of 40 years ago. In the late seventies there were no soccer teams in Stokes County. If you wanted to play soccer, you had to go to Winston Salem. And look at soccer in Stokes now. Lacrosse is growing in that same way.”
For more information about the lacrosse program or to sign up for the lacrosse summer camp (the date is to be determined) email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.