Jaguars win one, lose one heading into lacrosse post-season-VC goes from one win last season to No. 2 seed in CIF Division IV this year
May 15, 2013Putting together a brand new program to compete at the varsity level is a daunting task that the Valley Center boys lacrosse team undertook last season after a year competing at the JV level.
The Jaguars got one win last season, a 7–4 victory over Preuss, as the team tried to balance a group of older players that was filled with outstanding athletes who were inexperienced in lacrosse with a group of younger players who were more familiar with the game, but not as physically imposing.
This season, the Jags are seeing the phenomenal results of the hard work and dedication of the Valley Center Lacrosse Foundation in conjunction with the youth lacrosse programs in our community.
The Jaguars won 13 games in the regular season behind stellar contributions from standout players such as Ian Leek, Jason Blasius, Jason Brewster, Gavin Marcon and Sullivan Shimer, among others.
The outstanding regular season helped the Jags lock up the No. 2 seed in the CIF Division II playoffs, which gives Valley Center a bye week in the first round and a home game in the quarterfinals.
"For a team making its first appearance in the playoffs, that's pretty special," head coach Robert Talley said. "To go from one win last year to thirteen this year, it really shows how far we've come in such a short time. I'm really proud of how we showed our stick skills—last year, we wouldn't have been able to keep the ball in the offensive zone like we have all this year. These guys should be proud of what they've accomplished so far this year."
But Coach Talley also stressed the importance of focusing on the details of the game come playoff time, especially after the final two games in which the Jaguars beat an overmatched Foothills Christian team 19–2, then lost to a more established Westview team 17–2 in the regular season finale.
"We really didn't play all that well, even though it looks good on paper," he said after the win against Foothills Christian. "We cleaned it up in the second half, but against a team like this, if we drop a pass or make a mistake, they'll give you a chance to recover. Westview's a lot faster, so we can't afford to make mistakes like we did tonight."
The win over Foothills Christian not only launched the Jags into the No. 2 seed, but it also came on Senior Night, as the team honored Sullivan Shimer, David Mendiola and Jose Borjas before the game.
"It's nice to get a win for the seniors," Coach Talley added. "That was a big win for us and it was special that all the seniors got to play some significant minutes."
Despite the loss to Westview, the Jaguars are pumped up for the first playoff game in program history, which will take place at home on Saturday at 7 p.m. against the winner of the first-round game between No. 7 Serra and No. 10 Helix.