Over the next few weeks, LaxRecords will look back at the 2016 season with notes on what happened in championship games, notable milestones and any surprises or fun facts that occurred.
July will kick off our first-ever Looking Ahead features with an in-depth look at underclassmen to watch, what milestones could be reached and the teams to watch in 2017.
Today, we start with a look back at the 2016 boys’ lacrosse season in Florida.
St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Ponte Vedra (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) met in the FHSAA championship game on Saturday. The Raiders became the first team not named St. Andrew’s (Boca Raton, Fla.) or Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.) to win the state championship since 2002.
The Raiders and Sharks entered the game with a combined 42-0 record, but it was STA that exited the game with Florida’s longest active win streak.
Junior Kevin Crowley scored four goals, while senior Brennan Harhart scored three for St. Thomas Aquinas. The win is the first lacrosse championship for the Raiders, but becomes the 19th sport at the school to win an FHSAA title. Goalie Mikey Adler made 14 saves, including three in the fourth quarter.
The title game appearance was the second straight for St. Thomas, which lost 13-11 to Lake Highland Prep last season. The Raiders had quite the run to the title. They played overtime games in two of their final four games, including a triple-overtime 11-10 win over Benjamin School (North Palm Beach, Fla.) on Friday.
Clay Welch and Reid Smith each scored three goals for Ponte Vedra, which finished the year 23-1. Head coach Tom West won his 150th game at Ponte Vedra with the team’s semifinal win over Lake Highland Prep.
Terry Crowley now has 391 career victories after his team’s 19-0 season.
In addition to a 23 game win streak this season, Ponte Vedra (Florida) head coach Tom West won his 150th career game for the Sharks this season. West, who has been at Ponte Vedra since 2009, is now 150-22 in his career.
St. Brendan (Fla.) head coach Doug Shanahan won his 100th career game with an 8-7 win over Westminster Christian (Fla.) on March 2. Shanahan started his high school coaching career at Glenbrook South (Ill.) in 2006. He coached at Pine Crest (Fla.) from 2009 to 2013. In 2014 he was an assistant at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.). He took over the head coaching job at the new program at St. Brendan in 2015. He has a career record of 101-53 through the first nine games of this season.
Carlos Clavijo from St. Brendan (Fla.) broke the known Florida state record for the most goals in a season with five goals against Palmetto Ridge (Fla.) on April 1. Far from an April Fools joke, Clavijo finished his senior season with 110 goals, which breaks the old record of 107 set by Harris Stolzenberg from Pine Crest (Fla.) in 2012. Clavijo had 10 games with at least seven goals scored this season.
Ponte Vedra’s Smith led the state in points with 139 and assists with 65 this season.
Goalie Curran Porto, a senior at Bloomingdales (Valrico, Florida) led the state with 347 saves.
Clavijo dominated the state’s stat sheet this season. The senior had five games with at least 10 goals and had the state’s most known points in a single game.
Michael Holahan, a junior from Jupiter Christian (Florida) also had 14 points in a game. On March 10, Holahan had eight assists and six goals against John Carroll Catholic (Florida).
Maybe one of the biggest surprises of the season came when Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach, Florida) defeated St. Andrew’s (Boca Raton, Florida) 8-7 in the FHSAA First Round Play In game on April 15. The ThunderWolves finished the season with a 19-3 record after falling to eventual state champion St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), 9-8 in overtime.
The win over St. Andrew’s was even more impressive looking back at the meeting of the teams on Feb. 27. The Scots defeated the Thunderwolves 20-5. After that loss, Oxbridge rolled off 14 straight wins, including wins over Jupiter (Jupiter, Florida) and St. Andrew’s.
Oxbridge was in just its fourth season as a program.