A successful season

Wilsonville boys lacrosse rounds out the regular season with back-to-back wins


Jeff Feinblatt

Wilsonville celebrates their win against Tualatin, meeting goalie Nathan Kim on the field

Their season began with high hopes. It ends having accomplished them. Wilsonville boys lacrosse finished out the regular season with a fantastic win on the road against Liberty High School. Earlier in the week they beat Tualatin High School in their home turf, getting a close victory on senior night. This duo of victories clinched 3rd place in league for the Wildcats, moving up two spots from last year, and a 8-7 regular season record. For the first time in years, Wilsonville boy’s lacrosse finishes their regular season above .500.

Speaking to Coach Neal Bateman of the Wilsonville Wildcats after the Liberty game, his pride in the team was clear. “This game (against Liberty) wasn’t on the schedule originally, but when their coach reached out to us we agreed this was a good opportunity for our team. If we won this game, we would be able to get our boys more honors and finish higher in the state rankings-and we won this game.” 

The Wildcats solidified their standing in the state rankings, they have a strong bid to make state playoffs. Last year they fell just short. Having already finished with more wins than losses and performing well in league play, if the Wildcats qualify for state playoffs they will have accomplished all three of the goals Coach Neal set for them at the beginning of the season. “This game had huge implications for our program, and with this win we finish the regular season with 8 wins and 7 losses.” Mr. Bateman told us. “This is the first time in at least five years that Wilsonville has finished with a winning record, which is awesome.”

Looking back a few days earlier in the week, Coach Neal reflected on how the Wildcats performed in their league. “We knew that Sherwood and Newberg were going to be really good this year, but we played a really good game against Sherwood. We were leading for most of the game, and competed the best we could. We handled Tigard as expected, and then we got revenge against Tualatin.” Last year, Tualatin had won the Northwest league and beat Wilsonville 16-2. This year, the Wildcats beat them 8-7 in a close fought senior night game.

Wilsonville now enters Northwest league playoffs, something they missed last season. Their opponent is second seed Sherwood, and it’s going to be a very tough game. Win or lose, Wilsonville has grown as a program significantly. Rising from irrelevance to state playoffs in just two seasons, the program has no visible ceiling.

“This is the first time in at least five years that Wilsonville has finished with a winning record, which is awesome.”

— Neal Bateman

“Going into the season we had goals of 1) being above .500, and 2) making state playoffs.” This was Coach Neal Bateman’s message to Wilsonville boys lacrosse from the beginning. These goals were in the back of the athlete’s minds during every practice, every game. At times it seemed like we would fall just short of our ambitions, this journey wasn’t without adversity. But we showed perseverance, and we accomplished what we had set out to do since day one. Congratulations Wilsonville boys lacrosse on a successful season!