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Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Miracle at Willowbend

First-years shine in JV Lacrosse’s debut
Andrew Harvey
Freshman midfielder and faceoff Lee Beasley prepares to take the faceoff following a Bellaire goal. A faceoff is taken at the start of every quarter and after every goal to determine possession similar to a jump-ball in basketball.

Four months ago, freshman goalie Nikone Theps didn’t even know what lacrosse was. He had never held a lacrosse stick. He didn’t understand how much the game would come to mean to him or the brotherhood that he would become a part of.

In the wake of JV Lacrosse’s 5-4 comeback win over St. Thomas JV at Willowbend Field, Bellaire’s first year players experienced their first regular season victory.

“We’re ‘them’ boys,” Theps said, referring to the team’s dominance over St. Thomas.

Nine out of the 19 players rostered on the JV Lacrosse team had never even touched a lacrosse stick until this past September. It showed in their preseason tournament as they ended with a 1-4 record, even getting shut out in two games. This became motivation to improve in the two months before their first district game.

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“After that tournament, everyone was happy with themselves,” freshman faceoff and midfielder Lee Beasley said. “Even after that last [game] where we lost to the team that we had just beaten; we should have won against that team.”

Sophomore midde and attackman Hector Bezanis breaks out for a clear after a save from freshman goalie Nikone Theps. A clear is the transition of the ball from the defensive half to the offensive half of the field. (Andrew Harvey)

Despite the losses, the tournament revealed the beginnings of a brotherhood that was forming throughout the JV team, friendships that had arisen from their conjoined struggle.

“I told everyone that we should celebrate that one win, but should be disappointed,” Beasley said. “Stop taking pride in yourself; take pride in the team and put the team over yourself.”

Beasley’s renewed fervor showed in the final moments of the game. Facing a 4-2 deficit against the St. Thomas Eagles with a little over two and a half minutes left, he knew he had to do something.

“Honestly, it was the coaches getting on me,” Beasley said. “They were giving me a hard time for not performing well, and that really got on me.”

Beasley handedly won the faceoff, the beginning of play where two players attempt to win control of a ball placed in front of them and ran through his defenders to score in only 20 seconds to bring the Eagles’ lead down to 4-3 with two minutes left on the clock.

“I was really disappointed in myself,” Beasley said. “So I decided to pick it up.”

To open the next drive, Beasley won another faceoff that would lead to a goal by sophomore attackman and midfielder Hector Bezanis, capping off his hat trick and scoring three goals in a game.

“[I want to credit] the coaches, the team and just working hard in general,” Bezanis said. “I think all those practices all paid off.”

Beasley would follow Bezanis’ hat trick with another goal of his own to finish the night with two scores. It was Bezanis’ first game playing for Bellaire since transferring from St. Pius at the start of this semester, right after their tournament. Formerly one of Pius’s best players, he looks forward to playing against them later this season.

“I think I’m ready to show out and see how well they’ve improved since I played on their team,” Bezanis said.

Theps, who had only picked up a stick for the first time four months ago, had a solid showing in his first ever regular season lacrosse game, allowing only one goal in the first half and four total, but he viewed it as a team win.

“I feel like [my performance] could’ve improved but I feel like I got a couple good saves,” Theps said. “It’s not really just up to me, it’s up to them, the whole team you know?”

With his main goal simply being improvement, Theps will have many more opportunities to shine in JV’s 10 remaining games.

“[My goal tonight] was to improve and show the other team who’s boss,” Theps said. “My new goal is to just get more saves and keep improving.”

Theps reaches out to make a save against St. Thomas JV. Theps had a shutout first quarter allowing zero goals.
(Andrew Harvey)

Goalie coach Cam Rose believed that JV truly demonstrated their desire to be out there on the field, highlighting their improved effort and passing skills since the tournament.

“There’s three things it takes to be champion: you got to be a team player, you got to be positive and you also got to be self accountable,” Rose said. “The team really showed that tonight with this come back from behind win and they showed that they can hold each other accountable and stay positive and fight through any type of adversity they face.”

JV will host George Ranch at Willowbend Field on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. while varsity will travel to St. Pius to take on the Panthers this Saturday at 2 p.m.

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  • J

    Jonathan ChiribogaFeb 15, 2024 at 12:13 pm

    Excellent transitions leading into the quotes and storytelling. You’re the present and future of sports writing here at Bellaire!

  • L

    Lucas DoliboisFeb 13, 2024 at 12:05 pm

    good pictures, but you might want to brighten them.

  • K

    Kate SteinbachFeb 12, 2024 at 8:52 pm

    great story!!