This afternoon, the Skyline Eagles and the Waterford Ravens will square off for an important conference game with playoff seeding on the line. Both teams are undefeated in conference play with the winner becoming the Salt Lake Conference Champion.
There is a lot on the line for both teams, particularly for a pair of brothers, Harrison and Oliver Martin. However, only one of the two will go home that night with a win. Harrison, a sophomore attackman, plays for Skyline. Oliver, on the other hand, is a freshman goalie playing for Waterford. There are several squads with brothers on the same team or cousins on different teams but this game is unique since it pits brother v. brother.
“The boys really picked up the game because their older brother Chase, 23, played on a state championship team at Waterford in 2005 and went on to play a year of college lacrosse at the U,” said proud father Greg Martin. “You could say they grew up around lacrosse. In addition, we owe a debt of gratitude to great coaches in their early years that also instilled a passion for the sport inside them: Mike Pappas, Steve Gray and Mark Pyper come to mind in addition to excellent club coaches. The boys are only 14 months apart and have both gone to Waterford until this year; as a result, until high school, they were on the same team every other year as they rose through chumash (they both started playing in kindergarten), storm, lightning, thunder and juniors.”
Martin continued, speaking of the upcoming game and Harrison’s move to Skyline.
“This year, Harrison (the older brother who goes by “Harri”) decided to transfer to Skyline to play lacrosse for a bigger school while Oliver (“Oli”) remained at Waterford,” said Greg. “This move is responsible for the boys competing against each other–other than in practice–for the very first time. It’s even more notable because Harri plays and attack and Oli plays goalie; they will literally be competing toe to toe. With Skyline currently ranked 2nd, Waterford 3rd, and the conference title on the line, it’s a big game on Saturday . . . it also happens to be their mom’s birthday!”
“These are two great boys who have the normal sibling rivalry,” continued Martin, “but who also have always celebrated each other’s successes on and off the field; their personalities are different enough that, in general, they get along really, really well and we’re extremely proud of both of them.”
Oli and Harri both play for teams with a history of solid lacrosse, as well as excellent coaches.
“Oli and Harri are both awesome young men,” said Skyline Head Coach Dan Schmidt. “They both support each other and cheer each other on during games. It’s going to be fun to watch them go head to head.”
Coach Schmidt went on to say, “Harry has been a great addition to our team both on the field and off. Changing schools is tough and in the past we have had a few kids really struggle with moving from their old school to Skyline. Harry jumped in head first and it really made for a smooth transition. On the field, he’s a really hard worker. He gets to the field early to get extra work in and usually he stays late to hit the wall again. He’s one of our leaders on offense and he is very creative with the ball.”
“One or both of the boys could be a difference maker in the match-up,” said Waterford Head Coach Dave Brattin. “The Skyline game is for the Salt Lake Conference title. I think the teams match up well on talent, philosophy so I expect a tight game.”
“I’m excited about our game against Waterford,” continued Schmidt. “They are a very well coached team and they have some really talented players. They have a great goalie in Oli Martin and Pyper and West are as good a duo in the state as you will find. Our defense will have to be on point to contain the two of them. Last year the game went into overtime and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened again this year. My hope is that we can go out and execute at a high level against Waterford. We have to limit our mistakes and take care of the ball on offense.”
Despite being young players, both boys play a big role for their respective teams. Harri has 5 goals and 11 assists for the season so far. Oli currently has a 51% save percentage, allowing just 2.4 goals per game.
Skyline will travel to play at Waterford on Saturday at noon. Waterford is on a 6 game win streak and was ranked third in the latest coaches poll. Skyline currently has a 9 game win streak and is currently ranked second.