West Stokes lacrosse 2017 season began with hope of building on last year’s success. The Wildcats had a breakout year by winning the Conference 9 championship with a 14-2 overall record and an unblemished 8-0 conference finish. After a first round bye because of a No. 2 seed in the NCHSAA State Playoffs, the Cats hosted their first ever home playoff match to the Cuthbertson Cavaliers, a 3A school, and lost 15-3 on Tuesday evening.
“This has been a fun bunch to coach,” stated Wildcats coach Colon Moore. “We have had success in many areas this year and we are young. Cuthbertson was a well-coached team and their players don’t make many mistakes and that is why they’re sitting in the semifinals of the final 1A/2A/3A teams in the state. We were prepared for them, but they forced us to make mistakes we normally don’t make. That is what good teams do.”
The Cavaliers jumped on the Wildcats 3-0 in the first five minutes of the match before Reid Pettitt scored on an assist from Patrick Ellis at the seven minute mark to make the score 3-1. Cuthbertson then scored two more goals before Marcus Dowdy found the back of the net for the Wildcats making the score 5-2.
Dowdy added another goal for West after the Cavs scored again making the halftime score 7-3.
In the second half it was all Cuthbertson as they scored five more goals in the third period and three in the fourth.
“I really believe we put too much pressure on ourselves coming into the game,” commented Moore. “We knew what kind of adjustments they would make at the half, but we couldn’t overcome them either. We just needed to relax and do what we do best and we didn’t do that.”
Goalie Addison Stump gave up 14 goals, but saved 11 on the day. Noah Muniz was 9-for-21 on face offs and Jackson Sapp had 7-groundballs on the day. The Cavaliers held the Wildcats leading scorer, Ellis, to no goals and only one assist.
The Wildcats racked up on the end of the season awards by sweeping all conference categories. Ellis was named offense player of the year, while Seth Moore was named the defensive player of the year. Moore was awarded coach of the year and his assistant, Sam Newland, was awarded assistant coach of the year.
Making all-conference for Conference 9 was Ellis, Moore, Pettitt, Sapp, Dowdy, and Alex Puckett. Honorable mentions went to Muniz, Stump, Tristan Carter and Parker Pratt. The Wildcats look to have another successful season next year as they only lose two seniors.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.