By Ryan Kaczmarski
The Rocky River varsity lacrosse team defeated University School last Wednesday night, 11-8, to advance to its second straight Ohio High School Lacrosse Association (OHSLA) Division II state championship game. Unfortunately, the Pirates fell to eventual state-champion Mariemont High School on Saturday, 10-6.
While this season was another one to be proud of, with a final record of 15-3, the 11 seniors who have played on the team together all four years of high school said goodbye to the program and each other with a sense of pride in making the Division II state quarterfinals in their freshman season, the state semifinals in their sophomore year and the state championship game for the past two seasons.
“I would have been a little disappointed (if the Pirates did not return to the championship game),” goalkeeper Aaron Blossey said. “It’s been an amazing four years. I love all the kids I’ve played with, my coaches are amazing and I love just being a part of this program.”
Blossey finished his high school career as a 2013 OHSLA All-American, the Division II Goalkeeper of the Year and a Division II first team All-Ohio selection. He will continue his lacrosse career at Wittenburg University.
“It’s been unreal,” long stick midfielder Michael Poe said. “It’s a bunch of great guys and we had fun with everything we did. It doesn’t matter if we won or lost – it kind of helps to win – but we just love doing it all. It’s been a great ride.”
Poe earned the distinction of being named the Division II Specialist of the Year, as well as Division II first team All-Ohio honors. He will be playing for Mercyhurst University next season.
Attacker Bobby Perez echoed previous sentiments of Rocky River’s lacrosse program.
“We’ve been playing together for so long, and we’re so comfortable playing together, that we’re all so happy to be graduating together,” Perez said. “I couldn’t see it any other way.”
Perez earned 2013 Division II first team All-Ohio honors. He will continue his lacrosse career at Endicott College.
Michael Dickey was named the 2013 Division II Defenseman of the Year and earned Division II first team All-Ohio honors as well. Midfielder Eric Sperli also earned Division II first team All-Ohio honors.
Mason Wilhelmy will be playing lacrosse for Baldwin Wallace University next season.
Matt Cook, Tommy Garibaldi, Xhulio Harunaj and Jason Lucarelli round out the other seniors on this year’s squad.
Even though this large senior class has graduated and left big holes in the roster to fill, there are no worries for Rocky River athletic director Mark Wagner.
“I think the program will be sustained,” he said. “The strength that we have – with guys like David St. Pierre and Gary Cintron, and what they do at the youth level – is translating (to the high school level), and we’re reaping the benefits. There’s no question (Rocky River) is becoming a lacrosse community.”
Junior attacker Brock Reimenschneider was named a 2013 Division II All-Ohio honorable mention.