History hung thick in the air as the Long Beach Poly and Wilson boys’ lacrosse teams squared off at Burcham Field on Thursday, in the first Moore League meeting between the city’s two oldest rivals. The Jackrabbits proved the superior team Thursday in a 12-2 victory.
“It was a nice game for us, we didn’t have a part where we were really concerned and we kept control of the ball,” said Poly coach Will Pryor, who is clearly relishing his role of a trailblazing coach at Poly. “There’s pressure on you at this school, no matter what sport you’re coaching. You’re expected to play hard and to be a good coach and to win. (Athletic director) Rob (Shock) told me he wanted me to coach this team and to make history. He’s a role model to a lot of people in this community and I couldn’t say no to him.”
The Jackrabbits were undeniable right from the start, as Henry Pryor put in the game’s first goal less than 20 seconds in, and Poly built a 3-0 lead to end the first quarter after a pair of scores from PJ Gough. Wilson got on the board to start the second quarter on a nice score from Charley Littleworth, but Poly led 5-1 at halftime and was never much troubled.
“Our clearing game was terrible,” said Wilson coach Glenn Styron. “As soon as we’d clear out of our zone it was coming back to us off a turnover. We wanted to play a cleaner game today, though, and we did.”
Wilson’s other goal came from Kyle Paz, assisted by Sebastian Alcarez. Poly got four goals from Pryor and four from Gough, and a pair from Griffin Jeannette. Poly goalie Kyle Johnson had nine saves in the game.
“It’s a really big confidence boost knowing that our offense is scoring at will, it takes the pressure off,” said Johnson.
Pryor said he enjoyed seeing a good-sized crowd on hand for the game, which represented a culminating moment for the local lacrosse community.
“We all grew up playing together, it’s one big family even between the two teams,” he said. “It’s just great to see it get the recognition. I’ve been playing for eight years and when I started, nobody knew what lacrosse was when I’d say it was my favorite sport.”
The win puts Poly and Millikan into a tie for first place atop the Moore League standings, with a showdown between the teams looming on March 26 at Poly at 4:30 p.m.