On the final Sunday of the 2017 season, an unbelievably entertaining THSLL Championship game unfolded as the Jesuit Rangers, led by senior attackman Daniel Burnum, and his 4 goals and one assist, clinched the Repeat, defeating the ESD Eagles by a score of 9-8 down in Katy, Texas.
Also contributing for the Rangers were Jack Tabor, Trey Wiederecht, Jacob Jackson, Peter Buell, and Grayson Hassell, who all tallied a goal a piece in the winning effort.
In a matchup full of quality players, coaching, and storylines these two programs met once again in Houston for the Championship. The last time the Championships were held in Houston it was this exact same pairing, where rolls were actually reversed. Three years ago it was Jesuit who was rolling, coming into the finals looking to clinch their 1st championship, when an upstart Eagles group bested the Rangers. This years storylines were ESD and the quest for an undefeated season, while the Rangers were looking for the Repeat.
For the Eagles, senior Nakeie Montgomery registed two goals and two assists, junior Patrick Skalniak registered two goals and an assist, while junior Brandon Meaux scored twice as well. To round out the scoring sophomore Michael Colpack and freshman Drew Wasserman each scored once, while senior Shawn Tran tallied two assists.
From a scoring stand point this game was nuts. At the end of the 1st quarter it was ESD up 5-0, and going into the half it was ESD up 6-1, but in the 3rd the Rangers outscored ESD 5-1 to trail by one goale heading into the final quarter.
When the games started, it was all ESD. Looking explosive on offense, scoring early and often, and overwhelming the Rangers. The Eagles were able to score on Millican and had him off balance, for just a little bit. However, as the senior, 2016 State Finals MVP settled in, he started to reclaim his form, and look much like he did the night before. Against the Scots, less than 24 hours before this contest, Millican gave up only one 2nd half goal, and just three in the last three quarters. In this contest Millican gave up just two in the 2nd half, but again, only three over the last three quarters. A goal per quarter, after the 1st will put you in position to win any game, as long as you don’t give up 12 in the 1st, thankfully Jesuit only gave up 5. This performance would once again lock in the Rangers goalie as the 2017 Championship MVP.
For ESD it was a tale of two halves. In the 1st half, they played the aggressor, dominating ground balls, harassing Jesuit in the clear, and turning the Rangers over countless times to create 2nd chance opportunities. In the 2nd half it was ESD who gave up 2nd chance opportunities, transition looks, and lost ground ball battles. Matched with Millican’s consistency in cage, the game tightened.
From the booth, it was an unbelievable site. So much momentum on one side, and then conversely just a half later, so much on the other. You could literally see the field tilt. This is a game pattern, that if you’ve watched lacrosse long enough, you’ve definitely seen. When you’re on the wrong side of this type of game, your left wondering exactly what happened.
For the Rangers it was all about conviction. Led certainly by the play of Luke Millican, but he wasn’t the only senior who showed up. Attackman, Daniel Burnum, the eventual offensive MVP of the game was the spark plug. Burnum scored four 2nd half goals, the game tying, and the eventual game winning. That’s called willing your team to victory. Of course, the surrounding cast was also outstanding, especially Dixon Smith and Aidan Johnston down low. Johnston, a junior, would ultimately take home defensive MVP honors. Finally, to win without David Sprock getting a bucket, is pretty unbelievable, but it was Sprock who provided the spark against HP just a night ago.
For ESD, it was a tough defeat as they were one half away from perfection. It’s hard to go perfect, and the Eagles had not played in many a close one goal game late, for some time. The Rangers on the other hand had put together come back effort, after come back effort, after come back effort all year. Plano West, Southlake, Coppell, and the list goes on. Those games built tremendous fortitude, and left the Rangers never losing hope.
Daniel Burnum (4G/1A) The Offensive MVP of the State Championship.
That game was one for the ages. This was certainly an unbelievable way to close out, a truly unforgettable season. In 2017 we saw loads of skill, excitement, a Championship Repeat, and more talent than we’ve seen in some time and in all likelihood, this is how the game will continue to progress down here in the Lone Star State. 2nd Season was truly great action, and of course we were thrilled to cover it all between #StickStarReport17 and #StickStarProductions. We do hope you enjoyed the coverage and would ask that you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts. We’re going to try and collect testimonials, and work on any improvements you think are crucial. Please understand we do not have a news room of workers crushing away over here, so it’s a work in progress.
Finally, to finish the 2nd season we hope you’ll attend the Texas All Star Round Up, this weekend at SMU. Two massive games, a 2017 Contest, and a 2018 Contest where there will be tons of talent between the two games. Of course, we’ll bring it to you live via #StickStarProductions, but we’ve chosen a smaller venue in the hopes to pack the stands. Spread the word, and retweet the Rosters as we plan on dropping them Friday! We appreciate your consideration. We’ll also be announcing the StickStar Player of the Year between games and unveiling our beautiful new Player of the Year Championship Belt. Thing is great. We look forward to seeing everyone this weekend with our culminating event!
What the end of the Season looks like.