By Travis Smola
The Vicksburg varsity lacrosse team earned its fourth consecutive Southwest Michigan Men’s Lacrosse Conference title with a 7-4 win over the Mattawan Wildcats. They now have a record of 10-8.
“I thought we played great lacrosse,” Head Coach Mike Malloy said. The game was especially interesting because the victory came against Vicksburg’s old coach, Erik Frank, who now coaches the Wildcats.
Late in the game, the Bulldogs had some uncharacteristic penalties and turnovers that were enough to make the Bulldog faithful in attendance nervous.
“We kind of gave them some opportunities we weren’t giving them earlier in the game,” Malloy said. “Luckily they didn’t take advantage of it.”
It was Matt Hybels who opened the scoring for the Bulldogs, but the Wildcats answered right back only minutes later. The teams traded scores again a little later in the quarter as Hybels scored the second goal for Vicksburg. The score going into the half was tied 2-2.
In the third, Rhodes Conroy was the first to find the back of the net, but his goal was answered moments later. The next goal came on a long screamer by Michael Kessler and shortly after that the Bulldogs opened a two-score lead with Hybels’ third goal of the contest. Mattawan got another goal late in the game, but a second goal by Kessler and a late goal by John Carr helped seal the win and the Bulldogs’ fourth title, the first under Coach Malloy.
“These seniors, they deserve to go out this way. They really work hard for us,” Malloy said. “The amount of effort that they’ve put in these last four years has been incredible.”
The Bulldogs won their first post season game and earned a trip to the Regional Championship with a 17-6 victory over Portage Northern. The season ended the following week as the Bulldogs lost the Region 11 championship to Battle Creek Lakeview 12-9.