One of the best kept secrets in Orange County lacrosse this year has been Northwood High School. The Timberwolves have quietly been going about their business while accumulating a 9-3 overall record, and are currently in second place in the Pacific Coast League with a 3-1 league record, one game behind Beckman. Despite their impressive record, the Timberwolves have not made an appearance in the Top 20 this season.
The leadership of Northwood’s four captains (shown above), senior defenseman Barry Baker (17) , junior middie Jason Venezia (3), senior middie Brian Abel (15), and senior attack Brett Blackburn (4), has factored heavily in the team’s success this year. Head coach Zena Deff says “These four captains have provided strong leadership and set an excellent example for the younger players in their attitude, teamwork and strong play.” Venezia (12 goals, 7 assists) has 19 points this season, Blackburn (14g, 4a) has 18 points, Abel (3g, 3a) has six points, and Baker, the defenseman, has dished out six assists.
Sophomore Michael Bellas continues to be the Timberwolves primary point producer and one of the top scorers in the state. Last week Bellas scored 10 points (8g, 2a) to give him 54 goals over 12 games this season (4.5 goals/game average).
The Timberwolves have a rematch against No. 14 and league leader Beckman on April 15. If they can win that game, they have a very good shot at a share of the PCL title and perhaps a spot in the Top 20.