On a cold night in Orinda, the Davis High boys lacrosse team opened its season with an impressive 17-4 win over Miramonte.
With help from a smart, ball-control offense that limited Matador opportunities, the Blue Devil defense shined in its initial outing. But for coach Nick Juri’s plan of keeping the ball in the offensive zone as long as possible, DHS needed to win the face-off battle.
And Devil Jake Hammond did just that. After grabbing the opening face-off, Hammond went on to capture 13 of 15 draws to put his team in good position.
“He’s a beast,” Juri said of Hammond.
On the offensive end, Davis’ Mark Bruemmer led all scorers with four goals and added two assists, while Daniel Rowen added a hat trick. Kevin Willefert also had two assists and was one of four Blue Devils — joining Kian Reno, Liam Neville and Sam Eaton — to find the net twice. Reno also chipped in an assist and three ground balls.
Following a Reno goal that put his team up 1-0, the DHS defense killed off a man-down situation behind the strong play of Connal Hart, Sam Gellen and Liam Condon. For the game, Hart led all defenders with five ground balls, and goalie Connor Spann made two saves.
The Devils had several highlight-worthy goals, including one by Willefert, who took a pass from Bruemmer at the top of the crease and placed his shot perfectly in the upper right corner of the net.
The most athletic goal of the night came in the second half when Reno scooped up a ground ball above the crease, spun around a defender and ripped a shot into the net.
Rowen’s second tally also was a thing of beauty as he faked right, split left and rifled the ball into the upper right corner from 20 yards out.
Ryan Amesbury and Hammond each scored once to round out the Davis attack, and Juri was pleased that everyone on the team contributed to the season-opening victory.
DHS girls soccer
The season could not have started better for the Blue Devils as they ripped through the St. Mary’s tournament on Friday and Saturday at 4-1, with their last win coming in the championship match.
After beating Lodi and Bradshaw Christian by identical 2-0 scores, DHS suffered its only loss of the tourney — 1-0 to Ponderosa — in its third game on Friday. The Devils bounced back Saturday to top St. Mary’s, 4-2, then shut out Woodcreek, 2-0, in the championship contest.
“We like to play in this tournament so we can get a lot of games in early and see what we need to work on,” said Devil coach Sara Stone. “I was really happy because we learned something in each game and we took it to the next game. We have only one senior this year and I was really happy to see some of the younger players do as well as they did.”
At the top of that list is freshman Julia Curtis, who scored a goal against St. Mary’s and displayed a good enough all-around game to be recognized as the tournament MVP.
In addition, junior Sophia Hernandez was an offensive force, especially on Saturday when she scored four times, including both of the Davis goals in the title match. Hernandez had five goals for the tournament and earned the Golden Boot award.
Other Blue Devil scoring came from Gaby Herrera (two goals), Renee Schuman and Suleikha Sutter. Herrera earned an all-tourney nod, as did DHS defenders Brooke Palmer, Olivia Haass and Claire Buhlman, along with freshman Sidra Bugsch.
Though the revamped defense still has players adjusting to playing with one another, giving up just three goals in five games showed that it is certainly on the right track, Stone said.
The Devils are back home Tuesday for a 6 p.m. matchup with Del Campo.
The Blue Devils got their season off to a fast start as the boys and girls squads each took first place at the Jesuit Invitational, contested on Friday and Saturday.
DHS’ girls scored 493 points to finish ahead of Granite Bay (408) and St. Francis (291) while the Devil boys’ total of 402 was ahead of the Grizzlies (391) and Bellarmine (349).
“This first meet of the season was a good chance to see where the pieces are and how we might put them together,” Davis coach Tracy Stapleton said. “In terms of the overall performance of the team, we are pleased — we saw some swimmers show some things that demonstrate a level of competitiveness that will be an asset this season.”
At Jesuit, Matt Whittle was a huge asset for the Blue Devils boys as the senior touched the wall first in the 200 individual medley (1:55.52) and the 100 butterfly (51.41) and joined teammates Riley Hickman, Jonathan Pun and Tucker Fisk to win all three relay races.
The quartet won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:12.96, the 200 medley relay in 1:38.04 and the 200 free event in 1:27.66.
Pun added an individual victory when he swam the 100 breaststroke in 57.66.
The DHS girls had a pair of double winners as Emma Barksdale took the 200 IM (2:04.61) and the 100 free (53.23) and Alex Rieger captured the 50 free (25.05) and the 100 backstroke (1:00.66).
Distance standout Chenoa Devine had the Blue Devils’ other victory when her 4:57.04 was enough to top the 500 free field.
“We are at the very beginning of the season and we have the (whole) season to do something about the things we would like to work on,” Stapleton said. “We know that we definitely have a great group of athletes on this team and are excited to get going on the work that needs to be done.”
DHS boys volleyball
Co-head coach Jordon Friend couldn’t have been happier on Friday as the Blue Devils defeated Pleasant Valley in four games at The Cage.
“It was a great start to the season and it’s really exciting because we can build on this,” Friend said. “PV is a good program, so to beat them handily like that was really nice.”
In the 25-18, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20 victory, DHS was already clicking on all cylinders both offensively and defensively.
“We did a really good job of running our system,” Friend explained. “The boys have been working really hard and they are already really cohesive out there on the court.”
The Devils were strong at the net, getting good performances from sophomore Nick Simons and senior Andre Foster, while libero Mike Basso excelled on defense.
Watney at Honda Classic
Davis High graduate Nick Watney had a pair of birdies in his third round on Saturday to shoot an even-par 70 at the Honda Classic.
With his 71 in the first round and a 1-under 69 on Friday, the former Blue Devil is even for the tournament, which is being played at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The score has Watney tied for 66th place, 12 shots back of leader Rory McIlroy.