By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

Led by a strong junior class, McNary lacrosse coach Ryan Bowlby expects a solid season.

The Celtics opened the 2017 campaign on Monday, March. 13 with a 12-8 win at Newberg.

McNary’s first home game is Friday, March. 17 versus Hermiston at 7 p.m.

“We have lots of experience on offense,” Bowlby said. “Our defense is extremely new but our goalie is a third-year starter. We’ve got a good mix-match.”

Jonathan Williams, who scored three goals and added three assists against Newberg, will lead the offense.

“Right now pretty much everything is ran through Jonathan Williams,” Bowlby said. “He’s a super athlete. He’s running track this year and doing lacrosse.

McNary junior Marcus McCoy is a three-year starter for the Celtics at goalkeeper. (KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley)

“The other team ended up blacking him out, so isolating him and face guarding him and taking him out of the game entirely and he still scored two more goals and got an assist. He’s a supreme, supreme lacrosse player.”

Williams wasn’t happy with how he started his junior season.

“I started off terrible,” Williams said. “I turned the ball over the first two times down. I settled myself down and got the offense going and realized I didn’t have to get the goal, somebody else could get it. The pressure isn’t all on me. We have other guys who can score the ball just as easily as I can.”

One of those players is another junior, Chad Pinney, who has played midfield the past two seasons but is transitioning to attack and scored three goals at Newberg.

Marcus McCoy returns at goalkeeper where he was an all-league honorable mention as a freshmen and Second Team selection as a sophomore. As a junior, McCoy is ready to take on a more leadership role.

“Since freshmen year, our coaches have always told us our freshmen class once we get up to junior and seniors, that’s when our true leadership was going to come up and that’s when we’re going to show our true power and that’s when we’re going to shine the most,” McCoy said. “This year, I think we got it. We’re coming out strong. We’re ready to win.”

“I just started crying,” Salang said. “I was so happy for my team and my coaches. The moment was so real and intense. It just took me over. It was just unbelievable. It almost seemed like a happy ending in a movie.”

“It was amazing,” Ostby added. “We’ve been working so many years to get to this point. It was just fun to share it with all of them.”

Bailey, who’s been coached by her dad since she began playing basketball in the third grade at KYBA, said her favorite moment was watching him cut down the net.

“He’s had so many nights where he’d stay up all night doing scouting reports, watching film on the other teams,” Bailey said. “It made me feel super happy to see that all of his hard work had paid off. My dad was just such a great influence on us and he taught us not only about basketball but we’re a family and we have to watch out for each other on and off the court.”

After a snow day, the team, which also includes Sophia Poole, Wendy Liao, Emily Collier, Najma Suri, Sierra Archer and Katey Moore, were honored at a school assembly.

“That’s when it really sank in that we had won state,” Salang said. “The whole weekend, I couldn’t believe that it happened. When we got back to school and they had our bracket and they played a video and it had all our pictures and our trophy, it just seemed so real. It finally sank in that we had won state.”