Big Congratulations to 2017 Justin Angelel for making his commitment to NCAA DI Lehigh University. The Mountain Hawks who play in the very competitive Patriot league will have a strong, smart, two way midfielder hailing from Bellevue WA. We had few minutes to interview Justin's regarding his commitment:
Q: Why did you choose Lehigh and what are your goals when you arrive?
I chose Lehigh for their great academics combined with a good division one lacrosse program. I plan on making an impact from the beginning. I hope to see the field early and make a difference.
Q: When did you know that it was possible that you could play in college?
I had always wanted to play in college from when I started really watching college lacrosse in middle school, but I think I knew I could make it happen after my Philly trip in 8th grade. One of the Philly showcase directors talked to me and asked me to come to their camp, and that was when I knew I could play college lacrosse.
Q: Did you have any mentors or help as you went through the process?
I have had a lot of great coaches and mentors, but someone who deserves a lot of credit is Nick Welton. He helped me connect with the coaches at Lehigh and even set up meetings with professors for me. A huge thanks to all the coaches at Bellevue as well. Starting from middle school I had great coaches including Chris Bergin and Chris Holmes, all the way up through the high school with coach Baumann. Also want to thank my parents who have been super supportive throughout the process.
Q: What Bellevue Laxers did you look up to as you were coming up?
I looked up to a lot of the high school players, including Cole Nordstrom and Andrew Gulrajani, but the guy I looked up to most throughout high school was definitely Eric Haehl. I remember watching him make varsity as a freshman when I was in 6th grade, and knew I wanted to follow in his footsteps.
Q: What advice do you have for young Bellevue lacrosse players that hope to play lacrosse in college someday?
The advice I have for young lacrosse players who want to play in college is first and foremost to work and play as hard as you can when it comes to lacrosse. Coaches see who wants it and who doesn't. I would also say play more than one sport. Coaches cringe when they hear that kids quit to only play lacrosse.
This year's 2016 Varsity Wolverines now boast 3 NCAA Division I recruits on the roster: Justin Angelel to Lehigh University, Augie Fratt to Boston University, and Joe Bethke to Mount St Mary's University. All three of these players played on the 2014 WA State Championship Team with 4 teammates who went on to play NCAA DI & D3: Hank Bethke at Ohio State, Eric Haehl at Richmond, Ryan Eastes at Endicott, and Riley Gulrajani at Dickinson College.
Congrats to Justin and the entire Wolverine Lacrosse Family on this and every measure of success you have achieved together. You continue to carry your program to new heights. One Team, One Town, One Family!
It was another gorgeous day for the annual alumni game as former teammates, coaches and friends assembled for the annual Alumni game at BHS. In the second of two games, the recent grads took on the current BHS varsity. The score was knotted at 5 going into the final period, but the alums flexed their muscle in the final period to pull away and capture the win. As always, the real victory was in the number of former players who made it back for the game, reconnecting with former teammates and coaches while parents visited in the stands, catching up on life and recounting some of the great memories from BHS lacrosse seasons of the past.
The Washington Lacrosse Foundation 2015 WA LOVE "Play for a Cause" Jamboree was a great success! Together, the local lacrosse community raised close to $10,000 to support a local lacrosse family suffering a severe hardship this year.
This year was especially meaningful given that the event was supporting one of Bellevue's own. All of the proceeds and individual donations will go to the Miller family (see below for background).
The event brought out 21 high school and youth teams from Bellevue, Mercer Island, Lake Washington, Juanita, Skyline, Issaquah, Woodinville and Tahoma to play for a great cause. The old guys got involved as well and played a great game to wrap up the day. The Miller boys were on the sidelines and feeling the love of the lacrosse community that was such a big part of their dad’s life. The show of support by players, coaches and spectators was touching and very meaningful for the Miller family.
Bellevue Lacrosse hosted the games at BHS, Chinook and Interlake (thanks for everyone’s patience and good nature with the venue change!). We are very proud to be part of Washington Lacrosse Foundation’s WA Love event every year. It was a special day for all who participated and came out to watch the games.
If you are interested in making a donation, it isn’t too late. Checks can be mailed to:
Washington Lacrosse Foundation
Attn: WA LOVE donations
1048 - 116th Avenue NE #180
Bellevue, WA 98004
Please make checks out to the Washington Lacrosse Foundation and add in the memo column - WA Love donation.
Background: The Washington lacrosse community tragically lost a member, Andy Miller in April. He is survived by his wife, Shannon, and sons, David (14) and Thomas (13). Andy loved lacrosse and raised both his boys to love the game too. In June, David suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in a craniotomy that will keep him from playing the game he loves, but 4 months after surgery he’s volunteered to coach a youth clinic to attract more kids to the game. He loved seeing the faces of the kids who’d never picked up a stick before. He’s hoping to be part of the Newport team this year in a coaching or managing position.
Ready to register? Look for the orange Register Now button in the upper right column of our home page starting November 14th. Returning youth players will have priority until November 30th. After November 30th placement will be based on the date of registration, with the exception of the 7/8 Blue team. Placement on the 7/8 Blue team is determined by tryouts at the end of January. High school placement is determined by tryouts the first week in March. Some early bird discounts are in effect through 12/31/15. Register now -- with the holidays coming you don' t want to forget and miss out on the early bird discount!
TUKWILA, WA - A trip to the state championship has been an annual event for the Wolverines, making five trips in the last six years. In the previous four trips, the result was the same, as the Wolverines were victorious, hoisting the championship trophy in jubilant celebration. It's the kind of thing that, if you're not careful, you might start to take for granted. This year was different, though. Expectations were tempered, as the Wolverines graduated 12 seniors from last year's team, including several All-Conference and All- American performers. The Wolverines were talented but young, and there were plenty of questions surrounding the team as the year began.
Those questions were answered midway through the year, when the team went to Las Vegas and won three straight games against solid competition, then returned home and knocked off pre-season favorites Issaquah and an undefeated Mercer Island team, capturing the Kingco regular season title and a #1 seed in the state playoffs. They dispatched of upstart Kamiak in the quarterfinals, then delivered a stirring comeback against a Skyline team that was peaking late in the year. That win vaulted them into yet another championship game against an MI team they had defeated somewhat handily just a few weeks earlier.
The stands were filled with anticipation, as a matchup that gets fans from both sides amped under any circumstances, now pitted the two arch rivals in a fight for the state trophy. As the game unfolded, it looked as though it might be yet another Bellevue coronation in the making, as the Wolverines jumped on the Islanders early. They went up by as many as three in the first half, then stretched that lead to four goals midway through the 3rd period. Visions of the annual trophy celebration were starting to emerge for Wolverine fans.
But the Bellevue faithful should know better. It was just four nights ago when the Wolverines looked dead in the water, down 5 goals with less than 2 quarters to go in their season. Bellevue made a remarkable run to come back and win that game, proving once again that no lead is safe in the sport of lacrosse. Mercer Island knew the game was far from out of reach as well, having authored an improbable comeback of their own against Issaquah in their semifinal. It was a four goal lead for Bellevue with less than 15 minutes to go in the game, but there was so much more to come.
The game began as you might expect, with both teams feeling each other out. Each team started the game filled with energy, managing to rip off several shots, but none of them found their mark, as both teams did their best to assess the defensive strategy they were facing. The Islanders threw a few new defensive wrinkles at Bellevue to start the game, and the Wolverine defense did their best to keep All American Evan Condon from getting any clean looks at the goal on the other end. Bellevue would break through first, as sophomore attackman Cameron McMahon dodged from behind the cage and delivered the game’s first goal to put Bellevue up 1-0. The Islanders wasted no time answering back, as Condon sent a bounce shot past goalie Cole Bouwman and the quarter came to a close with the score tied at 1-1.
Bellevue regained the lead early in the second quarter when Augie Fratt beat his man down the alley and scored from the doorstep. Once again, Mercer Island responded to tie the game, but then Bellevue reeled off the next 3 goals to take a 5-2 lead. First came a lefty rip from Fratt, who then followed with two straight assists. The first one came when the Wolverines took advantage of an unsettled MI defense and Joe Bethke snuck around from behind the cage, gathered in the feed and finished. Moments later, Fratt threw a laser from near the top of the box to Bethke standing on the back pipe. Joe popped it into the net before the MI defenders knew what had happened and all of a sudden the Wolverines had built a 3 goal lead. With under two minutes to go in the half, Mercer Island found midfielder Jack Counihan with a skip pass over the top and he delivered a shot to that drew the Islanders within 2 at 5-3. Then with seconds to go in the half, Cole Bouwman made a spectacular save to rob Condon - one of several in the half for the junior goalie - and half ended with Bellevue up 5-3.
The Wolverines took control of the game early in the second half. Justin Angelel kept the momentum going when he buried an outside shot to recapture a 3 goal lead. Then Bellevue drew two flags and found themselves 2 men up, and roles reversed as Bethke became the feeder, hitting Fratt as he cut toward the net and stuffed it past the goalie with ease to make it 7-3. Bellevue looked to be in command at that point, and another blue and gold trophy celebration seemed likely, but the Islanders weren't about to go quietly. They added a goal just before the quarter ended to make it 7-4, and then followed with a low angle shot from just above GLE that snuck by Bouwman and closed the gap to just two goals. They won the ensuing faceoff and scored again, making it a one goal game and ratcheting up the pressure on Bellevue. By now the momentum had shifted entirely toward the Islander side. Their crowd was into the game, and the team was playing with renewed confidence and aggression. When Brett Bottomly scored to tie the game at 7-7, the Islander faithful went wild while Bellevue fans did their best to keep their team from succumbing to the rally, chanting repeatedly "I believe that we will win, I believe that we will win."
Bellevue finally stopped the bleeding when Fratt, who had 3 goals and 3 assists on the night already, scooted past an Angelel pick and fired a bounce shot that stuck in the top left corner of the net. The Wolverines had regained the lead, and hope returned for Wolverine fans. But the momentum was too strong, the will of the Islanders too great. After winning the faceoff, MI drew a questionable penalty on an illegal body check as an Islander shot went wide of the cage. Bellevue's man down defense worked frantically and nearly killed the penalty, but just as the penalty expired, MI found an open attackman on the left wing who brought the Islanders even again at 8-8. MI won the ensuing faceoff, but Bellevue defenders hounded the ball carrier and forced a loose ball. MI recovered the loose ball near their sideline, and with the defense spread out and unsettled, the Islanders attacked the cage and found Brian Grant unmarked just 10 yards from the net. He slung in a side arm shot that put the Islanders up again, 9-8. Bellevue would have two more good looks in the final 2 minutes, but neither of them found their mark, and when the Wolverines pulled the goalie and double teamed Condon, he split the double and got to the empty net to make it 10-8 Mercer Island. MI would add one more empty-netter, putting the finishing touches on an 11-8 comeback win that gave them the state title.
It was a bitter pill for the Wolverines, as they watched their rival's fans rush the field and celebrate the victory. It was the Islanders turn to hold the trophy ceremony at midfield while the Wolverines shuffled off in defeat. But let's not forget how this season started. A year ago, when Bellevue basked in the glory of another championship, there were 12 seniors on the field. Those seniors are fresh off of their first year of college, and the boys wearing the blue and gold were mostly sophomores and juniors. Heck, there were four freshman on the field logging significant minutes as well. By all rights they shouldn't even have been in this game. That's a difficult sell with this group of boys now, as they know they had it in their grasp. They know they were good enough, regardless of their age or experience. But they will learn from this loss. As coach Baumann put it, "“We’ve had our ups and downs all season long, and this is unfortunately the down. But one thing has remained constant for us – we are a family. We’ve done it all together, and will continue to grow and improve together too.” It was a fantastic run to the state championship, one that featured dramatic overtime wins and an undefeated conference season. This team will be back - stronger, better and more experienced, and with the memory of Sunday's game fresh in their minds, hungrier than ever to continue the championship tradition of Bellevue Lacrosse.