The Beverly Hills lacrosse Club was created to serve the best interests of the players in organizing, developing and promoting the sport of lacrosse at the middle school level in the Los Angeles area

My my My my

     Two days…..two games. Win Saturday play Sunday. Lose Saturday go home. Well this was going to be Eric and Gary’s “last hurrah” after seventeen years of running the team with plenty of success during those years….perennial North Division Champions……three Socal League Championships out of six tries and three appearances in the California State Cup Championship game vs. the Norcal Champions. But this was about today and having to beat a stacked West Express team after three regular season victories by two goals or less. It was going to be a battle.

     The teams traded possessions for the first seven minutes but the Express took the lead at the 12:15 mark on an inside roll off the left pipe. But at the 8:20 mark Richmond’s Michael Reale executed a solo redodge to even the scores at one. Less than a minute later Nick Mohler took off on a fast break clear and found Alex Dixon open up top and Alex scored the first of his four goals giving the Hills Squad their first lead of the afternoon….a lead they would not relinquish. Drew Jenkins went solo at the 5:36 mark moving the lead to 3-1. Alex Dixon went backhand off the crease with 3:05 left and George Pertessis scored on a Brendan Monteleone feed as the quarter ended with the Bucks up 5-1. Buck Fogo Jared Jacobs went 4/7 at the faceoff “X”, keeper Cal Filson garnered 5 saves and a critical ground ball by Dustin Doty gave the Bucks an edge in possession time.

     The second quarter scoring started with a man up Alex Dixon goat the 12:45 mark but West Express answered with two of their own as the second quarter ended with a shrinking Beverly Hills lead of 6-3. Jared once again controlled the faceoff “X” taking three out of four, Cal netted three saves and Michael Reale added some possession time by reaching over the midfield line and stealing a ground ball.

     There were only two scores in the third quarter both by the Express with less than three minutes left in the quarter. The quarter ended with the Bucks holding on to a one goal 6-5 lead.

     Quarter number four was going to decide who was going to play Sunday. Two and a half minutes in Jesse Cuccia collected a rebound off the Express keeper and stretched the Beverly Hills lead to two goals. Michael Reale then drove to the goal with a quick slice and dice pushing the lead to 8-5. Express answered with 9:20 left creeping closer down by just two goals but Jesse Cuccia fed Alex Dixon for the final Beverly Hills goal of the afternoon. West Express answered with under a minute left in the game but it was too little too late as Beverly Hill walked off with a 9-7 win and lived to play one more game on Sunday.   

     Sunday did not go well. As usual our opponent got on the board first 5:32 into the game but a solo shot from the midfield by Decker Curran at the 13:19 mark tied the score at one’s. San Diego scored the next two goals with a long pole off fast break clears and the visiting club took a 3-1 lead at the end of one. As usual Buck FOGO Jared Jacobs excelled at the “X” taking four out of five faceoffs. Brendan Monteleone and Decker Curran collected three critical ground balls between them to add to the Bucks possession time but six turnovers negated the plus time.

     The Hills Squad scored 2:32 into the second quarter to cut the San Diego lead to one goal but San Diego followed with two goals of their own to move their lead back to two goals at 5-2. But George Pertessis and Alex Dixon both went solo to end the quarter with the Bucks trailing by only one goal. Jared Jacobs took all six faceoffs in the quarter and the Bucks limited their turnovers to just two.

     San Diego took control of the game in the third quarter rattling off four unanswered goals by the 7:35 mark, three of which were fast break goals off clears while the Buck “D” was unsettled. With 4:46 left in the quarter Alex Dixon broke the drought on a beautiful inside feed from Decker Curran but the San Diego lead was still 9-5. With just 47 seconds left in the third San Diego scored again giving them a 10-5 lead after three.

     San Diego opened the final quarter with two unanswered scored bringing their lead to 12-5. Alex Dixon, Drew Jenkins and Jared Jacobs off the faceoff scored the Buck’s last goals of the game cutting the lead to 12-8 but the visitors put one final goal in as the game ended with a tough loss for the Beverly Hills team going down 13-8.

     After seventeen years of running the club it would be co-founders Eric Baker and Gary Greenbaum’ s last hurrah. After not winning a game in their first three seasons they broke through in their fourth year. They won the North Division Championship eight out of the eleven years when there was a North and South Division and garnered the Southern California Championship in 2011, 2015 and 2016. We have had many special teams over the years and this one was certainly one of them as the team was not just stacked with talent but also consisted of a group of unselfish players who lived the credo of being a team. Eric and I feel that we have left a team with new leadership that will continue to provide a place for talented players that have the passion to keep playing at a high level.

by posted 06/05/2023

       It’s about the “D”. It has occurred to me that my post game reporting is mostly centered on offensive output and quite often does not do justice to the strength of our defense. Well I am now going to correct that.

       Let’s talk about our close defenders. This preseason Eric and I were worried that that we “signed” too many long poles and that there would be some player disappointment concerning playing time. What we didn’t realize is that we created a perfect blend of older and younger players and that this would benefit the team. Let’s talk about some of the long time Bucks first.  Johnny Brasko went from a standout at Loyola and Johns Hopkins to the Hills squad in 2007 and aside from Eric Baker remains the longest serving long pole…and as you can see he still has plenty of “game” left. Kevin Berlandi joined the squad the following year not long after his collegiate playing days  at Emerson College. With the exception of missing a season or two after he broke his leg on a catastrophic hit in a game against the then strong South Bay Lacrosse Club Kevin remains a versatile addition to the Bucks as he is comfortable down low or as an LSM. Although not a long stick, Alex Jessup joined the team in 2010. A two way player at Hobart Alex remains a guy that can stay on the field when the offense gets the ball but who remains one of our strongest defensive short stick middies. The next man up was standout LSM Dustin Doty in 2013 who was just inducted into the Crespi Carmelite Hall of Fame for his outstanding high school play leading him into his college playing career at Wagner College. J D Johnson was the next guy up joining the squad in 2015 after his playing days at Loyola High School and D1 career at Michigan. J D remains one of player/coaches of the team along with Riley Lasda who came to the Bucks in 2020 after playing out his college career at the University of Albany. Grant Firestone, the “voice of LAX” in more than one way also joined the team in 2020 after his playing days in the Centennial Conference at Haverford College. Finally Curran Sullivan joined the team as the last multi-year player in 2022 after his successful career at Wesleyan.

              This year was definitely a bonus year for the Bucks as they added strength to their defensive core, starting with Jason Gonos who played in the Ivies at Harvard. Another Ivy League alumnus, Brett Hughes played at the University of Pennsylvania. Brett’s brother Shane, an LSM out of Endicott College has been said to remind some players of a young Johnny Brasko……..what could be better than that! Nick Mohler, another Buck who starred locally at Loyola High School and continued his college career in the Patriot League at Boston University has become one of the leading ground ball guys on the team. And finally, another defensive standout at short stick, Drew Jenkins who played at Syracuse has contributed on both sides of the ball scoring an important goal in Sunday’s win over West Express.

             So there you have it, a big part of the secret sauce that has led the Bucks to a 4-1 record and putting them in a strong position for a top seed in the upcoming playoffs.



by posted 04/03/2023

  Traveling to San Diego for a game is always a crap shoot. A few weeks ago we traveled down to San Diego with a “light” squad and beat a strong Beachcomber squad in one of our best games of the year. Yesterday’s squad was even lighter as we took the field with thirteen guys without our stud FOGO and without several strong players at multiple positions. Eric and I considered what would be the first forfeit in the Buck’s 16 year existence. But the thirteen led by Alex Jessup, Dustin Doty and Brett Tietjen cried NO so let the game begin!

     The Buck’s took the field with Ron Fernando in the goal and second half goalie Brad Brandenburg graciously offering to play out of position at midfield to give some of our middies a break. Both teams moved the ball around for in the fast paced turnover free first five minutes of the game but the Thieves finally struck at the 14:40 mark giving them a 1-0 lead. But at the 12:50 mark Alex Dixon at “X” found Brett Tietjen off the left pipe and Brett sent a worm burner to the back of the net. Three minutes later Sean Kane found Brett free again and the Hills squad took their first lead of the game. Thieves answered at the 5:10 mark to tie the score but Joe Woody would have none of it and fed Steve Brandenburg to put the Bucks back up 3-2. But the Thieves had a clean win on the ensuing faceoff and tied the score to end the quarter. Bucks keeper Ron Fernando collected five saves in the quarter while Sean Kane had a takeaway and the Bucks only has two turnovers enabling the game to stay close.

     The Thieves led off quarter number two with an outside shot at the 17:06 mark to take the lead but once again the Bucks answered with a man up goal by Alex Dixon on a feed from Bret Tietjen tying the score at 4-4. 40 Thieves took a two goal lead at the 7:10 mark with an inside curl off the right pipe and an outside rocket but Alex Dixon brought the Bucks within one goal on his own crease curl off the left pipe. The Thieves answered with 4:20 remaining and took a 7-5 lead into halftime. The Thieves took six out of the seven faceoffs but Ron Fernando continued his outstanding play in the net garnering eight saves in the quarter. Once again the Bucks were careful with the ball with only two turnovers in the quarter. The Thieves were getting their shots from outside but the Buck netminder kept the Bucks in the game.

     Both teams slowed down in the third quarter with the Thieves scoring at the 14:47 mark and again with 12:31 remaining. Mike Delabar found Joe Woody cutting to the crease at the 7:10 mark and Joe didn’t disappoint closing out the quarter with the Bucks trailing 9-6. Ron Fernando had six more saves in the quarter and the Bucks cut their turnovers down to one keeping them very much in the game.

     But the physical toll on the Bucks was noticeable. After yielding the net to Ron Fernando so he could help out with middy relief Brad Brandenburg was physically done….not from his many runs at the midfield but from a couple questionable helmet to helmet hits that were missed by the officials. But the Hills squad played on. They made the trip to win a game and they were still playing hard. Once again the Thieves jumped out to two quick goals but at the 11:30 mark Mike Delabar drove from the midfield towards the goal and put one by the Thieves keeper to bring the deficit down to four. But the Thieves scored two quick ones to take a 13-7 lead. Delabar went solo for another score with 6:10 left but the Thieves answered walking away with a 14-8 victory keeping them undefeated while the Bucks were alone in third place for another week.

     Every single guy played his heart out. Mark Bell took most of the faceoffs trying to turn them into ground ball contests. Curran Sullivan followed around his Thieves matchup like he was his next meal. Brett Tietjen ran the offence making sure to keep the pace at a winnable level and Alex Jessup and Dustin Doty were fearless on both ends of the field. And I can’t leave out a play that happened right in front of me by the box. Sean Kane was chasing an errant Buck pass that was headed to the sideline. He dove under the Thieves player that had a step on him and “raked” the ball forward to a Bucks player. He saved the possession and the Hills squad rewarded him with a score. That was just one example how everyone played and why I was so proud of this team yesterday.

     The league shuts down next Sunday for Easter. The Bucks will host the San Diego Lacrosse Club the following week at Culver City High School at 3:330. It should be a great game as the Bucks will be looking for revenge after the San Diego squad took them down in the SCLAX 2021 Championship.

by posted 04/11/2022




Contact: Josh Nelson

              Gary Greenbaum

              Alex Jessup