To be the best you have to beat the best.
That’s the challenge ahead of the girls and boys lacrosse programs at Ponte Vedra this weekend at the Florida High School Athletic Association’s lacrosse championships in Bradenton.
The Ponte Vedra boys, the only public school at the state tournament, have qualified for a fourth straight year. The Sharks (21-2) face reigning state champion Lake Highland Prep (18-3). The Ponte Vedra girls face Orlando Olympia (18-5) in their semifinal. Win that game and the Sharks (18-3) likely have a date against Vero Beach, the No. 1 team in the South, according to laxpower.com.
“I think it’s awesome,” said boys coach Tom West. “They were so close last year and they had to get through that Bartram Trail monster who has been a dominant force here for so long. To have them here with us is so special.”
Friday will likely be a memorable day for the Silva and Grune families. Miles Silva, whose 60 goals leads the boys team, has a younger sister, Maddie, who is on the girls varsity. Jordan Grune is a starting defender for the girls, and her older brother, Buddy, has seen time for the boys.
The Class of 2014 has led both teams all season.
West said Evan Weiner was the best player on the field during a second round play-in win over Lake Mary. Attackers RJ Garcia (23 goals, 8 assists) and Cody Legeza (44 goals, 28 assists) have provided big moments when the situation required it.
Abby Walker has been dynamic for Kelly Dotsikas’ girls team with 11 goals and six assists in three playoff games — including the game-winner in the second round. The play of defenders Erin Woods, Helen Jacobsen, Lauren Barnhorst and goalie Taylor Kimes has also been a driving force for the Sharks.
The seniors told the girls “we want this and we want you to be a part of it. That was all it took,” Dotsikas said.