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Spring Lake boys lax captures first conference title

Tribune Staff • May 10, 2019 at 12:15 AM

The Spring Lake boys lacrosse team turned a page in its history book Thursday night, capturing the program’s first O-K Conference title with a 9-2 victory at Grand Rapids Christian.

The win leaves the Lakers’ conference record at 7-1 overall, with Reeths-Puffer finishing second at 6-2.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Spring Lake head coach and lacrosse program founder Doug Sharp. “We’ve been around for 11 years, and for the first seven or eight we weren’t even officially part of a conference.

“I’ve got 15 seniors that have been playing since the fourth and fifth grade, and have played together and know each other and love each other. They are great kids, great students and great athletes, and they refused to quit.

“This was goal No. 1 at the beginning of the year. It feels so good to accomplish that.”

Sean Carrns led the offense with two goals, while Dom Molotky, Jake Vinkemulder. Caleb Montgomery, Colin Arends, Zach Mitchell, Colby Brown and Danton Molotky all netted single goals. Vinkemulder added two assists, while Jack Lauinger and Gavin Alban assisted one goal each.

The Lakers picked up 34 ground balls and peppered the Eagles’ goalie with 35 shots.

While the Lakers have fielded successful teams in the past, this one was destined to top them all from a young age.

“I knew this was going to be a special class when they were in the eighth grade,” Sharp said. “They went 24-0 as eighth-graders, annihilating the competition, and I knew it was a special class. They refused to peak in eighth grade, and continued to push each other and get better as a team.

“That senior leadership started it and now I’ve got 22 guys that all buy into what we are doing. I don’t have individuals, I have a team that plays together and wins and loses together.”

Now, Spring Lake turns its attention to the final weeks of the season. Saturday, Spring Lake will host Mona Shores for the LAXshore Challenge, featuring the Sailors and Lakers teams from third grade through varsity. Wednesday, they will host Forest Hills Eastern for an emotional senior night celebration, while also honoring Jarred Coleman, a former Spring Lake lacrosse player who was killed in a car accident last year. Coleman’s brother now plays for Forest Hills Eastern and will be in attendance with his parents for the ceremony.

Following the end of the regular season, No. 3 Spring Lake is set to host the regional tournament beginning Monday, May 20, with a first-round matchup with Petoskey and a likely rematch of last year’s regional final game with No. 2 East Grand Rapids.

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