Sharks trusting process as postseason approaches


There’s no doubt that Ponte Vedra boys lacrosse plays one of toughest schedules it can year in and year out.

It is truly a testament of where the program has gotten to following all the success it has had over the years.

Not only do the Sharks play some of the toughest teams in Florida, but they also play a number of quality opponents from outside the state, including six on the schedule this year.

The most recent of these battles was against Lucy Beckham High out of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, who are also a defending state champion of South Carolina.

“We played the state runner-up from Ohio on Monday and just came back from Maryland, where we played one of the top four teams in the nation,” assistant coach Matt Keeler said. “We’re building something for the postseason, and you’ve got to trust in the process.”

However, on the night, the Sharks lost 12-10 despite jumping out to a 3-1 lead after the first quarter and extending it to 4-1 early in the second quarter following a beautifully placed long pass from goalie Jack Pelot to a wide-open Canon Hauseman who fired a shot into the back of the net.

It was the second quarter where the Bengals mounted their comeback and grabbed control of the contest after four straight goals, including one with 8.1 seconds remaining in the quarter that gave them a 5-4 halftime lead.

The comeback was aided by a couple of penalties by the Sharks which put them in a tough spot having to defend with their backs against the wall a man down.

“You’d like to stay out of the box whenever you can, but we also want our boys to work really hard and sometimes you just slip and hit someone the wrong way,” Keeler said. “We had two stick penalties today and one unnecessary roughness, which can be hard to come back from.”

Pelot was greeted with high-fives and chest bumps by his teammates because they know how much of an extra dimension a goalie can be as a passer to help kickstart the offensive attack.

Both teams traded scores for the most part throughout the second half, but it was always the Sharks who were the ones doing the chasing on the scoreboard.

When they were able to answer scores and cut into the Bengals lead, it was often times senior Maddox Johnson who was called upon to make a play.

And a majority of the time he was able to deliver a goal and keep the Sharks within reach of the lead.

His goals were classic Johnson, as he used his blistering speed to shake off tight defense before unleashing a heavy-handed shot on goal.

It was the third loss in a row for the Sharks, but one thing they could build upon moving forward was that they did not give up and continued to fight all the way until the end, as Johnson buried a hard shot just under the cross bar and fellow senior Corey Bloss snipped a shot for two of their five fourth quarter goals.

“We’re a really resilient group through and through, and a lot of us coaches have been with these kids and seen it since they were 10 years old,” Keeler said. “These kids believe in themselves, and I think you saw that when we made a run there in the last three minutes.”

The Sharks were able to bounce back and reestablish their groove with a 12-7 win over Winter Park in the Third Annual Rivalry on the River held at Bolles School in Jacksonville March 25.

Ponte Vedra, lacrosse