BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves finished their playoff run in a 19-7 loss to Midland United in the MHSAA Division 1 Regional 8 Final, June 1.
“It wasn’t our night,” said Brian Kaminskas, head coach for Clarkston Boys Varsity Lacrosse. “We were slow out of the gate and they weren’t. We played from behind the whole night.”
Senior Sam Lightfoot opened the night with the first goal for Clarkston in the first 76 seconds of the game.
Midland tied the game just over a minute later with a goal from junior Ryan Stadelmaier and with nine minutes left in the first quarter, they took the lead with another goal this time from senior Mason Reed.
Clarkston senior Michael VanGilder blocked and saved Midland’s attempts on the goal the net the next six minutes. Midland snuck through and scored three goals in the last four minutes of the quarter, putting the score 5-1.
Sophomore Zaidan Green closed the gap with his goal with 33.5 seconds left in the first quarter and Lightfoot added a quick goal 18 seconds later.
“These guys realized there they can fight and they could play,” Kaminskas said. “But we dug ourselves into a hole and it’s tough to get out of sometimes.”
Junior Evan McClorey started the scoring for the Wolves in the second quarter. With another goal from Lightfoot and McClorey, Clarkston tied the game at 6-6 with 3:50 remaining in the first half.
Midland took the lead back scoring three goals in the last minute of the first half with two goals from senior Chase Mahabir and one from junior Cal Stearns.
The Wolves scored three times in the fourth quarter with goals from McClorey, Lightfoot and senior Braedyn Callehan.
Clarkston finished the season 14-5.
“How could you not be happy,” said Kaminskas. “We’ve been playing bonus games now for three rounds. It’s been great. We haven’t had a full roster all season. This is frankly the first night we have had it. Every time we can be around these guys is great. It more than makes up for last year.”
He added though the ending stung, it will help the younger players.
“We have a lot of guys who saw a lot of time this year and I think they will remember what happened,” he said. “A lot of them have been on the other side of it when we won two years ago. When it comes down to it their senior year I think you have a choice and I think now they know what way they will choose.”
The Wolves graduated nine seniors – Callehan, Lightfoot, VanGilder, Hayden Arnold, Jack Gurn, Colin Horst, Owen Meyer, Miguel Need and Harry Skinner.
“In essence, we started from zero,” said Kaminskas. “They had nobody to lean on. They had nobody to learn from. They didn’t have that two years ago. You start from zero. You hope a lot of your traditions are going to carry over. They are the catalyst for that – they will make sure they do. I think it’s a really good legacy and to bridge that gap from nothing to something and then moving on. They were there all summer.
“It’s time for them to let the little birds lead the nest.”