CAMAS, WA – History was made Friday night at Doc Harris Stadium as the newly-formed Camas Lacrosse (LAX) team debuted to excited fans on a warm March night.
It was the first time the sport was officially played in Camas, and it was the perfect setting as the anxious, young team gathered to play in front of hundreds of well-wishers, which included family, friends and many high school students.
The LAX team faced the Selah Vikings in their first regular season game of the new 2013 season, and one could sense the nerves and anxiety. Camas LAX goalie Ollie Stanchfield spent several minutes before game time pumping up his team, while at the same time expressing gratitude.
“We’re here representing Camas,” he said. “Let’s remember that.”
As game time approaches ten players assume their position on the field: a goalie, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent’s goal and to keep the other team from scoring. The team scoring the most goals wins.
Each team must keep at least four players, including the goalie, in its defensive half of the field and three in its offensive half. Three players (midfielders) may roam the entire field.
The 25-member team rotates throughout the game’s four 12-minute quarters. Players are penalized for slashing their sticks against opponents and are penalized by remaining on the sidelines for one or two-minute increments. They are not subbed in during those penalty periods.
Defensive players carry longer sticks, so from a spectator’s viewpoint it helps with identification.
|Camas LAX quickly gained momentum in the first quarter and never let it go.|
Once the 8 pm game started, you could see the Camas nerves on the field as Selah quickly made the first goal of the night with only two minutes into the game. Camas responded very quickly with a goal of their own, made by Attackman Austin Garwood (#1), without any assists.
Camas was still anxious on the sidelines as Coaches Jim Avino and Nick Ortiz reminded players of their field positions. Official scorekeepers managed to stay on top of statistics and double-checked their work in real time.
Midfielder Kai Nuce (#3) scored the second goal with an assist by Midfielder Mason McCracken (#20). Midfielder Bryce Tabbut (#12) scored the third goal (his first of many) with an assist by Attackman Chris Awwad (#6).
Selah got its first penalty of the night with a slash call against their #6 player. He had to stay on the sidelines for one minute.
Tabbut scored the fourth goal of the night unassisted, as well as the fifth goal with an assist from Garwood. They made some great maneuvers.
Selah scored its second goal in the second quarter.
Awwad shot and made the sixth goal with an assist by Nuce. Awwad made Camas’ seventh goal as well, with an assist by Tabbut.
By halftime, the score was Camas, 7, Selah, 2. Halftime lasts 10 minutes and it was great to mingle with the fans.
|Austin Garwood (#1), of Camas, gets ready to score a goal.|
“Can you believe how many people showed up?” said Lynn Elliott, parent of Defender Nick Elliott (#5). “This is so amazing!”
It really was. Anytime a new sport enters a community it’s hard to tell how well it’ll be received. If Friday’s crowd was any indication it shows LAX is here to stay – and will only grow in popularity.
“This is a lot of fun!” said Ty Sturbelle, 8. His brothers play Lacrosse.
Ollie Stanchfield (#17) delivered as goalie, and made some very impressive maneuvers.
Tabbut continued his scoring streak with the eighth goal – unassisted. The next goal was a gift from Selah as a player accidently threw the little white ball into the Camas goal. D-oh!
Garwood made it 10 and 11 with unassisted attacks. Awwad made the twelfth goal with an assist from Attackman Chad Menor (#18). McCracken made the thirteenth goal.
Selah scored their third and final goal of the night with 7:22 left in the fourth quarter. The goal lifted their spirits but it wasn’t enough to beat the momentum Camas captured early in the first quarter. Camas just kept up the pressure.
|Camas Midfielder Hudson Fox (#13) scoops up the ball and gets ready to pass.|
Goal 14 was made by Midfielder Bradley Stanchfield (#21) with an assist by Garwood.
The last goal of the night was an impressive drive by Tabbut who ran with the ball up most of the field and just chucked it in. He was simply no match for anything Selah had.
Avino said he was proud of the kids and looks forward to a fun 14-game season.
The game’s end was reminiscent of a football game where the fans flock to the field to celebrate and chat with the team.
Camas plays its next game at Doc Harris Stadium on March 20 at 7:30 pm against Union.
The Camas LAX roster consists of the following players, divided by grade:
#19 Stephen Burns, Defense, Freshman