Boys’ lacrosse team chasing success on the field once again at Granite Hills

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The Granite Hills High School boys’ lacrosse team predates the sport’s formation at the San Diego Section level. Perhaps then, it’s been no surprise that the Eagles have annually counted themselves among the top teams not only in the Grossmont Conference but in the section as well.

This year appears no different, according to head coach Spencer Sabin, a 1999 GHHS alumnus.

The Granite Hills High School boys’ lacrosse team predates the sport’s formation at the San Diego Section level. Perhaps then, it’s been no surprise that the Eagles have annually counted themselves among the top teams not only in the Grossmont Conference but in the section as well.

This year appears no different, according to head coach Spencer Sabin, a 1999 GHHS alumnus.

“Our primary goal this season is to be the Grossmont Conference champion and be undefeated in league,” said Sabin, played under U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Famer Norm Webb, considered the ‘godfather of San Diego lacrosse,’ and later played collegiate lacrosse at SDSU. “Another goal is to play for a Division I San Diego Section championship.”

Soaring like an Eagle

Top returners on this year’s Granite Hills team include defenseman Jarrett Williams and attackman Weston Bartgis, both seniors, along with junior goalkeeper Jacob Brown.

Top newcomers include junior midfielder Travis Osborn and junior attackman Michael Doran.

The Eagles hope to build on last year’s trip to the Division I quarterfinals. Granite Hills received the No. 6 seed in the 12-team field and defeated 11th-seeded Mira Mesa, 17-4, in the opening round before dropping a 7-6 decision in double-overtime to third-seeded Santa Fe Christian.

Sabin noted the boys’ section championships will once again be held at Granite Hills High School this year. Three divisions (Open, Division I and Division II) will be contested May 30.

Long-term legacy

The Granite Hills boys lacrosse program was formed in 1983 and stood as one of the original four teams in San Diego County, joining Poway, Coronado and Crawford.

Lacrosse became a CIF sport in 2002. The Eagles have reached the quarterfinals three times since 2011. Granite Hills became the first Grossmont Conference team to advance to the quarterfinal round when the Eagles accomplished the feat in 2002.

Granite Hills and Grossmont have challenged for supremacy in East County for the past several years, and have finished as co-champions in each of the past four seasons, either in league or tournament play.

“There have been teams that have peaked and volleyed over the years but Granite Hills and Grossmont have stayed the course,” explained Sabin, who enjoyed a coaching stint at Grossmont before rejoining the GHHS coaching staff in 2010. “Teams like Valhalla, Helix and El Capitan have made runs in the past.”

Both the Eagles and Foothillers are currently undefeated in Grossmont Conference play with 3-0 records. Granite Hills has defeated Valhalla (20-0 on March 12), Monte Vista (15-5 on March 23) and Santana (18-0 on March 27) while Grossmont has defeated Santana (22-0 on March 13), Valhalla (18-0 on March 16) and Helix (17-7 on March 23).

The Eagles return from spring break to host Helix on April 10 and El Capitan on April 13 before engaging Santana and Grossmont in a pair of road contests on April 15 and April 21, respectively.

Both Grossmont and Helix are 5-1 in overall game action this season while Granite Hills is 4-3 with non-league losses to Westview (14-7 on March 17), Eastlake (7-5 on March 20) and Serra (6-4 on March 26). The Eagles faced off the season with a 12-2 win at Otay Ranch on March 10.

Grossmont’s lone loss this season is to Santa Fe Christian (9-6 on March 18).

Helix is 2-1 in conference play with victories against Monte Vista (9-3 on March 12) and Santana (14-1 on March 16). The Highlanders were off to an undefeated 5-0 start before the loss to Grossmont.

Senior Matt Bolerjack leads Helix in scoring so far this season with 13 goals and 10 assists, followed by classmate Hector Monroy with 13 goals and six assists.

Valhalla is off to a 1-2 start in league play, 2-4 overall, while Monte Vista is 1-2 in league play, 3-4 overall.

El Capitan is 0-2 in league play, 2-3 overall, while Santana is 0-3 in league play, 2-6 overall.

After a 0-4 start, Valhalla has won its last two games — 7-6 over El Capitan on March 23 and 12-2 in non-league play against visiting Hilltop on March 27.

Monte Vista’s three wins have come against El Capitan (11-6 on March 16), Montgomery (9-8 in overtime on March 20 and 11-7 on March 27).

The section championships start May 19-20 with first-round action, followed by quarterfinals May 22-23 and semifinals May 26-27.

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