The Summit Lacrosse team held its sticks high Saturday, winning its final two games of the season at home this week. For the seniors, the 9-4 victory over Conifer will be their final in a high school uniform.
"Everybody goes through it; everybody has a last game," said senior captain Nick Raymond. "Michael Jordan had a last game. You miss it but it's a part of life and growing up."
The team finished with a record of 6-9, which is slightly below the mark they were shooting for at the start of the season, but regardless of the numerical outcome the players are happy with how they came together as a unit and finished out the spring with two decisive wins. Summit lost a very shorthanded game on Tuesday (down eight players) 7-5 to Eagle Valley, but they clobbered Glenwood Springs 16-3 on Thursday.
"We definitely didn't end with as many victories as we wanted, but together we progressed the whole way and got better and better," Raymond said. "It would have been nice to have gone further, and it's kind of a bummer that we didn't put a few games away earlier, like we should've."
Head coach Karl Barth said the record is not indicative of where the team could have finished. Summit had competitive games with top-20 teams, including Cheyenne Mountain, which is 16th in Colorado.
"The last three games we played well. We put it together on both ends of the field - won a lot of ground balls, face-offs, and the little things we've been working on. It was a good way to end," Barth said. "All year, I think we knew we had potential. ... There's a lot of talent in the junior class and freshman class, but they had great leadership out of the seniors."
Last year, Conifer beat Summit 12-5, and this year's rematch was definitely an emotional game, as things got more than chippy in the second half with a brawl breaking out among the players, namely Summit's No. 2 and No. 12.
"Players are playing hard. The refs made a few calls that they didn't think they should make. I don't know what happened out there ... it was a really physical game last year, but I don't think it had anything to do with that. It just kind of blew up."
Standout performers for the Tigers in their final outing included Garrett Tousey in net with 24 saves, which was likely the difference between their comfortable win and a much closer game. Evan Feldman added four goals to his season-long tally - he's undoubtedly the high goal scorer on the season. Sean Farley had a couple goals to close out the season, and Pat Gruber, Andrew Ike and Tyler Nelson had a goal apiece.
"Hopefully, we can pick up where we left off and keep going," Barth said of next season. "We're losing a chunk of the midfield and some of our long poles, but I think we have some good long poles coming up. Hopefully these youngsters here can fill in."