Sawtooth U15 Boys' Team Captures US Lacrosse West Championship
|Sawtooth player Tim Berard (12) led all U15 boys' players with 11 goals while winning the championship title.|
SAN JOSE, Calif. – They came, they played, and they conquered. Sawtooth (Idaho) boys' under-15 team made the trip from Boise to play in a one-day tournament to go undefeated and walk away with a championship title. The team claimed the title with a decisive 14-6 over the Santa Monica (Calif.) Dragons, June 27 at the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center.
Sawtooth Head Coach Jim Troy, a Massachusetts native and former Union College (N.Y.) lacrosse player, brought his team to California with the expectation of improving his team's lacrosse maturity and IQ.
"I don't think about that [winning games]," Troy said. "What I tell my kids is the only thing I want them to focus on is their lacrosse maturity, their IQ. You know making good decisions, shooting and passing. Having expectations [of winning before going into a tournament] is probably not a good thing, you just want to improve the team, that's it."
With equal playing time throughout the entire tournament for all players, who Troy stated are "all really dominant," he did believe that midfielder, Tim Berard stepped up and stood out this tournament. With 11 goals in four games, Berard put on a scoring show leading his team and all players in the U15 boys' division.
Berard ripped back-to-back goals in the championship game from outside top right with less than two minutes in the half. With practice and some help from his brother, Berard has become a scoring pro.
"I mostly learned how to play from my brother, he got me into the game," Berard said. "I've also learned a lot from my offensive coordinator and Rocky Mountain High School where I just finished up my freshman year on varsity."
A midfielder turned attacker this year, Berard cherishes the opportunity to play with this U15 team in one last tournament. Luckily his last experience ended with a championship title.
"As our goal, we wanted to do everything right and try to be perfect, and you can't be, but I think we did a good job at it," Berard said. "I'm glad I got to play this U15 team and glad I came to play in what will probably be my last tournament with them. I'm really glad I got to come here and play with my friends, we just had a good time."
Sticking to his mantra of equal playing time, even for the championship win, Coach Troy believed his team was successful in more ways than one.
"Every player got the exact same amount of playing time this entire tournament. It was a great success in terms of getting all of my kids experience and playing time. The more playing time the better, especially when you travel. I don't like playing favorites and I don't like playing with travel teams especially because everyone pays the money to come to these tournaments and play. I like equal playing time; it doesn't matter what the outcome is."
A championship win was just icing on the cake.
"At the end of the day though, it's a championship and we'll take it."
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