By San Antonio Jackson
Westlake Picayune Contributing Writer
Mac Breedlove gets ready for games the way most young do men these days: He puts on headphones and cranks up the music.
Breedlove has a pregame playlist.
“What’s on it?” he was asked after Westlake (7-2, 3-0) defeated Alamo Heights 17-5, in a district matchup in San Antonio, where Breedlove scored a hat trick.
Breedlove reached for his iPod.
“The battery’s dead,” he said.
No matter. At midseason, Breedlove knows the playlist by heart.
“DMX, Eminem and Macklemore,” he said.
Of Breedlove’s three goals, the third was the prettiest. He held the ball in the X-position behind the Alamo Heights net. Breedlove’s defender made the mistake of pressuring the senior speedster, who cut toward the right corner of the goal. Rather than turning to face the goalie and shoot, Breedlove, still facing mid-field, reached down and shoveled the ball, one-handed, between the goalie and the near side post.
The goal was so quiet and so sneaky that the referees looked at each other before signaling the score. The goalie stared ahead, non-compos mentis.
“I was afraid the referees were going to waive it off,” Breedlove said. “I was so happy they didn’t.”
Nine different Chaps players scored in the game. Hayden Byrd also had three, Matthew Rockwell, Matt Amerie, Sam Appling, and John Azar had two goals each. Craig Kemper, Grant Lang and defenseman, Michael Edwards each scored one. Edwards’ goal was the lacrosse equivalent of running a kickoff back for a touchdown: he won the faceoff, scooped up the ground ball, and ran downfield and shot. Between them, Edwards and Rockwell won 14 out of 15 second half faceoffs.
The Westlake defense was outstanding. Edwards, John Dodd, Ben Zook and Chris Roussos held Alamo Heights to a single shot in the first quarter. Goalie Abe Monroe could have napped in the sand. The night before, a beach party rendered the Alamo Heights field a mess. The midfield area and both goal creases made every ground ball a treasure hunt.
Coach Evan Whelchel and assistant Kenny Pailes nearly missed the opening faceoff. They took Texas 130, the high-speed toll road, which empties onto I-10, east of San Antonio. Of course, they thought it would be faster.
“I used to commute to San Antonio twice a week,” Whelchel said. “The most it ever took me was an hour and five minutes.”
On Saturday, a series of accidents turned I-10 into a parking lot.
“It took me two hours today,” Whelchel said.
After the game, Whelchel and Pailes were relaxed. They weren’t late anymore. The Chaps had won easily without the services of seniors, Tanner Thompson (choir trip) and Tate Bowden (hamstring).
We’re going home on I-35,” Whelchel said. “No matter what.”
Westlake girls lacrosse
Whether it was being their first game back from spring break or it was playing an away game, the Chaps JV girls lacrosse team looked a little rusty as they played the St. Michael’s Academy Crusaders. The first few minutes of the first half were characterized by wayward passes and turnovers by both teams. Kaity Sanders finally got the scoring started by the Chaps on a good catch and shoot from just outside the circle.
Westlake had several other scoring opportunities but could not capitalize. Several shots went just wide or were saved by good goalie play. Most of the first half was played on the Westlake side of the field as evidenced by a 10-shots-on-goal advantage over the Crusaders. However, despite having more scoring opportunities, Westlake hung on to only a slim 5-4 lead at the end of the half.
Defense was the name of the game in the second half as scores were hard to come by for both teams. Sarah Tucker and Riely Clark shared time in goal for Westlake combining for 14 saves. Much like the first half, Westlake controlled much of the play and outshot the Lady Crusaders. Play went back and forth for the first seven minutes of the second half until St. Michael’s tied it up at five goals each. Helena Glade would answer back just three minutes later when she scored from just outside of the crease after a long run. The Crusaders would not give up though and they tied it up again with 2:51 left on the clock. Westlake JV coach Lauren Kissock quickly called a time out to rally her team. It seemed to work as one minute later Hannah Tucker scored off of a penalty shot to take the lead. The Chaps secured the draw and ran the clock out to secure a hard fought 7-6 victory.
Both the junior varsity and varsity teams have two more preseason games before district games start on April 6 at Westwood. The JV team plays at 11 a.m. and the varsity team plays immediately after at 12:30 p.m.