The Harbinger Online

Rise Of The Underclassmen

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Griffin Fries – Attack

Goals: 13

Assists: 14

Then-third grader Griffin Fries picked up his first lacrosse stick in the spring of 2010 after watching his older sister, Rilye, play in one of her games. Now a freshman, Fries is a starting varsity attackman.

As soon as he started, Fries showed multiple signs of being a gifted player by scoring several goals a game, and overall outplaying his opponents. Two years after his first game with the Prairie Village Outlaws, he was asked by his coaches to play on a higher level travel team for the KC True Lacrosse club. This past summer, Fries joined the True National Lacrosse team, which went on to win the Inside Lacrosse Invitational – the largest national lacrosse tournament for high school players.

Coming into this season, Fries had been hyped up by fellow teammates and coaches. With his qualified reputation, Fries showed up to tryouts with intentions of proving to the team that he deserved to be there.

“You can talk all you want and people can hype you up, but if you can’t play, it’s pointless,” Fries said. “So that drives you to perform.”

In his first seven games as a varsity starter, Fries has had the team’s most assists and points with 14 assists and 27 points. Points are the combined total of assists and goals. Not only is he topping the stat sheets, but he’s setting an example for all his freshman teammates.

Milton Braasch – Midfield

Goals: 17

Assists: 2

By the time he was in fourth grade, Milton Braasch decided to follow in his father’s footsteps:by playing lacrosse.

Now a sophomore, Braasch starts at varsity offensive midfield for the second year. Braasch’s father, Craig Braasch, has been his inspiration throughout his career. Craig started as a defensive player for the Arizona State University Sun Devils from 1981 to 1985.

“My dad was the first person to introduce me to the sport,” Braasch said. “He’s been my inspiration for playing and working to the point I’m at now.”

Using what he learned from his father in addition to his own determination, Braasch began to show he belonged on the lacrosse field. He began his career alongside Fries with the Prairie Village Outlaws. In sixth grade, he was asked to play up with the seventh grade Blue Lions Lacrosse team. For three years, Braasch played club, showing off his abilities to coaches and teams around the city.

Going into freshman tryouts, Braasch had intentions to be number one on the field.

“I just wanted to make the best team I could,” Braasch said. “When I was playing with the older guys, I wanted to look like I fit in, not just like another freshman player.”

 During his freshman year, Braasch recorded the fastest shot on the team with a 94 mph rocket. He also scored 21 goals and six assists in his 12 varsity starts last season.

This season, Braasch has started all seven games. He is tied for most goals-scored this season with 17 goals and two assists.

Cameron Ream – Midfield

Goals: 9

Assists: 4

Sophomore Cameron Ream first was inspired to play lacrosse when he randomly turned on the 2010 Notre Dame vs Duke NCAA championship one day. After being mesmerized by the sport, his father returned home with his first lacrosse stick.

Ream has been playing the game since fourth grade. He is now a starting midfielder on the varsity squad.

Like his friends, Ream played for the Outlaws. But later, he was drawn to club teams like KC Orange and Titanium Lacrosse due to the better competition and faster pace of the game.

Last season, Ream started his high school career with the freshman team, but contracted wrist tendinopathy, forcing him to sit the entire season until varsity’s championship. During the fourth quarter, coach William Garrett decided to throw Ream in the game.

“I was really nervous when I heard Coach yell my name to go in the game,” Ream said. “But once I got out there, I felt like I belonged on the field and I did everything I needed to do.”

After rehabbing his wrist, Ream came into this year having one goal in mind – to be a starting varsity lacrosse player. He went into to tryouts with a varsity-or-bust mindset, and he accomplished just that.

This season, Ream has scored nine goals and assisted four. He doesn’t just enjoy the game itself, but the relationships and chemistry built with the team.

“Being on the first line has not only helped me as a player, but it’s created more friendships,” Ream said. “Running with the starters creates a great bond between us all and helps us gel as one.”

Robbie Veghlan – Goalie

Save Percentage: 69%

Along with Ream and Braasch, sophomore Robbie Veglahn started playing in fourth grade. He grew up watching the college lacrosse games on ESPN with his father, wishing he could be out there with them.

Veglahn started playing for the Outlaws in fourth grade with Ream and Braasch. He began off playing defense, but when his team needed a goalie, he stepped in. Following that one game, Veglahn fell in love with the position. His success all started when he began attending camps and conditioning to learn the position even better.

He began to travel with club teams like Blue Lions and KC Orange. Veglahn devoted large portions of his summers to playing lacrosse and going to camps to better his goaltending skills.

During his freshman season, Veglahn was starting goalie for both the freshman and JV team, but practiced with varsity. Many days he would stay late after practice and play goalie for the varsity players. He used these days to get more experience at the varsity level.

This season, Veglahn is the starting varsity goalie.  In the first seven games, Veglahn has a 69 percent save percentage, which is 16 percent higher than the national average, as reported by MaxPreps. Even being an underclassman, Veglahn acts as one of the leaders of the team, controlling both the midfielders and defense during the game.

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