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Patrick Henry lacrosse sets sights on state title

After two state semi-final losses, the Patriots want to go farther

ROANOKE – The Patrick Henry boys lacrosse program has been climbing the state tournament ladder in recent history, but have yet to reach the top.

"It was definitely our goal from day one after losing to Briar Woods last year. We set our goal to not get back to the state semifinals but to get to the state championship and win it all," Patriots head coach Josh Wilkinson said.

"I just want a ring, honestly. I want a state championship. That's what we're aiming for, survive and advance," Grayson Rech said.

The Patriots overcame one of their biggest obstacles Tuesday, coming back from a two goal deficit to beat Douglas Freeman 11-5 in the region semifinal.

"We knew if we kept at it and played our game, didn't concentrate on what they were doing and just did what we need to do, we could win this game and put it away," Andrew Hamilton said.

The victory propels PH to the region final and an automatic berth to the state semifinal, a familiar stop in the postseason.

Patrick Henry boys lacrosse has never won a state championship but the past two years the Patriots fell in the state semifinals. This year, their goal is to go farther.

"We really want to go farther our whole team has been working harder this year. It's a whole new energy, because we want to get over the hump of the state semi," goalie Ikie Smith said.

With a record of 17-1 and averaging 16 goals per game, the team believes this could be their time to achieve that goal.

"I've been doing this since I was in first grade, and growing up watching all the kids that I knew come through and finally getting to that point. We've gone further than any PH team has, and I think this year is finally the year," Nick Pace said.

Atlee is the next rung on the Patriots ladder, and with a guaranteed trip back to the state tournament, the top is in sight.