Alexander Blue scored four goals and his best friend Sam Farrington added two more, as Woodinville knocked off Skyline 9-6 on Friday May 31. Woodinville’s win capped a perfect 15-0 season and earned them the Greater Eastside Lacrosse League championship for the 7th/8th grade division.
“We played great tonight,” Woodinville coach Andy Farrington said. “That’s a great team we played. It was nice to finish the year playing our best game at the end.”
This championship now serves as a benchmark. When the Woodinville lacrosse program was launched four years ago, its purpose was to provide a feeder program for Woodinville High School. Since its inception, the club has flourished to the point where 230 kids participated this year, from kindergarten through the 8th grade.
“Our goal is to win high school state championships,” booster Gary Bamesberger said. “Our journey is to take our kids and our community to that playing level.”
With an energetic crowd equally representing both teams, the first half featured frenetic moments of scoring.
Woodinville got on the board first when goalie Matthew Corbin snared a shot attempt and zipped a pass up field to teammate Alexander Blue. Like a running back in football breaking into the clear, Blue navigated his way through the Skyline defense before firing a scoring goal from 20 yards out, staking Woodinville to a 1-0 lead.
Woodinville upped its advantage to 5-3 after a scoring barrage in the second quarter, including goals from Sam Farrington and Tomomi Hirai. Heading into halftime, the Woodinville players were fired up, while a Skyline coached stalked his sideline, verbalizing his beef with the referees. “They’re getting some home cooking!” he shouted. “But that’s okay, it’ll taste that much sweeter for us in the end.”
But as the second half got underway, it became clear that this night’s feasting belonged to Woodinville. Three more goals in the third stanza advanced the lead to 8-3, before a late Skyline rally closed the final margin to 9-6.When it was over, Woodinville players rushed the field as their faithful fans cheered wildly from across the way.
Coach Farrington grabbed Alexander Blue and shouted for his son Sam to join them. Together, the happy trio posed for a picture. “That’s one for the memory, right there!” shouted the elder Farrington.
The coach was then asked the key to his team’s success. “Passing,” he said. “A lot of these kids I’ve been coaching since the second or third grade, so we’ve brought them along. We’ve become a great passing team ... We’re very proud. The parents have committed. We’ve pushed the kids hard, and we worked hard, and we worked hard for this day. And it came together.”
Alexander Blue was all smiles. “First title ever, we’re so excited,” he said. “We’re so pumped. They’re a huge rival. The difference was Coach Andy. He’s been coaching me since second grade. He’s my best friend’s dad. It’s been a wonderful six years and it has come to this.”
When asked his age, the young man paused, then responded with sincerity: “I’m an eighth grader heading into high school next year,” he said. “It’s the last of our youth.”