Friday the 13th started off well for Pride Men’s Lacrosse, but the end outcome wasn’t what they were hoping for. In the fourth round of the NCHSAA playoffs, Cardinal Gibbons took down Leesville by a score of 11-5, eliminating the Pride from the playoffs.
This was the second year in a row that the Pride were knocked out of the playoffs in the fourth round. For seniors and four year letterman Alex Shearer, Davis Samphere, Griffin McNamara and Graham Holmes, this was their last rodeo as a unit. It’s been four years and four playoff appearances for these boys, and they’ve made strides each year.
“The most important thing for the seniors on the team is the legacy we leave,” said McNamara after the game. “With the lacrosse program, hopefully we had an impact on them so they can be the ones to finish what we started.”
However, after the 11-5 loss the Pride were dealt by Gibbons, those plans will have to wait another year.
The game started off rough for the Pride, but they kept it close for the entire first quarter. Their defense prevailed at least at the beginning, and the first quarter ended with a score of 2-0.
In the second quarter, the Pride were able to get on the board, but not before Gibbons threaded the needle on two more goals. The theme of the night was the Pride’s turnovers in the final third, and the subsequent breakaways and counters the fast-paced Gibbons team had. At halftime, the score was even more lopsided at 5-1.
In the second half, the Pride were able to net four more goals before it was all said and done, but all Gibbons had to do was score as many goals as they did in the first half for them to ice the win.
Alex Shearer, Eric Fitz, Griffin McNamara, Davis Samphere, and Parker Beebe all netted goals in the game.
Gibbons, who advanced to the semis with the win, took care of business in round no. 5 and moved into the NCHSAA 4A State Championship on Saturday. In a rematch of the 2012 championship, the Crusaders defeated the Lake Norman Wildcats by a score of 14-8. Although the Pride wishes it had been them, at least they can say they were knocked out by the team who would go on to win it all.
“Hats off to that Gibbons team,” said senior Griffin McNamara. “They are a class act and play extremely well together, which is why you see them crowned the state champions.”
For McNamara and the rest of the seniors, while this is the end of their high school careers, they hope it is just the beginning for those set to follow in their footsteps.
“We see how the sport has grown exponentially during our time here which leaves us confident knowing we can pass off the torch to Leesville Lacrosse’s next group of play makers.”