By Ken Lay
Farragut High School’s boys lacrosse team got a unique opportunity Thursday night when it hosted Germany’s Under-19 National Team at Farragut Middle School. While things didn’t go well for the Admirals, at least on the scoreboard, the mood was upbeat after the game.
“I’m happy with our effort,” Farragut coach Taylor Clark said after watching his team drop a 17-2 decision to Germany. “When you play against this German Team, you’re playing the best of the best.
“This team is good. They’ve been working hard and playing together for six months and we haven’t played since May 7. This is not indicative of the season that we’re going to have. But it is indicative of how much work that we have to do.”
Germany made the trip to the United States when plans fell through for a trip to play on the world stage.
It was Tennessee Wesleyan University head coach Kevin Parker, who was instrumental in bringing the Germans to the Volunteer State.
“I coached their coaches and I lived in Germany for three years,” Parker said. “We’re hosting them in Athens. They’re staying on our campus and they’re playing games in Athens and in Farragut.
“They wanted a game in Farragut and Taylor said that he was interested in hosting them. They were supposed to go to the World Championships in Israel first. Those were supposed to be in England. Then, England said that they couldn’t do it.”
Israel stepped up and hosted the tournament. But Parker said that safety concerns kept Germany out of the Middle East.
“The parents were concerned and they didn’t really want their kids to go to Israel,” Parker said. “So they came here.
“We picked them up at the airport in Atlanta and they’ve been staying with us since they got here.”
Germany played a team of Tennessee high school all-stars early last week and the visitors from Western Europe nabbed a 19-5 victory Tuesday night, according to Clark.
“These guys just played the best of the best in Tennessee and they beat a team of Tennessee All-Stars. They won that game 19-5,” Clark said. “They’ve been working really hard for the last two weeks and we had one practice to get this together.
“This team is the best of the best and you get better by playing the best.”
The Admirals scored their first goal of the game late in the second quarter when rising senior Tristan Damron tallied to pull Farragut to within 5-1. Germany would answer a short time later and take the 6-1 lead it enjoyed at halftime.
Damron picked up an assist on the home team’s final goal of the match. Titus Chapman scored that marker with 5 minutes, 41 seconds remaining in the third stanza.
Farragut obviously relished the opportunity to play Germany but German coach Peter Desantis said that his squad learned from the experience.
“Our kids have grown a lot culturally and we’ve played some good lacrosse against a high caliber team,” he said.