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Clackamas is on the move in lacrosse


The Cavaliers figure in the mix in a highly competitive Three Rivers League

Clackamas High School has come a long way in boys lacrosse since the school first started a program in 2005, and Clackamas coach David Llewellyn says he believes his ninth-ranked Cavaliers may have the talent to do something in postseason play this year.

“If they play as a complete unit, they could go final four, in my opinion,” Llewellyn said last Sunday.

Heading into play this week, the Cavaliers (9-5, 4-2) were third in the Three Rivers League, trailing only Lakeridge (14-2, 6-0) and West Linn (10-3, 5-1).

“Lakeridge is No. 1 in the state and West Linn is No. 2 in the state,” Llewellyn said. “We played both Lakeridge and West Linn, and we almost beat West Linn.”

The Cavaliers took West Linn down to the wire in a 6-5 loss to the Lions on April 19; they lost to Lakeridge 15-9 last week, before rallying to crush Oregon City 17-3 on Friday.

“Having a feeder program has helped a lot,” said Llewellyn, who started Clackamas’ youth program in 2006. “And third-year [team] captains Nick [Strandholm] and Luke [Llewellyn] have been fantastic leaders. Two years ago, when we lost 18 seniors [to graduation], they really stepped it up. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.”

Senior attack Ethan Isaac and junior attack Doonie Johnson have been the Cavaliers’ top scorers this season. Johnson, Clackamas’ quarterback in football last fall, had 50 goals and six assists for the Cavaliers in 14 games played through last Friday; Isaac had 34 goals and two assists.

But much of Johnson’s and Isaac’s success is because of their teammates, especially senior midfielder Luke Llewellyn. Luke had 13 goals and 35 assists heading into play this week.

“He’s one of the best face-off kids in the state,” coach Llewellyn said of Luke Llewellyn. “He’s got a 76 percent face-off percentage. That’s been huge for us, because it gives us more possessions.”

The Cavaliers also have arguably one of the better goal keepers in the state in senior Nick Strandholm.

“Nick is definitely one of the better goalies in the state,” Llewellyn said. “He’s got quick hands; he clears the ball real well and he is great at getting outlet passes to our guys.”

The Cavaliers have averaged 10.3 goals this season, while their opponents have averaged 7.9 goals.

Clackamas defensive starters are: seniors Kerry Walsh-Buntrock and Drake Pearson, and junior Nikolas McGlathery.

Junior Shane Bagley has been starting with Llewellyn in the midfield, along with senior long-stick midfielder Nick Adams. Senior Taylor Johnson and junior Cameron Larson have been sharing a starting attack position.

Shooting for a top-three or top-two finish in the TRL, the Cavaliers needed only a win over Canby (6-6, 1-5) on Tuesday (April 30) to lock up fourth place in league and a berth in postseason play.

They wind up the TRL season, playing at Lake Oswego (3-10, 2-4) this Friday, at West Linn next Monday, and hosting Lakeridge on Thursday, May 9.