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By Drew Truitt
Sports Editor 

Highlanders Win Lacrosse Season Opener

Reynolds Scores in Double Sudden Death Overtime


Last updated 2/25/2019 at 11:52am

In only their second season and under the steady hand of Coach Stacey Butcher the Lake Wales High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse team crossed a milestone under the Legion Field lights and a full moon by beating a similarly matched but seasoned Lakeland Christian in their season opener Tuesday, Feb. 19. Final score: 9-8 in double sudden death overtime.

For those fortunate fans who braved a roller coaster ride of emotions over 54 unyielding minutes of nonstop action the seesaw game gave as much as it took away.

Lacrosse, a sport purported to have been invented long ago by Native Americans, eventually made its way North with the Mohawks into New York and Pennsylvania which are considered to be the hotbed of this sport. It is quickly gaining popularity now in the South and Midwest.

A regulation game is four 12-minute quarters, but this contest took six sessions to complete. Two 4-minute sudden death overtime periods were necessary to complete the game as the winning goal was scored by Garret Reynolds with 2:54 remaining.

The score was tied at 6-6 when Idal Rivera scored a consecutive hat trick after the Highlanders were down a dismal 6-3 with just over eight and a half minutes to play in regulation.

Four more goals would be netted, two by the Vikings John David Falk and Gabe Everett and a pair by the Highlanders Caleb Geniott and Nick Jimenez. They knotted the score again at eight, and saw two great saves by goalie Nick Rice who saved the night for Lake Wales.

In the first overtime both teams played in a dead heat with no team dominating the other in terms of time of possession and shots on goal. But in the final frame the Vikings invaded Highlander territory and seemingly had the upper hand. In a show of strength the Lake Wales defense dug in and clawed the way to victory.

"I can't tell you how proud I was of the boys and their fight to the very end," Coach Butcher said. "Our defenders don't often get the credit they deserve. They kept us in the game."


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