The players, coach and enthusiastic supporters of the Chaminade lacrosse team remained upbeat even after a 16-5 loss to Mary Institute-Country Day School (MICDS) in the state championship game May 27 at Lindenwood University. The second-place finish in the Missouri Scholastic Lacrosse Association was a big accomplishment for the Red Devils, who were expected to be middle-of-the-road this season.
After five trips to the state semifinals, this was the first championship appearance for Chaminade, in its 15th season of lacrosse. Chaminade defeated second-seed De Smet Jesuit 7-6 in the semifinals, but had a tough challenge against MICDS, which won its fourth consecutive state championship and got to the finals with a 12-8 win against St. Louis University High School.
"We gave it our all today, came up short, but made it to the state championship so I'm proud of our team," said senior midfielder Michael McGovern, adding that the team worked hard, played together and never quit this season.
Labeled a rebuilding team, the Red Devils started the season with 17 freshmen or sophomores. Learning to battle hard no matter the score helped the team grow.
"It teaches them great lessons ... not to get down on each other," Chaminade coach Jason Seidel said. "We were underdogs most of the season. We shined in some of the big match-ups and won a hard-fought game (in the semifinals) after losing two times to De Smet."
In reaching the finals, Chaminade fulfilled a pre-season guarantee by senior captain Reilly Sheahan. In remarks to the team being named captain, he guaranteed the Red Devils would make the finals if everyone gave their full effort all season.
"Those kids out there are really young, and they put their hearts and souls into this; we gave it a good shot," said Sheahan, adding that making the finals "means everything to me." He also commended underclassman who "jumped out" to fill key attack positions when the team lacked clear-cut starters.
In that way, and many others, Chaminade is "all about family," he said. It's no surprise that the lacrosse team shouts "family" every time players break a huddle.
Seidel describes Chaminade as "a fantastic culture. Having grown up Catholic, I assimilated to it instantly. The school does so much to prepare the boys in every aspect of life, and it's really a pleasure to coach at Chaminade."
For McGovern, hanging out with teammates before and after games was the best part of the season. They enjoyed wins and talked about how to get better after losses.
"I'll miss it, for sure," he said. "We have a lot of good young players. Our program is definitely in good hands. Coach always talks about how the seniors have to be like parents with all these kids around. Hopefully, we raised them right and they'll go on to do better stuff."
Chaminade helped raise him right.
"It made me into the man I am today," said McGovern, who also played quarterback in football. "It's sad to leave it. I'll definitely come back and watch the young guns play, enjoy it and look back at what we did here."
The team's pregame ritual includes prayer.
"He's been there the whole way," McGovern said.
In the title game, Chaminade's Peter Covington scored twice and Simon Slinkard, Ben Jackson and JaKobi Buchanan had the other goals. MICDS had six goals from Harry Wellford and five from Graham Bundy Jr.
2017 First-Team All-State
Four Chaminade players were among the 10 players from Catholic schools named to the first-team all-state in the Missouri Scholastic Lacrosse Association.
• Peter Covington, Chaminade, attack, junior
• Derek Radke, De Smet, attack, senior
• Will Farroll, SLUH, attack, senior
• Ben Jackson, Chaminade, midfield, senior
• Luke Wetzel, De Smet, midfield, sophomore
• Reilly Sheahan, Chaminade, defense, senior
• Tony Lubert, De Smet, defense, senior
• Griffin Jasin, Chaminade, goalie, senior
• Dylan Radke, De Smet, goalie, sophomore
• Mason Besancenez, Priory, goalie, senior
Three others were named second-team all-state: midfielders Haydn Boldt of De Smet, Jordan Celeslie of Vianney and Daniel McCauley of Vianney.
>> Other sports
• St. Louis University High School won its 19th water polo title by defeating Ladue 9-4 on May 13. Joe Jellinek scored three goals to lead the Junior Billikens. The team ended the season 23-4.
Earlier in the tournament, SLUH defeated Parkway West 12-2, Clayton 21-1 and Fort Zumwalt West 21-4. Chaminade, Christian Brothers College High School and De Smet Jesuit High School won games earlier in the tournament before being eliminated.
• Two Catholic schools made the finals of the Missouri High School Volleyball state championship in two classes May 25. In Class 4, Lafayette defeated St. Louis University High School in a close contest, 25-20, 15-25, 25-23. In Class 3, Parkway Central took the title by defeating St. Mary's in another nail-biter, 17-25, 25-23, 25-22.
To reach the finals, SLUH defeated Marquette and St. Mary's won over Chaminade. Duchesne and St. John Vianney made the final four before losing.
• In track and field, Cardinal Ritter High School's girls team finished second in Class 3. Valarie Whitted, a Cardinal Ritter junior, won the 100 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles. Cardinal Ritter's 800 meter relay team of Sydney Mitchell, Shayla Davis, Britney Mosby and Mecca Hamm-Bey took first place. Britney Mosby of Cardinal Ritter was first in the triple jump.
• In boys tennis, Priory finished second in Class 1, losing to Pembroke Hill 5-2. Priory's Victor Ali Djavaherian and Patrick John Milburn won the doubles title 6-4, 6-2 in Class 1. Andrew Woodman and Clayton Maack of Christian Brothers College High School won the Class 2 title, 7-5, 6-3.
• In boys golf, Priory took second and St. Francis Borgia was fourth in Class 3. Chaminade was third and SLUH fifth in Class 4. Chaminade's Joseph Patrick Terschluse took the individual title in Class 4.