Bryce Clay Playing Beyond His Years in Outstanding Freshman Season

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Bryce Clay leads the FHC lacrosse team in scoring. He leads the team in points and is one of the top scorers in the state, on a team that has a legitimate chance to win yet another state championship. He has led the Rangers to multiple wins over state-ranked teams, scoring numerous goals in each of those games. And he is only a freshman.

Clay’s dominance this season has not been a surprise, as he has grown up around the Ranger lacrosse program. His brother Andrew is also a starting player on the team, a fact that provides an interesting dynamic to the team.

“Seeing my brother work so hard every day has really motivated me,” said Bryce, who is one of two freshmen on the varsity team. “He has always provided an excellent example for me.”

From Andrew’s perspective, he is just simply doing his job as a brother and as a teammate.

“I try to show him that you need to always give 100 percent,” said Andrew. “He has been around it for a long time.”

Clay’s hard work has certainly paid off this season, as he leads the Rangers in both goals and points, while sparking a dominant season for the team. CLay has amassed over 100 points so far, and is shooting 50 percent from his forward position. Despite his youth, Clay’s contributions do not go unnoticed by his teammates.

“He is basically our offense,” said Andrew Clay. “He is our leading scorer and he is really doing well for his first year.”

Clay has outperformed his peers in many games this season, especially in games against West Ottawa and Rockford, in which Clay had four and six goals. Clay also had ten points in each of those games.

The transition to high school lacrosse is something that most young athletes struggle with, but Clay understood the adjustment that he needed to make and has adapted his game to fit the faster style of play.

“I knew that the biggest change was going to be the speed,” said Clay. “Everyone is a lot stronger too.”

Although the high school game can be intimidating, Clay has followed his brother’s lead.

“I have seen Andrew transition from middle school to high school lacrosse and that helped a lot,” said Clay. “He is constantly pushing me in practice and we both try to beat each other as much as possible every day at practice. I would say that there is a lot of sibling rivalry.”

Ranger coach Jake Seiler agrees with the competitive atmosphere that Bryce and Andrew bring to the team.

“These are two of the hardest-working players and they are always out there competing,” said Seiler, who is in his first year coaching after graduating from Grand Valley State University. “The sibling rivalry is great.”

Andrew echoed the statements of Seiler, emphasizing the importance of always pushing eachother to be better.

“I just always have to beat him,” said Andrew. “Us pushing each other at practice really does improve both of our games.

As well as Clay has played this year, the focus going forward remains on the team’s goal. The Rangers have consistently been ranked in the top five in the state and have realistic state championship aspirations. Behind Clay’s outstanding scoring ability, the rangers have averaged about 13 goals per game this season, which is one of the top numbers in the state.

“The year has gone really well so far,” said Clay. “But our goal is to win a state championship, there’s no doubt about it.”