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Scrappy and full of heart

By ADAM LAPIERRE

News staff writer

April 29, 2006

Quite often, the best way to forecast the future of a high school varsity team is to look at the program’s junior varsity squad.

As young players climb the ranks from middle school sports and step it up a notch to play with the big boys, they often spend a year or two improving and acclimating their game at the JV level before moving on to varsity.

And if this is the case for Hood River Valley High School lacrosse, the team has a bright future in store.

At 8-2 so far this season (as of Thursday), the Eagles’ junior varsity lacrosse team is proving itself to be a Columbia East Division powerhouse and a great asset to the future of HRVHS lacrosse.

“We have a great group of kids this year,” said Coach Jerry LaMaita. “Everyone on the team is a real team player and each contributes their all-out in every game. The kids have a lot of talent, heart and a love for the game. Not to mention they’re very scrappy and they just don’t want to lose.”

LaMaita and Coach George Evans are both second-year junior varsity coaches who stepped up from coaching at the middle school level for several years.

With five games left in the season, the boys look to finish in the top three in the Columbia division, with Wilson, Lincoln and OES high schools offering the best competition this spring.

“We really should have won against Wilson,” LaMaita said. “But our goalie, Matt Hale, broke his thumb and we had to use someone who had never played the position before … But that’s the great thing about the team. We had several players volunteer to fill in for him … Our goal for the rest of the season is to stay the course of winning really. Coach Evans and I are working on maximizing everyone on the team. We have to integrate everyone into the program, whether they are first-year players just learning stick skills or players who came up from the grade school and middle school programs. We want to help maximize each player to the best of their ability. Of course, we want them to have fun too.”

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