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Lacrosse success increasing at Granite Bay

Grizzlies beat area stalwart St. Francis for second time this season
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Stu Brokowsky didn’t play much lacrosse growing up, but the native New Yorker knows the game, and his players at Granite Bay High School are picking it up like a loose groundball.

Granite Bay defeated area power St. Francis for the first time earlier this season. On Friday night, the Grizzlies beat St. Francis again, 7-5.

Granite Bay is 13-2 overall and 5-0 in the Sacramento Valley Lacrosse Conference.
Brokowsky started the lacrosse program at Livermore-Granada and helped start the program at Pleasanton-Foothill. This is his second year at Granite Bay.

Give him basketball, soccer and softball players, and Brokowsky will mold them into a lacrosse team.

“Lacrosse is basketball with sticks on a soccer field,” he said Monday.

Brokowsky said lacrosse and basketball terminology and motion are similar. Soccer players are good defenders and run well in the open field. Softball players catch and throw well.

Brokowsky spends very little time calling plays.

“I call almost none,” he said, opting to spend more time on the proper way to catch, throw and pick up groundballs. He teaches his players logical ways of moving on the field.

It works.

Brokowsky noted that St. Francis has won the area’s lacrosse league championship “since they’ve had a league championship.” Oak Ridge has played second fiddle to St. Francis during that run, but it was the Grizzlies running out the clock for seven minutes with no turnovers in their last meeting with the Trojans.

Sarah Kaplan and freshman Emily Torris totaled four goals each in two games against St. Francis, and Rachael Judd and Kenzie Gainer scored two goals apiece. Paige Kastner scored three in the first victory over St. Francis, which went double overtime.

Brokowsky also said goalie Katrina Reeves was “outstanding” against St. Francis.

“It’s very exciting for the kids,” he said. “They start to feel good about themselves. Most of the time, someone they’ve never beaten, it seems insurmountable. But if you work on your skills, practice hard, there’s no telling what you can do.”

The foundation is growing, too, with a youth program and a JV team that has “a whole pile of freshmen and sophomores.”