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CdM's Keasey is boys lacrosse player of the year
It's been a few weeks since Corona del Mar's boys lacrosse team captured its first Southern Section title and Orange County championship.
But senior midfielder Michael Keasey, the Register's player of the year, is still on top of the world.
"To tell you the truth, it really hasn't sunk in," said Keasey. "It was an unbelievable accomplishment, to not only win the (Southern Section) championship but to do it in undefeated fashion, something that no one will ever be able to take away from us."
Keasey, who is headed to play lacrosse at Yale next year, did his part, time and time again.
Keasey scored 54 goals and notched 33 assists for the Sea Kings, and he really stepped up big in the playoffs, scoring three goals in the Sea Kings' 7-6 victory over Palos Verdes in the Southern Section title game.
"He's a terrific, hard-working kid," said Coach G.W. Mix. "He's always done everything we've asked him to do and then some. He's always the last one off the practice field and the first one on, and it has really paid off for him."
The lacrosse team got some extra motivation from the school's CIF championship-winning football team, Keasey said.
"After our football team won CIF this year, the lacrosse team got extra motivated, and they wanted it even more and it's been awesome. We have unbelievable fans and coaching staff and support."
Keasey had been a baseball player, but the father of one of his friends asked him to try lacrosse when he arrived at Corona del Mar.
"I was always a baseball kid, but I fell in love right away (with lacrosse)," he said. "It's been an unbelievable experience and it just changed my life.
"I like the up-tempo fast pace and being able to run, and what's made this senior year so special is that every single one of my friends is out there. We had a tight-knit group of teammates; we all hang out on and off the field."
He shared the most exciting moment when the Sea Kings won the Southern Section title by surviving a furious late charge by Palos Verdes.
"I couldn't believe it," he said. "We were counting on (goalie) Michael Ortlieb to make a big save. We had a minute and 30 seconds left and he had four saves. I was just cringing and he made a huge stop, just stuffed the kid right on the doorstep with about seven seconds left to go, threw the ball up in the air and we just ran onto the field and threw our gear as high as we could.
"It was an unbelievable comeback and the greatest feeling in the world."
Keasey will take his game to Yale next year, where he plans to major in business.
"I'm excited and there is more work ahead," he said. "I have a lot of work to do this summer to get prepared."
He will leave CdM with plenty of fond memories and an appreciation for what his team accomplished.
"I want to thank G.W. Mix and the coaching staff, and I want to give to credit to all of my teammates," he said. "I know I've gotten a lot of credit the past couple of months, but it really wasn't me at all. It was the hard work of the seniors, our captains as well as all the other people who don't get as much credit.
"We had unbelievable kids come out and make huge plays when they needed to, and that's why we were able to be so successful. We had 10 guys on the field who wanted it every time and were willing to go as hard as they can for the entire game. It was the greatest experience in my life."