Trio of wins for Clarkston lax

Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves waited until after spring break to jump into competition and it paid off with three wins in the first week.
“We have been taking our time and putting in our systems and working hard,” said Clarkston Boys Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach Brian Kaminskas. “This is really a good group. They are focused and they are driven which is nice. They are getting a lot of work done.”
The Wolves opened the season with a 11-7 win over Cranbrook, April 5.
“It was a good win for us,” said Kaminskas. “Always a tough game with Cranbrook. We spent the first 10-15 minutes just trying to work off the first game struggles. They came through big. Cranbrook is a very good team – well-coached and very athletic.
Evan McClorey led with four goals and two assists. Ryan Phyle had three goals and three assists.
“Ryan and Evan both had really big games for us there,” Kaminskas said. “Even first game they made their presence known early on.”
The Wolves posted two wins on Saturday with a 10-7 win over Okemos and a 8-6 win over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep.
“It was good,” said Kaminskas. “It was a long day. Two games back to back like that is difficult from a physical and mental standpoint. Those are two very good teams. Being down guys shows we had a lot more depth walking into the season.”
McClorey led the Wolves against Okemos with three goals and one assist. Ryan Berry, Gavin Pate and Ellis York had two goals each. Zaidan Green had one goal and one assist. Karl Wandrie had seven saves.
Green led in the game against St. Mary’s with three goals. York had two goals and three assists. Berry had two goals and Tyler Cray had one goal. Ryan Martindale and Michael Ferman each had one assist. Wandrie had seven saves in the net.
He added they had a lot of adversity to overcome in the first week as they were down two starters and lost another one in the game against St. Mary’s.
“They did well,” Kaminskas said. “They rose to the occasion.”
The Wolves have 16 returners from last year’s teams.
“It’s really nice what will take us typically a solid week to put our systems in, it doesn’t change much from year to year, these guys got it in two days,” Kaminskas said. “It was more of a refresher course so we have been able to advance a lot of what we have been doing in the last couple of years.”
Clarkston has seven players new to the varsity team.
“It’s a challenge for them the speed and physicality we play at but it’s good for us coaches and returners,” Kaminskas said. “It forces us to slow things down and go in more detail which we may have taken for granted.”
The Wolves are looking forward to opening the OAA against Bloomfield Hills next week and Game for Hope against Romeo on May 7. Kaminskas added the league looks strong this season.
“I would argue the OAA is probably the deepest in terms of number of teams in Michigan. Between Seaholm and Lake Orion and us you have three extremely strong teams,” he said.
The Wolves opened the week against Oxford on Tuesday.
“They are very good,” said Kaminskas. “We have an Oxford Strong event planned to show solidarity for our neighbor.”
The Wolves play Brighton and Rockford on Saturday at Brighton High School beginning at 12 p.m.
Clarkston is back home on Tuesday, April 19 at the stadium when they host Bloomfield Hills.
“We scrimmaged them in March and they are legitimate,” said Kaminskas. “They have some serious athletes on the team. It should be a really good game.”
JV plays at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.

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