Glencoe, Liberty head list of lacrosse honorees
Glencoe and Liberty, after dominating the Pacific Conference lacrosse season, likewise dominated the all-league honors, claiming 11 of the 13 first team slots, with Hillsboro and Century grabbing the final two.
In all, the Crimson Tide garnered eight all-leaguers and five honorable mentions; Liberty eight and two honorable mentions; Century six and two; and Hillsboro one and three.
"I thought we came out quite well in the all-league voting," Glencoe head coach Kyle Tolzman said.
The Tide won the regular season crown with a perfect 4-0 record, a game clear of second place Liberty, who would go on to defeat Glencoe 9-8 in the playoffs' first round. Glencoe was led for the bulk of the season by the dynamic duo of brothers Thomas and Nathaniel Takle, who combined for 80 goals and 21 assists. Both were first team selections, Thomas as an attacker and Nathaniel in the midfield.
Thomas Takle, a senior, was the leading point-getter at attack and finished with 51 goals and nine assists.
"Thomas has come a long way this year," Tolzman said. "He used to only be a scoring threat, but this year he was able to dish out plenty of assists to his teammates and made our offense click."
Joining the Takles on the first team were junior attacker Cody Hicks, junior midfielder and face-off specialist Carson Wilson, junior defenseman Beckett Lewis and fellow defenseman, senior Jacob Hall.
"Jacob Hall really stepped it up this year on the defensive end," said Tolzman. "He established himself as a leader from the beginning and had a great year."
The Glencoe coach also noted Wilson's all-around play and durability.
"Carson (Wilson) only left the field for a few minutes this entire year," he said. "He faced off, played offense, defense and man-up. He was a warrior for us."
Junior defenseman Camren Womack was one of two second-teamers, along with freshman midfielder Royce Fasel, who Tolzman couldn't help but talk up.
"I am excited about Royce Fasel's future," Tolzman said. "As a freshman he was one of the top midfielders in the league already."
Liberty was led by senior Brad Norman, the leading point-getter at the midfield position. Joining the senior were fellow midfielder Isaac Tsolak, a senior; senior attacker Ethan Moody; senior defenseman Ryan Maki; and senior goalie Hector Castaneda. The Falcons had two more seniors, attacker Lucas Maki and midfielder Brady Treloar, selected to the second team, and head coach Paul Lardy was quick to point out the importance of the upperclassmen following their playoff loss to eventual state champion Lake Oswego.
"I have coached most of our seniors since the seventh grade," the coach said. "It will be hard to let those players go. They have been able to keep our program competitive."
Liberty junior Owen Engbretson was also a second team selection, while freshman Hiro Diamond and junior Dakota Jensen were honorable mentions.
Lardy was selected as the conference Coach of the Year after leading the Falcons to a 3-1 conference record, a 10-6 overall mark and the playoff win over the Tide.
"The Coach of the Year award was most likely determined by being able to come back and get the win over Glencoe in the state playoffs, after they had destroyed us the week before," Lardy said. "That represents all the work put in by players and the entire coaching staff."
Century sophomore long stick midfielder Jesse Upchurch was the Jaguars' only first team selection.
"Jesse is a great team player who switched positions this year to fill our long stick middy opening and did an outstanding job," Century head coach Rob Beard said. "He's an outstanding kid to have on the team and to get the first team as a sophomore is exciting."
In addition to Upchurch, four Jaguars received second team honors, including junior Riley Renner and senior Preston Strauss, both attackers; junior midfielder Logan McAlister; senior midfielder and face-off specialist Caleb Petrov; and junior defenseman Lance Shoaning.
Strauss was second on the team in goals, scoring 26 while assisting on 11. Beard said the senior just picked up lacrosse three years ago, but excelled based on his intense desire to succeed.
"He's really driven to win and is a hard worker on and off the field," the coach said.
Century junior midfielder Sean Slocum and senior defenseman Brady Job were honorable mention selections.
Despite being left off the list, Beard mentioned one of the Jaguars' captains, Alex Brewer, as a player who had a great year. The junior scored 26 goals despite missing three games.
"He could have been the team's leading scorer if he was able to make all of the games," Beard said. "I can't wait for his leadership next year and his continued development."
Hillsboro midfielder Noah George was the Spartans' lone first team selection. The senior finished his Hilhi career leading the team in goals, scoring 41, while recording nine assists and 128 groundballs. He's just the third Hillsboro player to earn first team all-conference honors.
In addition to George, Hillsboro had three honorable mention selections: junior midfielder Trent Simmons-Faulk, senior goalie Garret Moore and freshman long stick midfielder Connor Glasser. Hillsboro head coach Carl Almquist believes Moore could be the best goalie the Spartans have ever had.
"Garret finished the season as one of our top all-time goalies," Almquist said. "He is the first to receive an athletic scholarship for lacrosse at Hilhi and will be playing at William Penn University in Iowa next year."
Almquist also spoke to Glasser's contribution, despite being a freshman.
"Connor took over at LSM and made a huge impact," the coach said. "He's only a freshman, but had a great sense of awareness and speed helping our defense and midfielders."