Hammond triumphs in third year with state lacrosse championship
In just its third year of existence, Hammond School’s lacrosse team was crowned the S.C. Independent Lacrosse League Champions with a 15–6 win over Benedictine Military Academy in Pooler, Ga. on May 7.
The Skyhawks (13–3) were led by seniors Gavin Fawcett, Jay Bowen, Lucus Dimsdale, Jordan Hall, Norris Laffitte, Thomas Ulmer, and Jordan Hall. Fawcett and junior Kris Simmons each scored four goals, while Norris and Laffitte each chipped in two. The scoring was rounded out with single goals from James Hyatt, Patrick Fawcett, Braden Shockley, and Kay.
The Skyhawks had already beaten Benedictine earlier in the season by a 24–6 score, but head coach Jonathan Patterson said that the team prepared as if that game had never existed.
“We had a hard practice on Monday trying to get used to the heat and humidity that we knew we would have to handle there,” Patterson said. “We didn’t change much as far as strategy but just focused on the things we knew we would have to do to win.”
The score was tied 3–3 at the end of the first period of play, and Patterson said his team did a great job making some defensive modifications.
“We had to change the way that we were defending against their fast breaks,” he said. “They were getting a lot of wide–open shots at our goal, and we needed to adjust our slide system.”
After that, the Skyhawks virtually shut down Benedictine, only allowing two points in the third quarter and one in the fourth.
“Thomas Ulmer was part of that adjustment, and he played one of the best games of his career,” Patterson said. “Norris Lafitte also played a great game. He is one of the toughest kids I know and one of the most tenacious riders out there. On offense, he led the charge as far as second–chance shots.”
The third year coach was also complimentary of the play of Gavin Fawcett whom he said “played both sides of the ball, especially when there was a man down.”
The coach also recognized his defensive squad, in particular, some of his unsung seniors.
“Jordan Hall’s play has been phenomenal all year long, and that kind of work doesn’t always show up on the scorecard,” Patterson said. “He always runs at full speed, never wears out, and gives us his all.”
Patterson said, although Hammond will lose seven valuable seniors, the team will return with lots of veteran players ready to step up.
“While most teams have about 10–16 players, we run about 20 or more in and out during a game,” Patterson said. “There are a lot of kids coming back with a lot of playing experience this season.”