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Experiment a success for West Ranch lacrosse

West Ranch finishes first lacrosse season on a high note; room for program growth

Posted: May 12, 2013 9:56 p.m.
Updated: May 12, 2013 9:56 p.m.

West Ranch's Tyler Morad, left, tries to break free from Simi Valley defender Garrett Ciroco in the first CIF-sanctioned high school lacrosse game at West Ranch High School on March 28.

 

The West Ranch Wildcats boys lacrosse team couldn’t have dreamt of a more dramatic ending to its inaugural season.

In the season finale, with the score tied in triple overtime with Saint Francis, the Wildcats’ Garrett Clark scored the game winner with seven seconds remaining in an 8-7 West Ranch victory.

“It was tremendous, absolutely tremendous,” said West Ranch head coach Paul Gordon. “It was amazing. A game like that, you just couldn’t ask for a better game than that to end your season on.”

The first-ever season of West Ranch lacrosse was quite the roller coaster ride with a team forced to go up against some of the top teams in the CIF-Southern Section, such as Newbury Park and Crespi.

But after dropping its first six games to start the season, the team began to rebound later in the year and finished with a 6-9 overall record.

The Wildcats participated as a CIF-Southern Section Independent member, and finished eighth best among 12 independent squads.

“We found that the teams that are at our level. We can compete with them,” Gordon said. “We played (Royal High of Simi Valley), who beat us earlier and we cleaned them right up when we played them again.”

The Wildcats lost to Royal 9-6 on March 18 before winning 8-4 on April 24.

2013 marked the first time since 1988 — when boys volleyball was added to the Foothill League — that the William S. Hart Union High School District adopted a new sport.

Lacrosse was played only at West Ranch this season, but Gordon and many members of his squad have repeatedly said they hope their example spreads to other schools.

“I’m told Valencia will have a team and Hart wants to have a team,” Gordon said. “I really am (proud). The board is really proud of (spreading lacrosse). As a coach, I’m glad people got to see us play.”

On March 28, the Wildcats experienced the thrill of hosting the first CIF sanctioned high school lacrosse game in the Santa Clarita Valley’s history.

That day, West Ranch made history and defeated another first-year program, Simi Valley, 15-3.

More than 100 spectators showed up to watch the team play and Gordon says the excitement among the student body has him expecting an even larger team next season.

The West Ranch program fielded 27 players on varsity this year, with another 24 making up a junior varsity team.

“Next year we should have twice as many kids come out to play,” Gordon said. “There was a tremendous amount of just excitement and hype for the sport this year.

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