Boys lacrosse: New Trier denies Warren state title
After two hours of lightning delays and an opponent that was tougher than leather, you might have thought Warren boys lacrosse coach Greg Janczak would be a little down.
But just the opposite was true. As his players and fellow coaches and parents milled about, he had a big smile on his face,
It had indeed been a special season for the Blue Devils. Forget the fact that they dropped the IHSA state title game 16-4 to New Trier.
This was about his kids.
"This is the greatest character team I've ever coached, the greatest group of young gentlemen," Janczak said. "They are the most respectful, responsible, genuine young men I've ever coached."
New Trier (20-5) is a powerhouse, and proved it Saturday by racing out to a 10-0 lead at the half against a Blue Devils team that dispatched Glenbard West 12-9 on Thursday night to reach the final.
But credit Warren, which finished at 19-2, for not giving up -- even after a more than one-hour lightning delay to start the second half, the second of the day. Coming out after an extended stay in the halftime locker room, junior midfielder Charlie Herrick took a pass from junior defender Luc Landry on the left side and buried the ball in the middle of the net for Warren's first goal.
Of course, New Trier bounced back with 5 of its own, but then, late in the fourth quarter, a funny thing happened.
The Blue Devils erupted.
Herrick provided the assist to senior attackman Nate Crawford's goal at 5:13. At 3:20, it was junior attackman Carson Ghys connecting on an unassisted goal. And with 1:38 left, senior midfielder Kellen Martin completed the game's, and the season's scoring for Warren.
"I said it on Thursday, we were going to get punched, and get right back up," Janczak said. "These kids are going to play until that last minute. I'm sure they're ready to go play a fifth quarter if you asked them to."
The Blue Devils excelled at the faceoff, winning 8 compared to 13 for New Trier, and senior goalkeeper Evan Leden had 10 saves.
But New Trier outshot the Blue Devils 40-13 and dominated ground balls at 29-14. Henry Scherb scored 5 times and Henry Freedman added 4.
However, those are mere statistics. The important part for Warren was the run to get to state, and getting to the final. Plus, there are a host of underclassmen, including Herrick and Ghys, that will return next year, so good days are likely in the offing next season.
"We've got a good group of underclassmen coming in," Herrick said. "My junior class, we've all played together since we were really young, and we're just taking over."
Added Ghys: "We're going to keep practicing in the offseason as hard as we did this year, and this is going to be the same outcome, getting this far."