West Bloomfield High’s Aria Gettel tries to move around a Huron Valley United defender April 17. The Lakers tied 13-13.

West Bloomfield High’s Aria Gettel tries to move around a Huron Valley United defender April 17. The Lakers tied 13-13.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


West Bloomfield High girls lacrosse playing with toughness

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published May 3, 2019

 West Bloomfield High’s Natalie Ferenc looks to make a play against Huron Valley United. At press time, the Lakers were 6-2-1 overall.

West Bloomfield High’s Natalie Ferenc looks to make a play against Huron Valley United. At press time, the Lakers were 6-2-1 overall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — When you look around the field at the West Bloomfield High girls lacrosse team, you won’t see many physically imposing forces.

But what they lack in size, they make up for in heart, toughness and speed, which is something coach Darrell Grandberry and the Lakers hang their hat on.

“We’re tough. We take a lot of hits. We get beat up all the time,” Grandberry said. “They might be small, but they’re mighty. We get beat up, and we just get after it. … We will run (the opponent) until they can’t come back from it.”

The Lakers may be taking hits on the field, but they have been the ones delivering the final blow, earning a 6-2-1 record at press time, while outscoring opponents 121-80. In each of their six wins, the Lakers’ opponent has failed to score 10 goals.

A big piece of the puzzle for West Bloomfield has been defense, led by senior captain Paige Eno, who Grandberry called the “glue” of the back line.

The Lakers have been preaching the phrase “defense wins championships,” while trying to use that suffocating defense to lead into offensive opportunities.

Along with Eno, the Lakers’ other three captains are senior midfielders Aria Gettel and Natalie Ferenc, and junior attack Alexis Carnley. Other contributors have been junior midfielders Grace Yaldoo and Kylie O’Neal, senior attack Madison Vandecar and junior defenseman Ashley Krauthamer, among others.

“We’re very close together. We’re friends. All of us love each other, so we work together as a team,” Vandecar said.

Like any team, the Lakers’ goal is to make a run in the state playoffs and be holding up a trophy at the end of the season. West Bloomfield is a motivated group after falling in the opening round last season.

West Bloomfield will open the playoffs in a pre-regional game against Utica Ford II. The date of the game is still to be determined. The winner takes on Utica Eisenhower. The Lakers fell to the Eagles 11-7 earlier this season.

Grandberry and the Lakers noted that the regular season is a good time to feel out multiple opponents and get a sense of where they stack up.

When it comes to the playoffs, it’s time to flip the switch and play with more intensity, because one loss will end the season. And with a senior-laden group, that’s not how the Lakers plan to go out.

“Losing in the first round was really tough, but it just shows how much more we want to work for it this year and how much harder we’re going to have to work,” Yaldoo said.

Catch the Lakers on the field at 7 p.m. May 8 at Walled Lake Western.

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