HED: Long locks unite Haven boys lacrosse squad
The Grand Haven boys lacrosse team is currently riding a four-game winning streak.
But the Buccaneers are going to have to make if five, against a fierce rival, if they want their season to continue.
Grand Haven faces West Ottawa at the Panthers' home field tonight in regional action. Play is set to start at 6 p.m.
As if a rivalry game in the playoffs isn't enough, Grand Haven also has revenge on its mind. The Panthers beat the Bucs earlier this season, 10-6.
"We need redemption," said midfielder Sawyer Curtiss.
Coach Murle Greer wasn't running away from the magnitude of the matchup.
"Us and West Ottawa is a monster game," Greer said. "It's emotional, it always is. A lot of friends, a back-and-forth between both programs, a huge rivalry between schools. That's going to draw a lot of attention."
Senior Jared VanOordt echoed his coach's sentiments.
"It's close by, we have a bunch of friends in that area that we play with a lot on the west side," VanOordt said. "Our programs are just so close, and so evenly matched, it makes for a super good game all the time. A lot of emotion."
Greer said that when the Bucs play up to their potential, they can hang with any team in the state.
"We need to just keep doing what we're doing well," Greer said. "We need to take care of the ball, and play solid defense like we've been doing the last few games. ... We just need to keep this momentum going as far as we can."
Grand Haven is a senior-laden squad, making this postseason the last chance at a deep run for many of the Bucs.
While they all wear the same jersey on the field, many of the Bucs have the same look flowing out of the end of their helmets as well, some long locks. Or as the kids call it — sick flow.
Six of Grand Haven's 10 seniors sport long hair, which has been a bit of a uniting point for the team.
"Most of the time we get made fun of by other teams," said Trevor McNamara. "They try to pick on our long hair, and then we make goals."
While long hair has an added visual appeal coming out of a helmet, the Bucs said that playing lacrosse is not what influenced their hair, which they have had for years and see as sort of a way of life.
"A lot of lacrosse is like lax bros," said Brody Smith. "It's just who we are, we just have long hair. We're not going for the lax bro image."
Greer, being ever the old-school coach, is not a fan of the look. But he has grown used to it over the last few years.
"I can't," Greer said, while listening to his players talk about their hair. "I want to cut every single one of them off. I want to cut all their hair."
LAKERS TO FACE FHE
Spring Lake’s boys lacrosse team will also put its season on the line tonight as the Lakers, the No. 5 seed, take on the fourth-seeded Eagles of Forest Hills Eastern.
The game will be played at FHE at 6 p.m.
The winner advances to face either top-seeded Forest Hills Central or Comstock Park in the regional semifinals next Tuesday.