“Stuart and Kevin are two of the hardest workers I’ve been around,” Tartans coach Glen Miles said in a phone interview. “Kevin is a pure scorer and a distributer of the ball and Stuart just wanted to do whatever he could to help the team.”
Groeninger finished the season with 60 goals and 54 assists and finished his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in California with 411 points (206 goals and 205 assists). Pollard won 385 out of 472 faceoffs in 2019 for an 81.6% win percentage and finished with five goals and eight assists.
“We [the team] will miss both of then for their positive attitude, their enthusiasm and their love of the game, their love of their teammates. They were great teammates and they were fun to be around. Those two literally are going to be impossible to replace,” Miles said.
After winning POTY last year, Groeninger finds sharing the award this year with his good friend Pollard a satisfying way to end his record-setting career. Greoeninger will play at Bryant University next year.
“Being Orange County Lacrosse player of the year is a huge honor to receive, and it means a lot to me, as it gives me the validation that all the work I put in during the offseason went to something that was as rewarding as this,” Groeninger said via text. “Having Stuart be the co-recipient makes it really cool, as he is one of my best friends. Winning the award last year, I felt that it would be somewhat of a step back for either me as a player or the program if I wasn’t to win it again this year.”
Pollard experienced a breakout season after an off-season of hard work that caught the attention of Division 1 coaches and earned him a spot on Holy Cross’ incoming class.
“Being named co-Orange County Player of the year is a huge honor. All those hours in the weight room and extra face-offs in the backyard have truly made me the lacrosse player I am today,” Pollard said. “I just grinded and grinded and did my best to fulfill my role on the team, and just played as hard as I could. I am truly grateful to represent the Orange County area for lacrosse alongside my great friend and teammate Kevin Groeninger.”
In addition to lacrosse, Groeninger and Pollard both played a second sport – Pollard played football while Groeninger played soccer. The boys soccer team at St.Margaret’s made the CIF-SS championship match, but fell to Sierra Vista 2-1.
“The past soccer season was super rewarding, as we were fortunate enough to play 28 games, going 22-6. I had been playing soccer since I was 5 years old, and never had as much fun as I did during this past year playing it,” Groeninger said. “Being out there with my brother Matthew and Tomas Anderson-Comas was very special. The soccer season helped me get ready for this coming lacrosse season by adding more fuel to the motivation for winning a title.”
Pollard played wide receiver and cornerback in football, which his says helped prepare him for the lacrosse season.
“This [playing football] not only helped me get in shape in the offseason, but taught me to be tough, and how to work under pressure,” Pollard said. “As a corner in football, a lot of pressure is put on me to defend the receiver which takes a lot of technique and hard work that has transferred over to my face-off stance. Playing wide receiver in football and having to be light on my feet has helped me stay balanced to be able to strike when the whistle blows at the X.”