Lake Oswego's nine seniors lead resurgence of Laker boys lacrosse
There were nine of them.
But the nine senior members of the Lake Oswego boys lacrosse team worked together to create something new and different and bigger and better than ever before at LOHS.
That group — defender Keenan DeRaeve, attack Dylan Baker, midfielder Michael Shakerin, midfielder Ryan Anderson, attack Dominick Sinclair, midfielder Hayden Hecht, midfielder Emmett Daly, midfielder Chris Todd and goalie George O'Brien — did it in spectacular fashion, carrying their team through a 10-game, season-ending winning streak, a streak that culminated with the Lakers' 14-7 win over West Linn in the Oregon High School Lacrosse Association state championship game on Saturday, June 1, at Lake Oswego High School.
"None of us had been here before so I'm at a loss for words," said Laker senior attack Dylan Baker, who scored twice in the title contest. "This game is big."
"It means so much. It's surreal," added senior midfielder Michael Shakerin, who scored twice in the championship and dominated second-half faceoffs. "We've been able to grind and keep going and keep our heads up and not give up."
The payoffs that the Laker seniors have brought to their school and program have been nothing short of incredible.
Over the past four seasons, the Lakers — led by fifth-year head coach Rick Gruen — have built themselves into one of the Three Rivers League's and state's best teams. During the four-year tenure of Lake Oswego's Class of 2019, the Lakers went 30-7 in TRL play and 54-25 overall, won two league championships, reached four state quarterfinals, two state semifinals and won this year's OHSLA crown.
"My class especially has really helped turn this program around, the culture," Shakerin said. "Everyone's stepped up. We've really come through adversity."
"It's a group of guys that I came in with my freshman year and we always said we wanted to do something special with athletics, in football and lacrosse," said O'Brien; along with DeRaeve, Daly and Todd, he was also a member of the Lakers' state championship football team in the fall.
While the Lakers had been competitive previously — they reached the state semifinals in 2012 — the three years after that were less successful. In the three-year span from 2013-15, the Lakers went just 15-15 in league and 24-33 overall, never finishing higher than third in league and never advancing past the second round of the state playoffs.
But that all changed with the arrival of this year's nine Lake Oswego seniors.
"This game was big and we're making lacrosse big at Lake Oswego High School," Baker added.
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