Posted April 28, 2024 / Last updated April 30, 2024

Print Print Email Email Share Share

In a hard-fought 9-8 matchup in Baton Rouge, the lacrosse team triumphed over Catholic High to claim the 2024 LHSLL state championship. Backed by a packed Gizzard student section, both the offense and defense contributed stellar performances to ensure the win over their cross-state rivals.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these kids for the hard work they’ve put in,” said head coach Zach Pall. “I think for the landscape of lacrosse in Louisiana, we’re putting the right product out there… we’re teaching the game in the right way.”

Just two minutes after play began, Blue Jay pressure on the Bears’ goal set up junior Wilson Frischertz to fire the first successful shot of the day. Catholic returned with their own goal three minutes later, marking the start of a gritty back-and-forth scoring rhythm that characterized the rest of the game. With a minute left to play in the first quarter, senior Jack Sutherlin passed to Frischertz who showed off textbook form to pick up his and the Jays’ second goal.

The game’s second quarter proved to be a more frustrating offensive exchange compared to the first quarter’s steady pace. After Jesuit and Catholic traded blows for several minutes to keep the score tied at 4-4 with junior Alex Barnett finessing two goals past the Bears’ defense, Catholic then pulled ahead with two unanswered goals of their own. Nevertheless, a successful Jesuit defensive effort kept the energized Catholic offense scoreless for the last few minutes of the half. The Jays headed to the locker room down 4-6.

The day still held more challenges for Jesuit. The third quarter began with yet another goal from the Bears, opening up a 3-point Catholic lead—their biggest of the game.

Despite the daunting deficit, Sutherlin—after a pass from senior Merritt McFadden—battled through the Catholic defense, picking up his first goal of the afternoon to initiate a four-point run for Jesuit. Senior veteran John Calhoun made three pristine assists, two in a row to sophomore Zac Raymond and one to junior Alex Barnett, to rocket Jesuit back into the lead. A goal from the Bears near the end of the third quarter brought the score to 8-8 to begin the last quarter.

The fourth quarter of play began with nearly ten minutes of defensive gridlock. Last year’s championship matchup, also between Jesuit and Catholic, concluded with a tie at the end of regulation play that led to a game-deciding goal in sudden death by then-sophomore Frischertz. Refusing to rest on his laurels, Frischertz sprinted past the Bears’ defenses with 3 minutes left on the clock to put the Jays on top with a dramatic game-winning diving shot. After defensively locking down the field while the clock wound down, the Blue Jays claimed their eighth state LHSLL state title.

“To me it just means putting everything on the field and giving all glory to God,” said Frischertz, who was named Offensive Player of the Game for his performance. “We wear it on the back of our helmet and the back of our jersey. Fr. Brown talked about it this morning at Mass. We give all glory to God in everything that we do.”

Junior goalie Henry Aucoin was named Defensive Player of the Game for his 11 saves and leadership of the team’s critical defensive efforts.

“We had a pretty young defense this year… we knew from the start that we would have to work really hard to get here—and that’s exactly what we did,” he told Varsity Sports Now (VSN). “Now that most of us are going to be seniors or juniors, it’s going to be the same thing: just work hard every day, and do it all for God.”