By San Antonio Jackson
Westlake Picayune Contributing Writer
When senior captain John Dodd showed up at Cavalier Stadium March 28 for Westlake’s game against Lake Travis, his teammates were already on the field warming up.
“I just came from a track meet,” Dodd said. “I ran the 100, the 4×100, and was supposed to run the 4×200, but I’d have been late for this game.”
Dodd won the 100-meter dash.
“The coaches timed me in 11.2 [seconds], but the official time was 11.4, so I guess you’d better write 11.4,” he said.
Lake Travis was among the schools at the meet.
“I like beating Lake Travis,” Dodd said.
Along with Michael Edwards, Ben Zook, and Chris Roussos, Dodd leads the Westlake lacrosse defense, a task for which he is well suited – Dodd excels at physical contact. For the past two seasons, he started at safety on the Chaps varsity football team.
The Lake Travis game was close for exactly 12 minutes. Westlake (8-2, 4-0) led 3-2 at the end of the first quarter, leaning heavily on the services of Dodd and company. Lake Travis had its own secret weapon: a hairless, plastic, severed baby head, about the size of an orange. The Cavaliers mount the head on the water cooler.
“Sometimes it blows onto the sidelines,” a site administrator said.
In the second quarter, whatever mojo was contained in the plastic baby head evaporated. Westlake’s offense, led by Tanner Thompson, Hayden Byrd and Mac Breedlove put together its best quarter all season. The Chaps scored 11 goals, three in the first minute, to lead 14-5 at half. The second half was more of the same. Westlake walked away with a 23-7 win. They lead the central division and are currently ranked fifth in the state in the LaxPower rankings.
Against Lake Travis, Breedlove scored a season-high six goals and had four assists. Tanner Thompson had a season-high seven assists and three goals. Hayden Byrd had three goals and four assists. Matt Amerie had three goals. Will Clarkson, Craig Kemper, Stephen Okamoto, Chris Roussos, Ruel Ellis, Sean Trupo and Michael Edwards each scored a goal. Additionally, Edwards won 19 of 22 faceoff attempts.
Things were so loose by the end of the game that defenseman Ben Zook tried his luck at the attack position. He’d broken his longstick early in the game. Zook was bummed.
“A new stick costs $110,” he said at halftime. “But what bothers me is that I’ve played with that stick since I was in the sixth grade.”
With 4:22 to play, Zook caught a pass from Hayden Byrd near the Lake Travis crease. Zook wheeled, shot and scored. His teammates erupted. Zook’s was the final Westlake goal. As he ran off the field, a teammate yelled from the sideline, “Hey, Zook, what’s it like to play offense?”
Zook grinned behind his facemask. He’d forgotten, temporarily his broken sixth-grade stick.
“Offense is a wonderful, splendid place where magic happens,” he said.
Special to the Picayune
The Westlake girls lacrosse team is having its best season on record.
The varsity team is at 6-2 at this point in the season with victories over St. Michael’s (12-11), Austin High (16-9), Westwood (10-7), St Andrew’s (11-10), Cedar Park (8-7) and Bowie (15-6). They suffered losses to McNeil (4-7) and LBJ (8-9).
As each player contributes to the entire team effort, this success is one of teamwork and synchronicity at work on the field.
In recent years, even with talent on the field, Westlake’s Varsity has struggled. Many contribute this year’s success to the new coaching staff’s ability to strengthen and bond player’s skills to bring out their effectiveness. The staff includes coach Lauren Fitzgerald, trainer Leslee Feldman, JV coach Lauren Kissock and assistant Samantha Williams.
Audrey Allen, one of the team captains, continues to lead in scoring (38), ground balls (52) and causing turnovers (15).
Other notable scorers are Harper Young and Alex Stocker with 14 and seven goals respectively thus far. Defensive play by Katherine Curtis and 51 goalie saves by Leanne McGonigle contribute on the other end of the field. Additionally, our top ground ball recoveries are led by captain Christina Rosendahl (23), Team Captain Madalyn Hostetler (22), and Anna Flowers (19).
District play begins this week.
Go to the team website at westlakelax.org for a game schedule.
We welcome your comments on our stories but will publish only those that do not violate our commenting guidelines