By Jack Mackey
The St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes varsity boys lacrosse team won the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division I state title on May 20 after beating Norfolk Academy 7-6.
“It was a true championship game,” Coach Tim Dodds said. “[Winning] that kind of a championship, in that way, makes it all the more sweet.”
Junior Connor McCulloch scored three goals for the Saints while junior Rainier Lee, junior Jack Wood, senior Riley Larson and sophomore Nick DuPois all scored one goal each. Sophomore Jackson Reynolds earned an assist for a goal.
The Saints boys finished the regular season with a 16-7 win-loss record, which Dodds described as an “emotional, up and down” season. One of the larger challenges for the Saints this year was losing 16 seniors on the team who graduated last year. Despite this loss of leadership, the team still had “high expectations for themselves,” which mandated a “high work ethic,” according to Dodds. “They know, like me, that we could’ve done better [this season],” Dodds said.
Despite challenges earlier in the season, the Saints started playing their best going into the VISAA championships, beating Bishop O’Connell (11-5), Collegiate School (12-11) and Paul VI Catholic High School (10-8) in the bracket before going on to beat Norfolk Academy in the finals of the tournament.
“Our program has had a culture of success and high expectations,” Dodds said. Indeed, the Saints boys have won six of the last eight VISAA state championships and Dodds sees tremendous potential moving forward into next season.
“The reason why this program is still operating at a high level is because we are a family [and] this family is much more than any one person,” Dodds said.