Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Boys lacrosse team looks to stay healthy


Besieged by injuries last year, the Lions are reloaded and eyeing a run to the Final Four

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Zach Gaunt and the West Linn boys lacrosse team figure to be one of the elite squads in the state this year.If the West Linn boys lacrosse team can avoid some of the injuries that have plagued the program in past seasons, it may find itself contending into the Final Four this year.

The Lions aren't exactly starting out the season healthy as attackman Ian Anderson is expected to miss close to a month with mono and defender Tanner Hampton will be out through spring break.

But, when the team is at full strength, it should be on par with the elite squads in the state.

West Linn is well balanced this year, featuring three freshmen on varsity and multiple players who are expected to make key contributions.

“We don't have that one superstar this year but we have a lot of really good players and if our freshmen step up we could be really good,” Flood said.

The Lions figure to be a transition team this spring to utilize their superior speed and athleticism and the team could prove to be fairly dynamic on offense.

West Linn has two left-handers up front, something the program has lacked in the past and multiple players who can put the ball in the net.

Drew Crowther, Aaron Nelson, Ryan Klose and Jack McMenomey should all see big minutes up front.

In the midfield, West Linn will be led by returned Dalton Tuor. Tuor is back as one of the top face-off men in the state and will be instrumental to the team's success this season.

“He's the unquestioned leader of the team this year,” Flood said.

Ryan Bowers and Zach Gaunt will also fill it at midfield as well as freshman Colin Squires, the team's long-stick middie.

On defense, West Linn has moved some new faces to the back line to fill in some gaps. K'myn Pettitt-Delia, last year's long-stick midfielder, has moved to defense along with Louie Germain from attack.

Dean Swanson and John Verbiest will also play a big role in the back for West Linn.

In goal this year will be sophomore Will Strickland who was the team's back-up last spring.

The Lions won't have much time to get their feet wet. After a season-opening 13-3 win over Roseburg, the team faced powerhouse Lincoln on Wednesday and then will travel to Arizona to play two of the best teams from Arizona and another from Colorado.

West Linn will also take on Sunset before opening league with games against Lake Oswego and Lakeridge back to back.

“If we can make it through these next two weeks fairly unscathed, we'll be in good shape,” Flood said.

The Lions will hope to steadily build momentum as the season progresses.

“We're confident we can be right in there if we avoid ridiculous injuries. I don't think there's that one 'wow' team this year that's just the team to beat,” Flood said.