Waynflete coach leads lax team to World Games title
The Waynflete girls' lacrosse program has had plenty to crow about in recent years.
Now, it's a member of the boys' program's turn.
Boys' varsity coach Bob Johnson and his teammates recently took part in the World Games in Manchester, England and won the championship in the Super Grand Masters (55-and-older) division.
Johnson has been a member of the "Cloud Splitter" team for 12 years. The name comes from the Iroquois phrase for Mt. Marcy, the tallest peak in the Adirondack mountains.
Players hail from northern New England and the Albany, N.Y., area, and have enjoyed great success in recent years, winning numerous tournaments, including a big tournament held in Lake Placid, N.Y., each August, where Cloud Splitter won five straight summers in the Super Grand Masters division.
This year, Johnson decided to do something different.
"I organized the group to go to Manchester for the World Games this past July," Johnson said. "The World Games have the regular national teams competing and then an associated festival for players in many age brackets. You put together a team and pay the entry fee and you're in. We entered the Super Grandmasters division. There were a total of five teams (four US and England fielded a team)."
Cloud Splitter went undefeated in pool play and became the top seed as a result, setting up a championship game showdown against No. 2 England.
It proved to be a classic.
England jumped out to an early lead and led by as many as four goals into the final period, but Cloud Splitter gradually whittled away, finally tying the game with about two minutes left. It was on to "sudden victory" overtime, then a second before Cloud Splitter finally scored to win the title.
"I knew this was a great team, which is why I started two years ago to organize the group to compete at the highest level," Johnson said. "I'm honored to play with such a terrific group of people."
Johnson, who will return for his 23rd season coaching the Flyers next spring, and his teammates will look to repeat as World Games champs in 2014.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org