Seahawks, Mallards Renew Rivalries

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BERLIN- Area lacrosse fans will be treated to a special double feature this afternoon when the Worcester Prep girls’ varsity team takes on cross-town rival Stephen Decatur at home and the Mallards’ boys’ varsity team takes on Decatur over at Seahawk Stadium.

More than a few fans of both schools will take in the first half of the double header at Worcester Prep where the men’s varsity teams face off at 4 p.m., then scurry over to Decatur for the women’s varsity game which begins at 5:30 p.m. It’s always special when the Mallards and the Seahawks face off in lacrosse and this year’s highly anticipated match-ups will be no different. It isn’t often that the two games are played on the same day, but it happens this afternoon at two different venues with overlapping times.

Players from both schools have grown up playing with and against each other in various youth leagues, winter indoor leagues and tournament travel teams and both are very familiar with each other. If it’s true that familiarity breeds contempt, the expression only applies between the lines on the lacrosse field for Worcester and Decatur. From whistle to whistle, both teams will play a knock-down, drag-out lacrosse game, but after the game, players on both teams will share handshakes and hugs and tell war stories.

With the Worcester teams playing in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference and the Decatur teams playing in the Bayside Conference, there is little at stake in terms of the standings or rankings. What is at stake, however, are bragging rights for the next year.

Worcester Prep’s programs have been around much longer and thus have a deeper tradition, but Decatur has leveled the playing field and even surpassed Worcester in recent years in some respects. The annual neighborhood rivalry has produced some memorable contests for both the boys and the girls over the years.

In 2007, the highly anticipated match-up between the Worcester and Decatur boys included a little bit of everything including rumbling thunder, a 30-minute lightning delay, great shots, big hits and lots of penalties, but in the end, the Mallards edged the Seahawks, 8-7, in front of a big bi-partisan crowd at Decatur. Decatur led 4-3 at the half, but Worcester tied it at 4-4 early in the third quarter before the skies opened up and play was halted. When play resumed, the two teams traded goals on big play after big play before the Mallards escaped with the 8-7 win.

Last year, the Decatur girls’ got the best of their cross-rivals, beating the Mallards, 6-4. On the boys’ side, the Seahawks beat the Mallards, 13-8, behind Logan West, who dominated the face-off battle and also scored five goals.

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