The Lincoln Rampage were knocked out of the Nebraska High School Lacrosse Association championships with a first-round loss, 14-3, to Millard West last weekend. The outcome was not altogether unexpected—our varsity team was winless through the regular season—but we did think that West displayed a certain arrogance and lack of sportsmanship by posting a Facebook invitation to their semi-finals game before their game against us was even played.
West went on to win the championship; meanwhile, we're looking forward to next season and beyond. We graduated just one senior, with two juniors moving up. The rest of our players are rapidly-improving freshmen and sophomores, so in two years we may be the team to beat. Thanks to a generous equipment grant from US Lacrosse, Brine, and Warrior, as well as a positive working relationship with the Abbott Sports Foundation, the club's existence is secure and success will come eventually.
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My cousin Laura, a freshman midfielder for the Catonsville Cardinals, had a much better year. She had several multiple-goal games (although my search for video highlights has been unsuccessful) and Catonsville, the defending national junior-college champions, lost only one regular-season game. The Cardinals fell to that same team, the Onondaga Lazers, last weekend in the NJCAA semi-finals; Onondaga went on to win the national championship. I congratulate Laura and her teammates on a successful season—and if you have to lose, you may as well lose to the best.
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The season just beginning
- Their logo, which incorporates both the Canadian maple leaf and the Hiawatha Belt of the Iroquois Confederacy.
- The MLL may have contracted from ten teams to six, but the Nationals extend the league's geographic reach north of the border.
- Gary Gait, a near-contemporary of mine (with a birthday in April, he's a slightly younger 42) and arguably the greatest player in the game's long history, came out of retirement to play for them.
With all teams now playing in one division, perhaps it will come down to the Bayhawks vs. the Nationals in the finals. Something to hope for, anyway...