I had an absolutely incredible weekend, filled with lax, good food, good drinks, and great company. There’s nothing else in this world I desire.
The Louisiana HS lacrosse playoffs were this weekend in New Orleans, about an hour away from my place in Baton Rouge. Definitely making this road trip. To set one rumor straight, the games were played in City Park, and I couldn’t smell any oil at all wafting in from the gulf. I have a gigantic nose that can catch wind shear when I run, so it wasn’t some biological mistake.
To recap an intense weekend, my first stop was on Saturday afternoon at the Byrd (Shreveport, La) vs Jesuit (NOLA) semi final game. This was a rematch from last year’s semi final game, where last year Byrd basically lost in the fourth quarter due to some nasty penalties.
The crowds were absolutely amazing. There was a record attendance for a Louisiana lacrosse game on Saturday, and while I don’t have the number, I can say that I had a hard time finding a place to sit down. It had to of been 500+ . Forecasters predicted severe storms for the entire weekend, but that doesn’t slow die hard fans down.
Here’s some awful, low quality, iPhone video clips of the game. I sat in the Byrd section, because it’s my alma mater. Byrd fans are typical Louisiana sports fans – insane.
The opening face off:
More fuzzy zoomed out action from the stands:
Sorry to strain your eyes like that. Not a single person in my family owns a functioning digital camera.
My purpose was just to prove I was really there, but perhaps this is my plea for the world to chip in and buy me a camera? Fortunately for the world, Barry Spears, sports photographer extraordinaire, was there snapping shots. As soon as they’re live, I’ll drop them on y’all.
This game was pure physicality and defense, all fueled by some incredible goal tending by Stephen Baay (Jesuit) and Eric Murdock (Byrd). At the half, the score was 3-2, with Jesuit on top. It pretty much stayed that way until both teams started scoring late in the 4th. Jesuit maintained their lead, and won 7-5.
Meanwhile, St. Thomas More Catholic (aka STM) from Lafayette, La lurked quietly for pretty much the entire season.
Looking at their record, they only lost two road games – one to Jesuit, and one to Byrd. They handily won their semi final game against Brother Martin, and were poised and ready for a big game on Sunday. Jesuit was also pumped to be back in the title game for a second straight year, and the last thing on the planet they wanted to do was lose it all again.
Sunday morning finally came, and with it came the rain. It absolutely poured, but we all know that high school lax guys love the slop, so the show went on. STM jumped out early, leading 3-0. Jesuit’s high powered attack led by Louis Lacour, Mac Bulloch, and Brian Kitto answered back just as quick. And while both teams played some absolutely outstanding lacrosse (particularly in the 4th quarter), there could only be one victor. In true New England Patriot’s fashion, the undefeated Jesuit Blue Jay’s lost the title, 10-8.
All in all, it was an incredible season for both STM and Jesuit. For those associated with either team that read this, big congrats to you guys. I can’t wait to play you next year.
Following the championship game was the All Star game, which is basically everyone who made All State/District, plus some Honorable Mentions filling in for players who couldn’t make it.
See if you recognize this celebration from somewhere (credit goes to Coach Mike Brand of Centenary College/Caddo Magnet HS/Shreveport Storm for thinking to do this).
Somehow I managed to be filming this (again with my super awesome, gas powered iPhone) when it happened.
I didn’t get the East District’s retaliation, when they formed the Flying V. It obviously wasn’t rehearsed – they only made it about 5 yards. Hey, at least they were having fun with it.
About the author: Knox is a 24 year old High School Head Coach in a small area east of Baton Rouge. He played High School ball for four years, and college ball for about 1 week until he realized his collegiate priorities rested with more important things like partying and eventually trying to get his grades up. He enjoys things that most Louisiana people do – eating boiled crawfish and alligator, a cold Abita Amber, anything LSU, his dog, and his beautiful girlfriend, Audrey. Lacrosse is not listed because most Louisiana people have no idea what lacrosse is.
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