LAKE OSWEGO, OR (KPTV) - It was a season to remember forever on the lacrosse field at Lake Oswego High School.
The Lakers brought home their first ever Oregon High School Lacrosse Association State Championship and LO got it done in the memory of one of their favorite coaches.
It’s a long way to the top and Lake Oswego High School boys lacrosse team is relishing finally having that mountain view the Laker way.
“Compete with passion, pride and purpose every day,” Coach Rick Gruen said.
Work is always better when you can see actual results.
“All of the times thinking, why am I even here? It just feels bad to be here. It's just good to have it all pay off,” senior Dominick Sinclair said.
That payday came on championship Saturday at Cobb Field for the first time with the OHSLA State Champs from LO feeling oh, so high.
“To get it on our own field too, senior year? It all feels like a dream,” Michael Shakerin said.
“When that buzzer went off, it was kind of like, shock,” senior George O'Brien said. “It was a symbol of all of the hard work and all of the dedication we put into the program.”
No one was more dedicated than their retiring head coach.
“It feels good to see his plan work out just as much as it helped us where we wanted to be,” Sinclair said.
What a way to go out. Coach Gruen is hanging up the clipboard after a five-year rebuild to lead the Laker program to the promised land with a rivalry win over West Linn.
“It's buying into the process. The wins are the outcome of our hard work,” Gruen said. “The way we won the state championship, we won it with class, we won it with respect, we won it with trust, we won it with love, we won it with passion.”
Club sport or not, it was just like football, they are all one.
“After we won, everyone was congratulating us and everyone was super happy for us. It was pretty sweet,” junior Jonas Hunter said.
The Lakers brought home the heavy hardware with heavy hearts.
The championship was the ultimate celebration of life for their late assistant coach Eric Ginsberg who unexpectedly passed away last offseason.
“It was good way to think and to always have him in the back of your mind, like, let's play for something bigger than me, let's play for him,” O’Brien said.
Wearing the EG initials on their uniforms had coach Ginsberg part of their run in more ways than one.
“We really felt during that semifinal game (vs. Lakeridge) that run that we had in the 4th quarter, Eric somehow had a hand in that. There was such a calmness in that chaos of that 4th quarter and we all felt Eric knew what we were accomplishing,” Gruen said.
Next year, Mike Marcott takes over the Laker reigns as the three-time state champ while a student at Lincoln High School, looks to build upon a house of championship cards in navy blue.
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