WIN OR REGRET NOT WINNING

Keegan Logan
7/12/20

2015-2018
3x 1st Team All-State
3x 1st Team All-Conference
2x All-American
2x Indy Star Player of the Year Runner-Up
2018 Conference Player of the Year
2018 State Champion

 

June 2, 2018

The morning of what would be HSE’s first ever appearance in the Indiana High School Lacrosse State Championship. I was watching Scarface on my couch when I heard my phone ring from the bathroom. It was my Co-Captain Nick Riina, calling me to inform me that I was a half an hour late to the morning film session. I grabbed my bags, packed up my car, and headed over to the high school. I walked into the locker room to stares of disapproval from my teammates and coaches. Our offensive coordinator, Neil Barnes, was at the front of the room explaining how we’d exploit Culver’s defensive schemes. Our three-headed snake of attack (junior Cam Smith, freshman Ryan Kemp, and myself), knew it was over for the Culver defense before the game even started, but I’ll save that for the end of the story. 


From 2001 to 2017, only four teams had won the Indiana Lacrosse State Championship. (Culver, Cathedral, Carmel, and Zionsville). Even wilder than that, Cathedral and Carmel met in every championship game from 2011 to 2017. I actually played for Cathedral’s varsity squad my freshman year of high school in 2015 and I‘ll never forget Cathedral’s coaches and players basically looking at HSE like a joke of a program. That year at Cathedral we played Carmel in the state championship. I was benched prior to the game due to rumors going around that I might transfer to HSE the following year. Cathedral was up big at half, the offense stalled, they choked, and lost the championship. I didn’t see a single minute on the field that day. I knew that if I had another chance at a ring, I wouldn’t let it slip. 


I transferred to HSE my sophomore year in 2016 and we asserted ourselves as serious contenders every year from there on. 2016 was a huge step for the program, winning the conference, and advancing to semi-state for the first time. Prior to 2016, HSE was really a laid-back, club team winning 5 or 6 games a year. In 2016 we ended the season with a record of 17-4, but fell to Carmel in semi-state. 


In 2017 we beat Carmel for the first time in our program’s history, beating them 18-7 in a regular season game at home. Carmel’s coach  threw a fit after losing to us and was fired a couple days after the game. Like I mentioned before, our competition still didn’t take us seriously. We lost to Cathedral by 1 in semi-state.


After the 2017 season, my 12 senior teammates and I were out for revenge. Most of us had been playing together in HSE’s youth program since 4th grade. We got even closer in the fall workouts in 2018 and lived by “We Not Me”, a phrase head coach Scott Beesley drilled into the program relentlessly. After the two years of playoff experience, we knew that whichever team in high school lacrosse, regardless of talent, wants it the most, is the most tight-knit, and is the most selfless, wins. It just so happens, we were the most talented too. All the stars aligned for us going into the 2018 season. 


We started off the season rocky, losing four of our first five games. In the first game back from spring break, we lost a heartbreaker to Carmel on their home turf. After this game, myself and our offensive coordinator Neil Barnes developed a new playbook to spark our unmatched talent on offense. 

May 8, 2018

 
 

We traveled to Cathedral’s field and found ourselves down 8-5 after the third quarter. Senior midfielder Tyler Renschen hyped up the team going into the fourth quarter and from there on we dominated the momentum. Our high powered offense bagged 6 goals in the fourth quarter while Cathedral scored 3. The game was tied 11-11. The HSE crowd was going nuts on the sideline while our offense held possession to get the final shot. Ryan Kemp threw a bounce pass from behind the net that Cam Smith picked up and shot around two defenders as time expired. The referee threw two arms up to signal the goal was good and our fans stormed Cathedral’s field to celebrate our program’s first ever win versus that team.

 
 
 
 

As we rode home on the team bus, we realized that we were stronger than ever as a team. We all knew we could come back from any deficit no matter how large. It was the turning point of the season.


May 12, 2018

We traveled to Culver on a stormy day. The score was tied 5-5 in the third quarter. Clouds began to roll in and the game was delayed for 

an hour and a half due to thunder. Our team lost our energy and lost the game 8-7. Little did we know we’d see this team again in the State Championship and get a shot at revenge. 


May 31, 2018

After beating Brebuef easily in the quarterfinals, we met Cathedral on our home turf for semi-state. The stands were packed and the students were rowdy. We had huge confidence going into this game knowing that we crushed their hearts with the last second game winner in the regular season. Senior All-American midfielder Lukas DeVoe got us off to a hot start scoring the first three goals of the game. DeVoe was unguardable. The game was knotted at four at half time. I scored two goals in a row and our sideline was turnt up. The score was 7-6, Cathedral’s lead, in the third quarter. DeVoe went coast to coast thru five defenders, straight to the crease, and buried his fifth goal of the game. David Sage clutched up and scored two unassisted goals in a row to put us up 10-9. Cam Smith buried the last goal on a wild backhand shot that secured the game. The fans stormed the field. I shook the Cathedral’s coaches hands and patted them on the back, knowing in the back of my mind that this was just the beginning of our revenge.


June 1, 2018

It was graduation day. Myself and my senior teammates listened to Coach Gastineau’s speech at commencement. The message was simple. The next day, all of us would play the last game we’d ever play. Go out and win, or regret not winning for the rest of our lives. The next morning our program would make our debut at the State Championship. We were inching away from the peak of the mountain we’d been climbing for the last 3 years. 


June 2, 2018

 
 

We walked out on our home field for our first shot at a ring. The stadium was electric. I could feel the chills up my spine as the national anthem was wrapping up. As I stood next to my brothers, we remembered the pain of losing the past two years in semi-state, and the tears falling from the senior’s eyes after those games. Culver drew first blood only 15 seconds into the game and we found ourselves down 8-11 at half. As we sat in the locker room at halftime, our team was composed. We’d been a 4th quarter team all year, and we knew it only would take one goal to turn loose our high-powered offense. 


The entire third quarter, Culver continued to dominate the face-off X and get uncontested shots off. Culver buried three goals to start the second half. Coach Beesley called a timeout and our team huddled up. In the huddle, I reminded the team all of the pain we persevered through to get to this moment. We didn’t get this far, to only get this far. It was win, or regret not winning for the rest of our lives. This is the last game we’d ever play together. From there on we left everything we had on the field. 


We broke out of the timeout, certain as ever in our comeback ability. David Sage picked up the loose ball off the face-off, weaved through three defenders in transition, and passed to Tyler Renschen streaking down the middle of the field. Renschen shovel-passed to freshman phenom Ryan Kemp on the crease for a routine finish. Our offense ran over to the student section, signaling to them it was time to turn up. The crowd erupted. The momentum was ours. 


To start the fourth quarter, we scored two quick goals to bring us within two points of tying the game. HSE: 12, Culver: 14. As I started to lose feeling in my legs, I limped off the field and onto the bench. The personal trainers stretched out my legs as I chugged pickle juice to ward the cramps off. Kemp scores. Culver gets a penalty. I limp back on the field and call out the play to our extra-man-offense. DeVoe passes the ball to me as I creep around on the crease with defenders on my back. I back up a few feet to avoid the ball being taken from me and dish to a wide-open Ryan Kemp on the wing. He buries it high for his second goal in one minute. With 6 minutes and 30 seconds left, the score is tied 14-14. We get a penalty. Our goalie Timmy Mathoudikis makes an unreal save and we clear the ball up-field. David Sage sets up for a dodge, jukes out his defender, and passes to me at my sweet-spot on the left side of the net. At this point, my entire body was cramping, and I could barely feel my shoulders or arms as I was shooting. I had practiced this shot a million times, I was hurting, but I wasn’t nervous. There was no chance I’d miss this shot, in this game, in this moment. 


The ball struck the top right corner of the net, making the score 15-14, our first lead of the game, with 5 minutes left to go. The game was getting chippy and the penalties began to roll in. Culver’s offense panicked, taking unsolicited shots. Our man-down defense and goalie Timmy Mathoudikis held Culver scoreless despite a couple of close shots, two of which hit post. With a minute left in the game, we gained possession, and called a timeout. All we had to do was maintain possession and run out the clock. I checked myself out of the game and watched the ending with Coach Beesley. We put the ball in the hands of senior Tyler Renschen to clear the ball to the other side of the field. Renschen ran thru four defenders, tip-toed the sideline, and passed to Cam Smith behind the net. He ran around dodging defenders left and right. DeVoe got the ball and threw it sky-high as time expired.


The clock read all zeroes, HSE: 15, Culver: 14. The hair on my arms stood straight up, chills running up my spine, goosebumps everywhere. It was ecstasy. As I stood on the sideline hugging Coach Beesley, a G-tear ran down my face. The coaches and I stood together at a loss for words, just smiling, crying, and laughing. A plethora of emotion. We watched from the sideline as my teammates sprinted towards our goalie, throwing their helmets and sticks in the air as high as they could. Time was in slow-motion. The students jumped over the fence and joined the celebratory mosh-pit, all trying to get a glimpse of the state trophy at the center of the crowd. As I was walking towards the crowd on the field, the first thing that came to my mind was that I could live the rest of my life free from any regret concerning my last ever lacrosse game. My last game had to bring me a ring, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My brothers and I left it all on the field that day, completing the biggest comeback in Indiana Lacrosse State Championship history. It was the only way it could have happened. It was meant to be.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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