Lacrosse notes: Lefevre glad he stuck with lax, joins Blue-White stars tonight

Caesar Rodney's Brinen Lefevre was considered the top faceoff man in the state this spring. He was the only downstate player named first-team All-State in boys’ lacrosse, making it as a midfield specialist. (Special to the Delaware State News/Doug Curran)

Caesar Rodney’s Brinen Lefevre was considered the top faceoff man in the state this spring. He was the only downstate player named first-team All-State in boys’ lacrosse, making it as a midfield specialist. (Special to the Delaware State News/Doug Curran)

DOVER — Two years ago, Brinen Lefevre was ready to quit lacrosse.

He’d played the sport since he was in sixth grade.

But, by his sophomore season at Caesar Rodney High, golf was starting to seem like a better idea.

“Lacrosse isn’t my thing,” Lefevre remembered thinking. “But, the last day before tryouts, the coach convinced me to come out and play.”

Lefevre says now that he was just being “young and dumb.”

“I look back on that almost every single time I go to practice,” he said. “I’m so thankful I never did (quit).”

Indeed, not only did Lefevre realize he really loved lacrosse but he also realized he was pretty good at one thing — faceoffs.

Now a senior, Lefevre was considered the top faceoff man in the state this spring. He was the only downstate player named first-team All-State in boys’ lacrosse, making it as a midfield specialist.

Tonight, Lefevre will take the field with the best seniors in the state in the Blue-White All-Star Game at Wesley’s College’s Miller Stadium. The girls’ game starts at 6 p.m. with the boys’ contest slated for 8 p.m.

Lefevre won 70.4 percent (214-of-314) of his faceoffs this season. And he was at his best in the Riders’ two state tournament games, taking a combined 76 percent (25-of-33) in a win over Cape Henlopen and a two-goal quarterfinal loss to Tower Hill.

Lefevre, who also had six goals, 10 assists and 108 groundballs this season, was a captain for CR (10-7).

“Brinen was a pivotal piece to our success over his career,” said Riders’ coach Matt Faircloth. “He’s a competitor and a workhorse every day, whether it’s workouts, practice, or games. As a captain this season, he led by example and set a standard for giving everything you have to get better.”

Becoming a faceoff expert isn’t the simplest thing.

It’s a mixture of different skills. And it took Lefevre a while to figure out which techniques worked best for him.

By the end of his sophomore season, though, he was good enough to earn a starting spot in CR’s state semifinal game. Lefevre credits Riders’ assistant coach Peter Moran for teaching him the finer points of winning faceoffs.

“You’ve just got to put your head down and do what you can do,” said Lefevre. “You have to take at least 100 faceoffs a day. You can use quickness or you can use strength to muscle it out from underneath there. Some of it’s flexibility. But a lot of it is in your head, too. You have to think fast on your feet.”

Lefevre started out standing on both feet only to switch to one knee because the position hurt his back. He’s tinkered with a lot of other little things, too.

“Everything’s just changed completely,” he said.

Of course, you don’t get style points for how you take faceoffs. The only thing that matters is that your team has the ball — and the other team doesn’t.

It’s not a glamorous position but it’s one Lefevre takes a lot of pride in.

“You look back at it and a lot of games are decided by possession,” said Lefevre. “If we can get one more possession, one more goal, and it’s all off a faceoff, that’s perfect to me. Anything I can do to help the team.”

The kid who once wanted to walk away from lacrosse now can’t imagine life without it. He’s considering playing club lacrosse at the University of Georgia, where he’s headed in the fall.

“There’s no way I’m leaving this sport, I love it,” said Lefevre. “You develop relationships and you develop almost like a fraternity together. It’s impossible that you’d want to leave that. You never want to leave a family.”

Dover’s Graves keep busy

Like anybody who plays defense, Dover’s Sydney Graves is used to working in relative anonymity.

But it’s never been a big deal for the senior, who plays defense in both lacrosse and field hockey.

“It’s not needed because you know you’re doing a good job and you’re helping your team — even if you’re not getting the goals,” said Graves.

Graves, however, hasn’t gone unnoticed by opposing coaches.

She was a second-team selection on the first all-Henlopen Conference squad in girls’ lacrosse. Tonight she’ll play in the girls’ Blue-White all-star game, along with Dover teammates Maura Gast and Raven Mandela-James.

The Senators went a combined 18-11 over the last two seasons.

Dover first-year coach Stephanie Blakely, one of the coaches for the Blue squad, said Graves just has the right temperament for defense.

“She’s very aggressive and very able to jump passes and anticipate stuff,” said Blakely. “She has that defensive mind.

“Most people just look past defenders because they really don’t get stats. … It’s nice to be able to put fellow defenders out there (on the all-conference team).”

Graves only started playing lacrosse as a high school freshman. But she likes the sport enough now that she’s planning to play both lacrosse and field hockey — along with majoring in biology — at Arcadia University in the fall.

Graves, who would like to be a physical therapist, knows it will be a challenge.

“She’s one of those kids who can definitely pull off the two sports and having a hard major,” said Blakely.

“The friends that you make are incredible, along with actually getting out and being competitive instead of staying home,” said Graves. “I’m excited.”

Notes

Cape Henlopen — the state champion in girls’ lacrosse and the Henlopen Conference champion on the boys’ side — won’t have any players in either all-star contest because its graduation is tonight. … Polytech’s Bob Gilmore will get one last chance to coach his son, Tom, as the senior attackman is a member of the White squad. He’s headed for Virginia Tech in the fall. … The boys’ Blue squad is slated to have seven first-team All-Staters on the field tonight, led by state Player of the Year, midfielder Ben Revak of Archmere.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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