‘Sanibel Five’ help Sharks to victory in Southwest Florida Lacrosse League
Five Sanibel lacrosse players – Matt Dibiase, John Pfeifer, Peyton (P-Dog) Smith, Michael Stufano and Kirk Williams – played for the Black Sharks in the Junior Division of the Southwest Florida Lacrosse League this spring.
The lacrosse league is based in Fort Myers and consists of approximately 200 players in three age divisions. The Squirts are ages 6-8, Juniors are ages 9 to 11 and Seniors are ages 12-14.
In addition to playing against the other three teams in their division, the Black Sharks also played teams from Sarasota and Naples. For all of the Sanibel boys it was either their second or third year playing lacrosse.
Dibiase and Smith both played attack positions and each scored many goals for the Sharks throughout the year. Stufano and Williams played midfield and, in addition to covering both ends of the field, handled face off duties for the team. Pfeifer was a key member of the defense, which turned away many opposing attackers and stopped many goals throughout the year.
In the final week of the season, the Sharks squared off against the White Rattlers in the championship game. The teams had been very evenly matched throughout the year and all involved knew the final game would be a battle. The teams traded goals throughout the game and entered the fourth quarter tied. The Rattlers scored to take the lead, but the Sharks came back to tie the score at 7-7 with two minutes to go.
The Rattlers controlled the ensuing face off and had several shot attempts before Williams was able to scoop up a loose ball with one minute to go. Coach Mike Reilly called an immediate time out to give the boys a rest for the final rush.
After the timeout, Stufano charged down field with the ball as the crowd roared. He then threw a long pass to Williams, who approached the goal looking for the final shot. As the defense collapsed on him, Williams found Smith wide open in front of the goal. Peyton effortlessly caught the pass and, in Pfeifer’s words, “buried the shot!”
With just 20 seconds remaining, the Sharks were then able to run the clock out for the victory.
The Southwest Florida Lacrosse League runs from mid-January through April each year. The league’s emphasis is on developing player’s skills in a fun environment. For further information visit www.swflacrosse.com. Registration for next season will begin in the fall.