Live Oak senior Nolan Ledwith puts a shot on goal in the Acorns’ April 10 game against Christopher High. Photo: Jonathan Natividad

The Live Oak boys lacrosse team is rolling to the Blossom Valley Athletic League title. The Acorns are 5-0 and have outscored opponents 72-8. The recent first-place showdown with Christopher High resulted in an 11-1 win, with three Acorn goals from Kenyon Castro and two each by Ben Ledwith and Ryan Forbis.

Live Oak also has big wins over Pioneer by tallies of 15-2 and 14-0, an 18-3 win against Leland and 14-2 triumph versus city rival Sobrato.

At home against the Cougars on April 10, Live Oak led 2-0 after one quarter and 5-1 at halftime. Ledwith started the scoring with a tight-angle close-in score and passed to Castro for another. Tanner Holeman bounced in a rocket to open the second quarter, Sam Ellingson fired in a shot off the post and Austin Woods scored before the break. Evan Vernon contributed the sole Christopher score. 

After halftime, Live Oak kept ball control with accurate passing, dominated time of possession and fought hard on defense to keep CHS contained. Nonetheless, the game was a step forward for Christopher as they lost 21-0 to the Acorns last year.

“It went awesome,” Ben Ledwith said. “The key is our tenacity and our hard work to get ground balls. Our team chemistry is really good. Our defense is amazing. Our defensive IQ is very strong; that comes from the film room.”

In the second half, Luke Richey opened the scoring with a huge individual effort, fighting off several defenders. Physical play through the defense is not surprising to see from Richey, a star on the Live Oak football team. 

Castro assisted Forbis for a tally later in the period. In the final stanza, Ledwith scored, Castro came from behind the net to score and then did it again, and Forbis added the final goal.

“We executed our game plan well,” Live Oak coach Gavin Herr said. “Offensively, we’re shooting more shots and we are focusing on time of possession. We took good care of the ball and we took good shots. Our defense was doing a good job. We contested every single shot and forced them into uncomfortable possessions.”

Herr cited Forbis, Lucas Marcheschi, Dylan Fisher and goalkeeper Kyle Carmichael for top-notch defensive efforts.

For the season, Ledwith and Castro lead the way with 18 goals each and Richey has 14. Castro has contributed eight assists, with Ledwith and Ellingson adding five each.

Other big contributors for Live Oak include Jack Spinella, Holeman, Nolan Ledwith, Keaton Dietz, Xavier Bonilla, Tyler Lang and Everette Mahler.

The Acorns are 6-3 overall. In non-league matches, Herr has scheduled tough tests to harden the Acorns with an eye to the upcoming Central Coast Section playoffs. 

This will be the fourth season of CCS boys lacrosse playoffs and Live Oak is looking to improve upon last year. That 16-3 season included a league title and a 9-8 playoff victory over Archbishop Mitty to reach the CCS quarterfinals, where they lost to Sacred Heart Prep.

“Our team goals are to win a championship,” Ben Ledwith said. “We have built up this program and we want to leave it better than we found it.”

Live Oak senior Ben Ledwith looks to make a pass against the Christopher High defense on April 10. Photo: Jonathan Natividad
Live Oak senior Kenyon Castro celebrates a goal by doing a backflip during the Acorns’ April 10 game against Christopher High. Photo: Jonathan Natividad
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