La Jolla High Viking Max Scott walks on, picks up goalie skills

Boys Lacrosse

By Ed Piper

Max Scott walked on to the lacrosse field at La Jolla High School having never played the stick-and-net sport popular in the East but gaining in prominence here. That’s because Coach Tom Duerr texted him a message, “If you ever want to try it, come on by.”

So Scott, a junior, took up Duerr’s challenge this spring. The season had already started. First, Scott tried his hand at playing short-stick defensive midfielder, or “middie.” But the Vikings, young and inexperienced, needed a goalie.

“My first game was against Country Day,” remembers Scott, now a veteran of eight games in goal. “I had never even held a goalie stick before then.”

Though the team has yet to win a game, Scott continues to apply himself to become more effective.

“Since then, I’ve been working hard on learning the techniques and strategies to make myself better. I’ve learned a lot about catching and throwing with a stick, mainly. Also, I had no idea of the rules of strategy of how lacrosse works until a few games into the season.”
Coach Duerr appreciates his new goalie’s efforts and willingness to learn under fire.

“Max has held an unbelievable attitude this season,” said Duerr. “He intended to play midfield, but as a previous catcher in baseball, we saw him more fit for the goalie position.”

Now that he has clocked many minutes in the net, Scott has goals for specific areas he wants to improve in: “I want to be better at clearing the ball after a save, and I want to be able to stop bounce shots better.”

Brandon Richmond (5) of La Jolla High School moves on the attack against Mira Mesa. Ed Piper

La Jolla played and tied Mira Mesa even in the first half at home April 11. But then the Vikings let the Marauders build a four-goal lead.
In the last 1:30, La Jolla came back to tie. But the Marauders slipped in the winning goal with less than one second left on the clock to win 9-8. It had to be a little discouraging, but the game also showed the red-and-black that they can keep a solid team close.

Said midfielder Connor Walton, “Coach Duerr drills into us that we are a family. Every time we break out of the huddle, we say ‘family’.”

Blake Shores, a long-stick midfielder and captain of the defense, identified an area in which the team has grown: “I would say that we have improved with our communication on the field. This allows us to run plays and switch as a unit, instead of being confused by not talking.”

He and Walton agreed that the Vikings “need to improve on putting a full game together. We have put some amazing quarters together, but when we have one bad quarter it kills us for the rest of the game,” Shores said. In the Mira Mesa game, he cited a bad third quarter as a reason La Jolla fell into a hole that they had a hard time digging themselves out of.

Brandon Richmond, a midfielder and captain of the offense, spoke about how team members encourage one another to keep their heads up despite the setbacks early in the season: “We keep a positive attitude by working really hard at practice and working on constantly improving, looking forward to our first win.”

Duerr echoed his captain’s sentiments: “Our players continue to participate in practice with the same amount of enthusiasm and effort as they did their last.”

He identified the key role Richmond and Shores fill in the coaches-players relationship. “We lean on these two individuals to be the voice between our squad and the coaching staff.”

Jonathan Leyva (18) of La Jolla defends against Mira Mesa’s Jed Klein (15) in action at Gene Edwards Stadium.

Key players on defense include Reid Martin, Thad Lewis, Jonathan Leyva and Shores. Midfielders include Mitchell Scott, Martin, Connor Usselman, Walton, Tyler Cook and P.J. Smigliani. Attack includes Troy Cummings, Tanner Watson and Alex Barry.

Said Richmond of teammate Martin, “Reid has worked at his offensive game, which has earned him some goals.” Richmond also mentioned his fellow captain, Shores, who he has seen improve in playing aggressive defense.

Related posts:

  1. La Jolla Vikings girls basketball make it to first CIF Finals in 15 years, but fall short of win
  2. Girls Soccer: La Jolla High ends on a draw with Coronado to finish regular season, 1-1
  3. Boys Basketball: The Bishop’s School overcomes slow start, stuffs La Jolla High School, 68-54
  4. La Jolla High comes from behind to beat Bishop’s in Western League opener
  5. No. 6-ranked La Jolla boys water polo edges No. 2-ranked Bishop’s

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Apr 25, 2014. Filed under Prep Sports, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • VA System Working with Local Providers to Reduce Wait Times July 28, 2014
    By Joseph Franz Wait times at the VA has been a common headline lately. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has come under fire as tens of thousands of veterans nationwide have been waiting three months or more to get their first VA medical appointment. This has caused dozens of investigations and led Veterans Affairs […]
  • Local camp shapes Solana Beach youth into community leaders July 28, 2014
    After attending the inaugural La Colonia de Eden Gardens Youth Leadership Camp last year, Edgar Vergara was inspired to make positive change in Solana Beach’s Eden Gardens community. Along with other local teens, the 15-year-old co-founded the youth group La Colonia Changers and recently hosted a town hall forum on underage drinking. Passionate about making […]
  • Del Mar Union School District approves new contract for superintendent July 28, 2014
    The Del Mar Union School District Board July 23 approved the new contract for Superintendent Holly McClurg through June 30, 2018. Per the contract, McClurg’s annual salary will be $185,000 with an annual doctoral stipend of $10,000. She will receive a car allowance of $400 a month, 25 vacation days, health benefits and a retirement contribution of $700 a mon […]