Every year Guerin Catholic High School boys lacrosse coach Charlie Barry asks his seniors to pick a key word for the season.
“They chose the word ‘believe,’” Barry said. “I tell the boys the power of self-belief is the greatest super power known to man. The boys bought into that.”
That came in handy June 5 when the Golden Eagles rallied for a 6-5 victory over South Bend St. Joseph in the Indiana High School Lacrosse Association Class 1A championship at Hamilton Southeastern High School.
Guerin trailed 2-0 in the final.
“The belief didn’t falter when we were down and it didn’t falter when we were tied,” Barry said. “Their belief outweighs everyone else’s doubt, which I think is really important. Even when we were down 2-0, we never came from behind to win a game this year, we were always in the lead.”
Senior Luke Abell was named Offensive Most Valuable Player in the championship, scoring four goals. He scored the winning goal with approximately a minute left. Junior Luke Truffer and senior Raph Raney each scored a goal
Guerin finished with 13-4 record in winning its first state boys lacrosse title. In 2019, the Golden Eagles lost to Cathedral in the state semifinals. The 2020 season was canceled because of the COVID-10 pandemic.
Barry said the team came up with four key factors which will lead to success.
“The first thing is do your job. You’re in the right place at the right time,” Barry said. “You’re doing your assignments on and off the field. The second one is grit. Having the intestinal fortitude to fight through the adversity, to win ground balls, to never give up. The third one is redefine your best. You have to seek ways to constantly improve around other high achievers. The last one was ‘all in, all the time.’”
Barry said lacrosse can be a game of runs, scoring points quickly
“We want the kids to have a short memory of the bad, but celebrate everything in the moment,” said Barry, a Carmel resident.
Abell, a Fishers resident, was named a USA Lacrosse All-American, which is voted by state coaches,
Abell, Raney and senior Thomas Berger were named first team all-state. Senior Max McGreal was named honorable mention. Abell, Rainey, Berger, McGreal and freshman Cooper Navarro were named Class A first team
Navarro is one of several key returners next season.
“At one time we started five freshmen,” Barry said.
Barry has been the Guerin head coach for five seasons and previously spent two seasons as an assistant coach.
A Penn High School graduate, Barry played for South Bend St. Joseph during high school because Penn didn’t have a team. He later served as a St. Joseph assistant coach for two seasons.
“I love seeing St. Joseph do well,” he said. “I cheer for them all the time, but not today (in the final). It’s not your day, St. Joe.