The brightly lit field reflects excitement and anticipation as two rival teams prepare to face-off. It’s a game unlike any other, bringing back members from previous years (the alumni) and pitting them against the current team in a friendly and classic competition of old versus new. Kicking off their 6th Annual Alumni game, the Southern
Oregon Men’s Lacrosse team celebrated the end of their fall season and look forward to the next.
Throughout Saturday’s game, the score continued to remain neck-and-neck, with neither team leading by more than two goals. By the final quarter, the game was beginning to intensify after the Alumni team scored with only 90 seconds left on the clock, bringing the tally within one goal. The Alumni were able to get one final possession, but a game-saving takeaway by the current lacrosse team, nicknamed the Young Bucks (or Lil Raiders), ended any last second comeback by the Alumni. With a final score of 6-5, the Young Raiders, found themselves victorious. This would be their second consecutive one-goal victory over the Alumni. The Young Bucks now lead the annual series with a total of 4 wins to 2. Afterwards, at the Northwest Pizza & Pasta Company the teams gathered together to celebrate the end of one season and the beginning of a new.
When asked about how this past season went, players expressed the same positive feedback about the team and optimism for the future. “It’s one of our best offenses,” shares Taylor Harrison, a junior this year at SOU. From Windsor, California, Harrison has been playing lacrosse for about 8 years. “It’s a young, growing team,” he adds. “It makes for a fun and exciting experience.”
Ian Wilborn, a senior who’s been playing lacrosse for four years, seems to agree. With the new additions from Portland and the return of their starter defender, Killian Spicer-Torreblanca, Wilborn thinks this year’s team is going to be “pretty solid”.
The Lacrosse team has had 10 consecutive seasons since its first in 2005, and is currently in its eleventh, “In the beginning we had nothing,” tells alumni, Kyle Chrisman, who was one of the first members of the Lacrosse team back when it was first founded in 2004. “There wasn’t much of an alumni as there is now and barely any school support. As this thing has continued to grow and gain momentum, this is an option for us [the alumni] to give back to the lacrosse program, interact and help the team grow and keep the club stay strong.”
Mark Brown, who has been the head coach since the program’s inception, began playing Lacrosse in Middle School and was a starter on defense his first year for the Green Hornets which went undefeated at 13-0 to win the Howard Co. Championship. Brown graduated from Virginia Tech in 1999, during which he was a LSM (Long-Stick Midfielder) and starter at Close Defense for teams that advanced as far as the National Final Four. When asked about the alumni game, Coach Brown refers to it as “the best experience” because the team seems to enjoy it and it gives the younger team a chance to meet the team before them. “We wouldn’t have a team without the alumni,” Brown shares. “The alumni game is often referred to as the ‘best weekend of the year’ and in the end, we’re like one big family.” With that being said, the Southern Oregon Men’s Lacrosse team ends the fall season with an overall record of 6 wins and 5 losses.