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New coach guides optimistic LO boys lacrosse team

The Lakers only graduated six seniors and hope to be competitive in the TRL


VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego midfielder Ben Remlinger is part of a deep and athletic group of midfielders that the Lake Oswego boys lacrosse team has this year as the Lakers look to finish in the top-three in league.The Lake Oswego boys lacrosse team is off to a strong start this year under first-year head coach Rick Gruen and the team hopes a strong non-league and TRL schedule will translate to postseason success.

Gruen is the parent of a former Lake Oswego lacrosse player and has coached high school and college lacrosse and considers himself a journeyman of the sport having grown up in the lacrosse hotbed of Philadelphia.

The team lost just six seniors and is one of the more experienced teams in the league this year.

“I feel optimistic. We don't have a lot of individual stars but if we can play together as a team we should be pretty good,” Gruen said.

The Lakers feature a pair of goalies this season in Jesse Andres and Ben Blauer, both of whom will see time in net early in the season.

Defensively, Parker Brisbee is a returning first-team all-league player, giving the Lakers a strong foundation on the back line.

Reed Sandblast and Kyle Lantow also give the Lakers depth at defense while a pair of longstick midfielders in Max Martin and Matt Burdick will each play a big role this season.

“We run an up-tempo style of transition. Both have tremendous stick skills,” Gruen said.

On the midfield, Josh Watkins, Ben Remlinger and Hayden Barton make up one strong line whiel

Drew Pieringer, Olin Hanson and Thomas Atchison make up an equally solid second unit.

“We plan to run a pretty aggressive midfield. We call it our big/little lines and we also have a young gun line with sophomores and a freshman that we might throw at people,” Gruen said.

At attack, the Lakers feature four players who will likely see plenty of time and have no shortage of goal scorers.

Sean Goodell returns as one of the TRL's top scorers along with Jack O'Donnell, Peter Ragan and Mitch Teed.

The Lakers are 2-2 this season after a solid showing against some strong teams from Idaho, Nevada and Utah and a 14-2 league victory over Oregon City.

Lake Oswego is quick and athletic this season and hopes it can climb up the league standings.

“I feel like we can be a top-three team in league. We've been a .500 team the past few seasons splitting with Clackamas and I'd hope to improve on that,” Gruen said.

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