Early mornings at Samohi, through overhead speakers, a list of everyday announcements rattles off to students: newsworthy briefings, special celebrations of note, and the perfunctory GO VIKINGS GO to whichever athletic team is in season at the moment. Football, basketball, and baseball consistently touted, but one sport is missing.
“At our school, lacrosse isn’t that big of a deal to anybody,” student/athlete Spencer Wynn said. “No one really talks about us.”
After the varsity team’s recent run of success, the silence surrounding the team will no longer be an issue.
With an 11-7 record — including a 7-1 record against league rivals — the lacrosse Vikings have now won back-to-back Ocean League Championships. Additionally, seven of the team’s players are all-league first team selections with other players named to the league’s second team.
To provide a bit of framework for that last bit of info, ten players comprise a starting lacrosse team. Samohi has around 20 players total on their varsity team, bench included. Quality and quantity are in abundance at Samohi, a team finding ways to win and gain relevancy.
At a May 31 SMMUSD board meeting, the board recognized the lacrosse team’s success.
“We’ve been working hard this year trying to get better and the results are pretty clear,” Wynn, the team’s all-league midfielder said of the team’s steady success. “It feels pretty good.”
The team was ecstatic for the appreciation which will lead the district to honor all sports that reach league-level competition.
“It was nice to get recognized, awesome for the team and the sport,” Benjamin Kaiser, head coach of the team said. “It’s not a traditional sport here on the west coast, but hey, we keep winning.”
Kaiser has been with the team since its start at Samohi five years ago, seeing the team through a rocky start (“3-7… not the best, I remember that much,” Kaiser said) to its current winning ways.
While the “not complete 180, maybe a 130,” turnaround has been fun and prideful to see, Kaiser says he can’t take sole credit for a team that upends expectations.
He credits “the village it takes” of school admins, assistant coaches, parents, and volunteers that make the team into the successful program it is today.
“Having pizza ready after a long day of travel, fundraising, organizing, all that unseen work is important to the program and these kids. That support goes a long way.”
Kaiser says for the future of the program, the team takes it one day at a time. At the start of each season, the goal is to win league, then state, and take the team as far as possible.
For a team forging its identity, Keiser says the sky is the only limit for the Vikings, a team together in anonymity and success.
“I have a lot of pride in this program and what we’ve built. We may lose high-level prospects to private schools, but we focus on teamwork here. We’re strong a unit. You’re only as good as the sum of your parts, as good as the individuals around you. When we work together, we can outperform anyone.”