LAX kicks off season against Chiawana


Last updated 4/6/2023 at 2:28pm

The boys lacrosse squad kicked off their season at home on Saturday, April 1 against Chiawana, a team out of Pasco, Washington. The team made the trip to Central Oregon on their spring break to play Sisters on Saturday and Ridgeview on Sunday.

Sisters had to cancel their first two games, one due to inclement weather, and the other because too many players were gone over spring break. Unfortunately for the Outlaws, three of their players were still out of town, another was injured, and still another was ineligible. The squad had only 11 players, which included just one sub for the entire game. Chiawana had 18 players available to play, and continually subbed fresh players onto the field.

Outlaw players had to adjust and play different positions, and rotate themselves around from position to position in order to get a bit of rest. The game ended in a 17-4 Outlaw loss.

Hayden Kunz took up a long stick, which isn’t his normal position, and played defense the entire game. Eli Palinuk also played more defense than he normally does, and also rotated into the middle and attack positions. Cooper Merrill, who usually is on the attack end of the field, stepped up and gave the Outlaws some runs at middie and took a few face-offs. Merrill was the team’s leading shooter and picked up his lone goal in the third quarter. Gus Patton was all over the field, but spent the majority of his time as a middie and doing some face-offs. Patton led the team in ground balls (nine) and scored Sisters’ final goal early in the fourth quarter.

Justin Blake, who started as goalie last year, stepped out of position to play long stick defense the whole game. Lex Jeffery started as goalie and put in a valiant effort as he faced 49 shots on goal and saved 12. Evan Martin had a solid all-around game. He got to some key ground balls, and shifted between middie, defense, and attack as needed.

Freshman Ian Landon had a good varsity debut and started the game at attack, but also saw time as a middie as well. Cole Peters saw his first action ever on the lacrosse field as a freshman and subbed in at all three positions.

Mason Sellers and Adam Maddox-Castle, who are playing baseball this year, rejoined the team to give them much-needed help. Sellers took care of the majority of the face-offs, and Maddox-Castle started at attack. Sellers and Maddox-Castle each scored a goal in the first quarter, which helped keep the game close early on.

Coach Paul Patton said, “I thought we played pretty good all things considered, being shorthanded and having to move guys around so much. And with the low number of players it’s been hard to do any full scrimmaging in practice to prepare for games. In the final quarter our lack of substitute players did catch up with us as they continued to run fresh guys onto the field and pad the score.

“We struggled at times to get in sync offensively, as well as playing as a unit on defense, but that’s pretty normal in a first game of the season,” added Patton. “I am especially proud of the boys for the effort they put in against a quality opponent and for the good sportsmanship they exhibited throughout the contest.”

The Outlaws will host Mt. View on Wednesday, April 5, and then travel to South Eugene on Friday, April 7.


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