Boys JV lacrosse proved themselves as one of the most dominant JV teams in the state of Michigan. With wins against big opponents such as East Grand Rapids, Rockford, and even some out-of-state schools. The Rangers finished their season 14-3 and faced some interesting challenges along the way.
“As soon as we played our first game, everyone knew we had great potential,” sophomore captain Sawyer Bosch said. “Although we have a young team, we still outplayed most of our opponents. We had a lot of success early, and I’m really proud of how close we got as a team throughout the season.”
The Rangers faced off against Haslett in their first game. Right off the start, the offense went to work, as they showed off their talent and discipline as they roll past the defense scoring goal after goal. Freshman goalie Charlie Mehney was a huge contributor in this game, as he only let in one goal the whole game. Charlie was phenomenal all season long and was the right choice for this position. The final score was 15-1, and the Rangers got their first win of the season and set a positive tone for the future.
After their 4-0 tear against some unmatched teams, the boys played Brother Rice. In the first 4 games, the Rangers outscored their opponents 58-15, with a close match against EGR. This would be their first time playing the Pioneers, and they conquered them 7-3. The Rangers were undefeated at the time they played Brother Rice, which is one of the top programs in the state, but they stuck with them. It was a close game off the start, but the Warriors intense offense eventually pulled away and got the win 14-7.
“Brother Rice was by far our most difficult opponent and will be a huge threat in the future as well,” sophomore Collin Ward said. “We played them hard off the start but eventually we fell behind and lost by 7.”
After that loss, the Rangers went 7-0 with huge wins to some quality teams. Teams such as Caledonia, whom FHC trumped 15-8, and even rival school Rockford, who gave the Rangers a run for their money. The final score was 9-5 with the Rangers on top, but the Rams gave them a tough time down the stretch.
Within this stretch of wins, the Rangers pulled out tons of tricks out of their hat, including a six-man hidden ball trick against Hartland. The boys all clumped together in a circle, and gave their best scorer—John Tomsheck—the ball and let him do his thing while the others distracted the defense. This game ended 16-10 and was a thriller from start to finish.
During these seven wins, the Rangers pulled out something they had planned for since the start of the season: a conference championship. FHC danced through the conference with ease and closed the door with a 13-2 win against Forest Hills Northern. This game solidified their 6-0 record in the conference and proved them as the top team in the area.
“We set a goal at the beginning of the year to not only compete but to be a dominant JV team,” head coach Vance Shepherd said. “Throughout the year, everyone knew their role on the team and this led to our successful season.”
The next two games were both in Detroit for the Rangers, and they went 1-1. Their first match was against Orchard Lakes St. Mary’s in which they slaughtered them 18-3. The second one was a long-anticipated game against cross-state rival Catholic Central. The Shamrocks took the lead early but the Rangers came back and fought hard from start to finish. Unfortunately for them, the Shamrocks finished out the game 11-8 and ended the Rangers record at 14-3.
This season was very successful for the Rangers and was a big year that helped train these boys to be ready for varsity. They won conference, beat some top tier teams, and spent this spring becoming better men and better athletes. Some key players were also found this season. The offense was led by freshmen Nathan Sargeant, John Tomsheck, and Miles Duiven. These three, along with sophomore Collin Ward, were lethal when it came to the attacking end and led the Rangers majority of the year. On the defensive end, sophomores Deacon Lobdell, Jacob Campbell, and Sawyer Bosch developed a sturdy wall that forced opponents to fall back and evidently stopped many goals.
“Throughout the whole season, this team had to battle through adversity,” Coach Vance said. “This trait allowed us to get several big wins over Hartland and East Grand Rapids. This is an incredibly special group of kids and I can’t wait to see them grow as lacrosse players and young men.”