By David Wagner
After what some would call a disappointing season for Western Albemarle High School’s boys lacrosse team, the Warriors rallied to win the Jefferson District Tournament. Western captured the title with an 8-7 victory over the Monticello Mustangs after knocking off the top-seeded Albemarle Patriots 5-4 in the first round. The tournament championship vaulted the Warriors into the Regional Playoffs.
Western traveled to Douglass Freeman High School in Richmond for a regional match-up that proved to be an exciting, down-to-the-wire game. The Warriors got a late first quarter goal from Justin Haws to give them a 2-1 lead. Haws struck again early in the second quarter, followed by a Sumner Corbett goal to give the Warriors a 4-1 lead with six minutes left in the half. Douglass Freeman struck back with two goals only 30 seconds apart to cut the lead to one. Each team scored twice before the half and Western led 6-5 at the break.
Both teams’ defenses made adjustments and buckled down in the second half. The halftime score suggested it would be a high scoring affair, but it wasn’t to be. Haws assisted Corbett for a goal with 5:30 left in the third quarter for a 7-5 Warrior lead. Haws then scored unassisted with four minutes to go in the third for an 8-5 lead. Douglass Freeman answered with three minutes to go in the quarter to cut the deficit to two. Freeman managed to add another goal in the fourth quarter, but Western hung on to win 8-7 and moved on to the second round of the regional.
Next the Warriors traveled to Lynchburg to take on perennial nemesis E. C. Glass. The Warriors fell behind early and couldn’t keep up. Glass cruised to a 14-5 win and the Warriors’ season was done.
First year Head Coach Alex Whitten has a lot to build on for next year with the strong run the Warriors made at the end of the year. With the returning players they have, Coach Whitten’s work ethic and their never-say-die attitude, the Warriors have a bright future.