Oakdale Boys Lacrosse Seeking Vengeance in 2020


Bailey Hayek

Evan Hayek clears the ball through Justin Hartz in last years game against Brunswick

Evan Hayek, Editor In-Chief

Under the leadership of third-year coach, Mike Higgs, the boys lacrosse team is seeking vengeance after three consecutive first round playoff exits.


It’s been frustrating for Higgs and his team ever since pulling off a miraculous 2017, 14-0 regular season, dropping off Urbana, Linganore and Middletown; all of which were favored in their matchups against Oakdale. That season ended, however, first with a CMC championship loss to Linganore, followed by a first-round playoff loss to Winter’s Mill. 


Despite the loss of several key seniors, Higgs and then senior Shawn Gibbons captained a successful team again the following year, but history repeated itself, losing to South Carroll in the first round. 


Everyone is determined to make this year different. 


Before the day of tryouts, Higgs sent a video from the YouTube channel Jocko Podcast titled, “GOOD.” to several of the team’s leaders. The video clearly sets the tone for the season, in which the speaker, Jocko, replies to a series of typically unfortunate events with, “GOOD.” A clear message from Higgs to the team: “We will grow from adversity.”


The team underwent a drastic change from last year to this, losing Gibbons and all-county defenseman Ethan Martin; but just as the video Higgs sent to the team suggests, they will overcome adversity. That means replacing Gibbons and Martin and instilling a culture amongst the team that allows them to play just as they did last year, even in the absence of some of last year’s best in the county. 


Of course, this means the rise of underclassmen into extremely important roles on the team. One of these roles is to be filled by senior Joe Wilson. With a roster of only 23, down from 33 last year, midfielders come at a premium. Wilson, along with Junior Justin Hartz, will be taking a majority of runs from the midfield this year.


It’s evident the team is already coming together, operating as a family rather than just a team. Senior attackman, Michael Goss explained, “This year, the energy is [sic] live; you can see around practice everyone wants to be there and wants to do something.” 


Goss will be one of many stepping up in a big way this year. He’s got to be “the” guy this year, according to Higgs. 


The boys will be tested right out of the gate this year, first with four scrimmages against formidable opponents, most prominently Manchester Valley, who were the 2A state champions last year. The challenge continues into the regular season as their first two games will be against indisputably two of the best teams in the region: Urbana and Linganore, March 27th and 31st respectively. 


This scheduling, however, does nothing but reflect on the way the team is looking at this season; facing adversity head-on, and thriving from it. 


Come out to support Bears lacrosse all season!