After they all put on impressive performances last week, it’s only fitting that I make our local Section IV lacrosse champions my Athletes of the Week.
From March until late-May, boy’s and girl’s lacrosse teams from all around Section IV compete with one goal in mind, win a section championship.
Now, for some teams, their dreams may be bigger than that, while for others, that would be the ultimate culmination of a season.
However, no matter if your goal is to make a run through states or if that’s just icing, you still have to win your section for that to be in play.
In both boy’s and girl’s lax, from Classes A through D, five local teams were able to punch their tickets into the New York State tournaments.
Among those, we had two schools combine for four of those titles, with the 5th team taking the crown for the first time in their history.
The Vestal Golden Bears boy’s team took home the Class B title last Friday with a 15-13 win over Horseheads.
The Golden Bears saw Aaron Tebo, J.T. Stirpe, Jared Butler, and Connor Zostant all net three goals apiece to lift Vestal to their third-straight section title, and 8th in the last nine years.
Meanwhile, the Vestal girl’s team continued their run of dominance, beating Maine-Endwell 14-5 in the Class C final.
That gives the Golden Bears their 8th consecutive title.
Emilia Cappellett and Grace Harner led the charge with four goals and an assist each.
Another school that saw a sweep of titles was Chenango Forks.
First, the girl’s team came out on the winning end of one of the most thrilling and entertaining games I’ve seen in my time here.
After trailing most of the first half, Forks battled back to lead Whitney Point by one with just over a minute to play.
But, the Eagles tied it again late to send the game to overtime.
That’s where freshman Tierra Reh came through with the largest goal of her career.
Reh netted the OT, championship-winning goal to give the Blue Devils their 4th section title in the last five years, besting Whitney Point 13-12.
On the boy’s side of things, it was a lopsided affair for the Bue Devils as they took care of Chenango Valley 16-3, completing the three-peat as section champs.
It was a seven-point evening for both Caden Olmstead and Jake Topa, with Olmstead being named Most Outstanding Player.
Kevin Matson also added another five points.
And our final champion wears the crown for the first time in program history.
The Owego boy’s team beat Johnson City 14-11 to clinch their first-ever section title, although it didn’t come easy.
The Indians held multiple six-goal leads, but JC kept battling back.
However, Owego did enough to make sure they never gave it all the way back.
Connor Kinney had a big offensive night, scoring three goals while adding four assists.
All five of these teams have to be proud of what they’ve accomplished.
But, with a section title under their belts, you have to imagine that they’ve already moved past it and are ready to grab an even larger prize, a state championship.
All five local section champs are moving on to the state tournaments later this week, with the boy’s starting in Corning and the girl’s at Vestal’s Dick Hoover Stadium.