In a year in which Lakeside High set boys county records for wins (12), goals scored (194) and assists (118), Panthers’senior midfielder Alexander Bowen played a key role in each of those achievements.
Bowen, a three-year Panthers captain, scored 21 goals and handed out 28 assists and was named the The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year.
“I’m just really flattered by it, I think it’s pretty cool,” Bowen said. “I don’t think anybody would say that they’re upset to have it.”
In addition to being an offensive threat, Bowen played on all-even defense, and some man-down defense.
“We feel Alex has a very high lacrosse IQ and it showed in his play,” said coach Ron Ritter, who added that midfield was a team strength in 2014.
Bowen’s team-first attitude was reflected in his goal-to-assist ratio.
“My dad always teased me about trying to take the shot more often,” Bowen said. “I get more satisfaction out of a goal that pings between two or three players. I think it looks better.”
His willingness to help others is reflected in his choice of college. With different offers thrown his way, Bowen decided to play lacrosse for military college Norwich (Vt.) University in the fall.
“I think for my future it best sets me up for connections and my studies and staying on track with what I need to do,” said Bowen, whose father and mother served in the military and his sister is in the Air Force. “I owe four years of active duty after I graduate. That gives me the chance to travel like I want. They have study abroad and I can go to Australia. I wouldn’t mind being stationed in Germany.”
Cadet coach Neal Anderson had a strong influence on his decision as well.
“He’s really driven on the players themselves and not just focused on winning,” Bowen said. “He wants to make the best out of every person and he’s just an all-around great guy and he’s experienced.”
While moving on, he’ll fondly recall his lacrosse days at Lakeside.
“The thing I’ll remember the most are all the players that I’ve played with, teammates, and how each of them grew and how I grew as a person and a player alongside them,” said Bowen. “Lacrosse is a huge part of my high school career.”