JAMES CITY — The best compliment to pay the local boys club high school lacrosse teams may be that the competition doesn't seem like anything but a normal VHSL-sanctioned event.
The inaugural boys club season continued Wednesday night with a big local matchup between Jamestown and Lafayette under the lights at Warhill Sports Complex. Supporters, including a strong number of student spectators, surrounded the field as the Eagles topped their rival 12-8 for the first official time.
Prior to this year, Warhill, Jamestown and Lafayette students competed on the same Williamsburg Royals club team in the Hampton Roads Lacrosse League. But this season, each WJCC school has its own team in the Peninsula Division of the same league, though none of them are officially affiliated with or sponsored by their respective schools.
Lacrosse is still in the growing stages here, but the vast majority of the athletes on the field aren't novices, as is seen in more rural areas of the country where the sport is more freshly budding.
"It's really competitive," said Jamestown senior Chris Lansford, who also played hoops for the Eagles, "and then when the fans come out, it's just like being in the gym for a basketball game."
Lansford scored five times to lead Jamestown, which led 7-1 at halftime, extended its lead and held off a late Rams' surge.
"It was two good teams getting together," said Lafayette coach Thomas Rice. "A lot of those boys have actually played together, travel team, before. And then obviously you have the rivalry of two schools playing against each other … but definitely seeding going on for the playoffs and just school pride."
A quick start like Wednesday's is something that has evaded it this season, although the Eagles' only setback so far was to Tabb.
Eagles coach Todd Vischer said the team has talked less about "championship" as it did early on in the campaign and is taking a more deliberate approach to winning matches now.
"We let down against Tabb and we can't have any letdowns, so we just have to build every day at practice," Vischer said. "That's what we're working on is just focusing on the next day ...
"All of our seniors played well. Connor (Hurley) and Dylan (Wigley) both played very well. Marshall Flagg, Garrison Sherman played well and Chris Lansford, Zach Pennycuff. They all did a nice job tonight. It was a good win."
Matt Rice scored four times for Lafayette, Dexter Klock had two, and Thomas Gillen and Jack Erwin also scored.
Thomas Rice played alongside Jamestown players 10 years ago on the mixed HRLax team, so he appreciated the dynamic of Green vs. White Wednesday as much as anyone.
The goal has always been to have VHSL-sanctioned teams. And it still is, but that will likely have to wait at least a few years.
"You've got fans from both schools coming out supporting both teams," Rice said. "It's awesome just to see the growth. Back when I played, you could barely field two teams, especially from two schools. So now to have three high schools and be able to field three varsity programs is awesome."
Holtzman can be reached by phone at 757-298-5830.