By Jeremy McDonald
CORVALLIS, Ore.– Following their 16-6 victory over Corvallis, West Salem’s Sean Litrakis spoke about the seniors leaving a legacy as they clinch their second-league undefeated season in the past four years.
During that time, the seniors on the Titans Lacrosse team saw their Varsity squad team go 37-3 in the North Valley League and 50-24 overall as they prepare for another trip to the Postseason.
Over the past two seasons since Litrakis came in, West Salem went 26-11 and 19-1 in the NVL, and you could tell that this 15-4, 10-0 season has a special place in his heart.
“Exceeds every possible dream I could’ve dreamed, dreamt,” said Litrakis. “Wow. We set goals for ourselves last season when I came in and it’s not always going to happened, we achieved every, single one of them and the boys deserve all the credit. They’ve worked tirelessly the entire season.
The leadership program Litrakis put into place over the summer and that translating to the field, the conditioning program that his wife puts on and the team buying in to what Litrakis was saying paid off as the Titans shutdown the Spartans early rally with matching physical play, outscoring Corvallis 13-4 over the final three quarters of Tuesday’s contest.
John Holmes, who’s helped record four shutouts from his goalkeeper position this season and holding opponents to three-or-less goals another four times as well, knows how important going 10-0 in league means to him after going undefeated on JV last year.
“It’s a great feeling, this is my first year on Varsity, so to be able to go 10-0 last year for JV and then 10-0 straight-up to Varsity, it feels nice,” said Holmes. “Just to go 15-4 in general that’s a better feeling. But yeah 10-0 feels so nice.”
From the freshmen to the seniors on the team, the excitment has left some in total spechlessness, others know it’s there is something special with how they’ve gotten to this point.
“This is great, I’m just happy we could accomplish this for all of our seniors and they’ve put down their foot for us and done everything they’ve can for us. I’m just so excited right now, it’s incredible,” said Freshman Garrett Davis.
“It just feels awesome with these group of guys, we’ve won conference all four-years since my freshman year, but this one feels a bit special being a senior with this group of guys in just the way we did it,” adds Justin Morales. “We did it with class, we did it with good Lacrosse. We weren’t just hanging on, we came out and we played. ”
And it’s just the Litrakis Way, playing Lacrosse with class, with respect to the game and to one another. That’s why they’ve continued this tradition through this year.
Now the fun part: playoffs.
History could happen in more ways than one. Besides getting the first playoff win ever in West Salem Lacrosse history, the Titans could actually host a game depending on how the playoff seeding works in their favor; that’ll be a first as well.
But regardless, their focus is to Friday and whoever the Oregon High School Lacrosse Association puts in front of them.
And with the momentum they’ve built since that May 9 game versus Sprague, there is a strong belief and confidence that will carry over to Friday’s Playoff-opener.
“I feel like we’ve taken every game, the last couple games all the way from Sprague three-games ago, it is going to determine where we’ve been,” said Holmes. “So that built up momentum and we’ve been coming through the past couple of games, so I feel like the momentum that we have now will shift into Friday. If we’re here, there, I still think it’sgoing to be a good game no matter what.”
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald