By Ryan Kaczmarski
The Rocky River Middle School boys lacrosse team started the 2013 season with a 3-5 record, then went on a 10-game winning streak, including four wins in the postseason, on its way to the middle school Division II state lacrosse championship.
The Pirates won their first-round game against Springboro, 6-2, then defeated Strongsville 6-3. They beat Pickerington in the state semifinals, coming back from a three-goal deficit to win the game 8-7, before downing Hastings, 5-4, in the finals.
“We were down 4-1 in the semifinal game against Pickerington and rattled off seven straight goals to take a 8-4 lead,” Pirates coach Doug Blossey said. “Michael Malloy dominated the faceoffs, to allow (us) to get back into the game. We then held on to win 8-7 in a very hard-fought game.”
There were many postseason MVP’s for the Pirates.
“Attack, including Riley Kinzel, Kyle Zenkewicz and Zeke Strang, ran the offense well and controlled the ball at critical times during the tournament,” Blossey said. “Michael Malloy winning the faceoffs allowed us to control the ball and get back into the semifinal game, when we were down 4-1. Michael Snow and Noah Steele controlling the ground balls, which were critical to maintaining possession throughout the tournament.
“Goalie play by Carter Blossey was outstanding all weekend long (17 saves in the finals, 52 saves for the tournament),” he added. “The team defense, including Brian Hollis, Titus Snavely, Jack Rodgers and Ryan Matis, shut down Hastings in the finals.”
Rocky River High School will welcome several of the middle school state champions to the program next season, as 15 out of the 25 team members will remain Pirates at the high school level.
“They should bring with them the ability to compete against the best teams in Ohio,” Blossey stated.
Blossey cites the city’s youth lacrosse program as being the catalyst to sustained dominance of the Rocky River Middle School and High School teams.
“Rocky River youth lacrosse was started in 1999 by Skip Guilford, David St. Pierre and Gary Cintron,” he said. “Their dedication to the program over the years has built a very solid foundation for Rocky River to continue to have outstanding lacrosse teams.”