The 2019 spring lacrosse season is underway for the Roseburg High boys and girls.
Dave Heverly is in his 20th season as head coach of the boys. Heverly said of all the teams he’s coached, this may be one of the best.
Roseburg finished fourth in the conference last year (the Tribe tied for second, but were fourth in the tiebreaker criteria) and finished the season at 8-8. The coach feels the returning level of talent will give Roseburg a shot to win the Southwest Conference this season.
Roseburg return several key starters on all three levels of the field.
Seniors Kale Lanza and Eli Norris figure to anchor the defense. Both were first-team all-conference selections in 2018, Norris as a defenseman and Lanza as a long stick midfielder.
Senior Ethan Stoner will return in the midfield as a major contributor alongside Case Wells.
In the attacking third, senior Tanner Reber will move up front after playing in the midfield last season and earning first-team all-conference honors. He’ll be joined by senior Isaac Allen and junior Austin Roark. The Tribe figures to rely heavily on Reber and Roark for offensive production.
Norris and Lanza will work to protect the back line at all times as the Tribe looks to shore up one big hole, the net. Roseburg lost four-year starter and second-team all-conference goalie Ethan Dirksen to graduation. Senior Tucker Jinkins will look to fill the gap in the net for Roseburg.
The Tribe opened its season Tuesday on the road at Sprague, winning 13-12 in overtime. Reber scored seven goals — including the deciding score — and added two assists.
Other offensive contributors included Allen (three goals, one assist), Stoner (two goals, one assist) and Roark (one goal, one assist). Jinkins made some key saves, according to Heverly.
“We were down 6-1, but fought back,” Heverly said. “We played some good defense and got some turnovers.”
The program is guided by second-year head coach Felicia Mellor. She’s in her second year at RHS after coaching at West Linn.
Mellor said that the biggest thing that will help her team is the fact that they do return some experienced players, but will also struggle with being a young team overall.
The team is looking to improve upon a 3-10 record in 2018. Roseburg finished 0-5 in conference play last season and is hoping to break into the win column.
The Tribe does return several seniors, notably attacker Sarah Lake, midfielder Paris Coleman, midfielder Jensen Hellenthal and defender Lauren Houston.
Lake and Coleman are vocal leaders for the Indians on the practice field and both look forward to spending their final season on the field together.
Coincidentally, they share an identical goal for the season.
“Score a goal on a behind the back shot,” said Coleman, along with “A behind the back shot, which is really hard,” from Lake.
The pair will need to help bring the young roster up to speed. The Indians have only 19 players and the team is made up of mostly underclassmen.
Roseburg opened the season on Wednesday at South Eugene, winning 14-5.