At 1-2 to start O-K Conference play, the thought of a conference championship seemed remote.
An 11-2 finish to the season positioned the Red Arrows (12-4, 5-2) for an opportunity at its first ever league championship in boys lacrosse.
For that to happen Lowell would need to win its conference tournament and have Northview fail to make the championship game. However, a Lowell win over the Wildcats in the championship game would create a co-championship between the two schools.
“A co-championship wasn’t a concern for me, but it was for our kids,” said Lowell boys lacrosse coach, Eric Bredin.
Lowell opened the tournament with an 18-11 win over Grand Haven and advanced to the title game with a 15–13 win over Catholic Central. The Red Arrows lost their regular season match-up to the Eagles, 7-6.
Northview, meanwhile, won its opening round game before being upset in the semi final by Holland Christian.
Now the remote seemed to be a distinct possibility. A 22-14 win over the Maroons in the title tilt made an outright O-K Conference championship a reality.
“It was a special year. It was about more than just trophies,” Bredin explained. “We had a lot of question marks coming into the season, not to mention three-fur starters from last year not return this year.”
What this meant was new faces would have to step up and play.
“They did and that’s what made the difference between a good and great season,” Bredin explained.
The great season was reflected in four Red Arrow players, Reece Posthumus (attack), Tyler Bitterman (attack), James Collins (attack) and Jon Bassin (goalie), being named to first team All Conference. Collins also earned an all-state nomination.
Taylor Martin (attack) and Joe Potter (defenseman) earned honorable mention recognition.
“After a tough start this team won three-four in a row and gained some confidence,” Bredin refelcts. “And they just continued to get better and better from there.”
In Bredin’s eight years as coach, the Lowell program has risen to a level that when a solid group of seniors graduate, there is a group of sophomores and juniors who fill the void the following year. The Red Arrow coach credits a good feeder program for the success.
Exiting the Lowell program this year are seniors Bassin (captain), Bitterman, Posthumus and midfielder Bradydon Foley (captain).
Lowell’s post season saw the Red Arrows defeat Portage Northern 18-4 before losing to Okemos in the regional quarter final 12-8.
“We just over matched Portage Northern. The boys scored four goals the first couple minutes of the game,”
Bredin said. “It was bam, bam and we led 8-1 lead after one period.”
In its loss to Okemos, Lowell trailed by one goal at half time before battling back for an 8-7 advantage after three quarters.
A handful of penalties, forced Lowell to play a man down throughout much of the final 10 minutes as Okemos outscored Lowell 5-1 in the final period.
“Penalties obviously hurt us. Okemos is well coached and played well,” Bredin said. “It was a tough way to finish, but it shouldn’t overshadow the boys’ outstanding season.”