From opening face-off, the Roxboro Community School lacrosse team played from behind.
Orange High School, now sitting at 6-0 on the season, scored 15 goals in the first half alone en route to a 15-0 victory over the Bulldogs.
“Orange is the best team we will play all season,” said RCS head coach David Oakley. “Orange County has rec leagues, and their guys started playing young. A lot of our guys just started playing two (or) three years ago.”
“We’ll be lucky to field 16 players sometimes,” said Oakley. RCS carried exactly 16 on Friday night, as Evan Carr and Luke Pulliam missed time because of a field trip the previous day.
Though the Bulldogs lost by a wide margin, Oakley liked how his team played, especially given that it was their first home game of the season.
“In terms of effort, this was our best game of the season,” said Oakley. “We had some good looks – whenever we got the ball, we had at least five clear shots to the cage.”
RCS returned home from a season-long three-game road trip.
“We’ve never played on that field this year,” said Oakley. “We usually play on the Helena field.”
The Bulldogs played knowing there was the possibility of no more lacrosse in 2020.
“We’re losing it until at least April,” said Oakley. “We didn’t want to go out on a sour note. I wish we had that attitude for every game. They all love playing the game – it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about having fun.”
RCS junior Cody Martin was tagged with three penalties around the 7:30 mark of the third quarter resulting in his ejection. “There’s a rule that when you get five fouls, you’re out,” said Oakley. “The refs never usually like Cody because he’s a vocal player. He had a slash at the beginning and a high hit. On the third quarter play, he slashed, hit someone late, then started taunting.”
The Bulldogs carried a fully-healthy roster on Friday night, the first time they did so all season. Players plan to practice on their own time during the extended break.
“That makes me super proud,” said Oakley. “They are allowed to play pickup by themselves, but I can’t do anything. Some of the seniors are trying to organize practices and keep themselves in shape, keep their stick skills sharp.”
If the sports shutdown lifts on Monday, April 6 as it’s currently scheduled to, RCS travels to J.F. Webb for an April 9 match-up.
“If the season starts, we’ll still have games against opponents on our level,” said Oakley. In addition to the Warriors, the Bulldogs host Voyager on April 21, and Eastern Alamance on April 24. “I have a prediction that they’ll extend the season so we can play more.”
Martin led RCS with four shots. Seniors Thomas Humphries and Darreck Luebbert, junior Braden Chalk, and sophomore Michael Marske all contributed one shot each. Humphries won two face-offs, and goalie Kole Walker saved eight shots.