GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Forest Hills Central boys lacrosse team will put its perfect 14-0 record on the line one last time in its quest for an undefeated regular season.
The Rangers are hosting their final regular season game Thursday night against Detroit Catholic Central.
“We truly believe we are the best team in the state,” head coach Andy Shira said.
Statistics back up Shira’s opinion, as the Rangers have a gaudy resume and have averaged over 17 goals per game.
“If we can get other teams who typically slow it down to play fast and get out of their comfort zone, we feel it will benefit us,” added Shira.
Junior attackman Tate Hallock credited the team’s chemistry on offense for its success.
“We’re creative,” said senior attackman Bryce Clay. “We like to have fun. We’re fast too.”
Experience is another factor in the team’s success, as 10 seniors who make few mental errors command the field. While they are seasoned now, that experience has come at a price over the course of their careers.
“So the majority of this group has experienced the thrill of winning a state championship in 2016 and they experienced the heartbreak last year,” said Shira of his team’s loss to East Grand Rapids in last year’s state finals.
Last season’s heartbreak hasn’t been forgotten.
“It’s been a huge motivator for us this year,” said senior midfielder Patrick English. “It’s in the back of our heads all the time. It’s really what drives us every day.”
To see the team’s proof, look no further than its victory over state powerhouse Brother Rice. Forest Hills Central was the first public school to defeat the Warriors in 16 years.
“It was a big win, it was a signature win for our school,” said Clay. “It was huge, but it’s just another game and it wasn’t our goal. Our end goal is to win a state championship.”