Camerons are Bishop Guertin’s First Family for lacrosse

EXETER – The Cameron household is no stranger to NHIAA boys lacrosse gold.

Chris Cameron has coached Bishop Guertin to nine Division titles, spanning 13 consecutive trips to the state championship. All the while, his sons, Brian and Sean, have been cheering from the sidelines.

Even though Cardinal crowns have become commonplace, championship No. 9 was special.

Saturday’s 11-6 triumph over archrival Pinkerton was truly a family feat.

One minute and five seconds into the championship pitting programs that have combined for 19 of 24

NHIAA D-I boys lacrosse titles, Brian and Sean Cameron each had already rifled a shot to the back of the net for an early 2-0 edge.

Brian Cameron, a junior attackman who took Division I Player of the Year honors, completed a hat trick with 7:48 left in the third quarter to give the Cardinals a lead BG never relinquished.

Sean Cameron, a freshman, also tallied a hat trick in the championship.

His third goal was the fourth quarter’s lone score in Guertin’s second-half runaway.

“I told my team (Friday) at practice this was my

favorite year,” Coach Cameron said Saturday night following the Cardinals’ second straight title and eighth in 10 years. “I’ve enjoyed so many teams. Last year’s team was so much easier to coach. There was a different dynamic. But just having my boys on the team made it the most special season I’ve had.”

Brian Cameron was ecstatic to finally be on the field, fulfilling the dreams planted a dozen years earlier.

“It’s an awesome feeling. I think I’ve watched every single championship since 2005, so both my dad being the coach and having Sean and finally being out here playing is just an unbelievable experience,” Brian Cameron said. “It’s great. I’ve been watching every single practice since I was young. I was biggest fan for 10 years and now I’m out here.”

Chris Cameron has enjoyed the opportunity to coach his boys to a high school title, knowing full well that even though they’re brothers, there’s plenty to distinguish the duo.

“They’re two very different kids,” their father explained. “Brian, on Thursday night, is yelling ‘Let’s go!’ He’s ready to play and Sean’s like, ‘I’ve got finals tomorrow.’ They’re both very, very different.”

Including the 2017 expectations.

Brian Cameron is listed at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds as a junior and is committed to play collegiately at the University of North Carolina. Although Sean Cameron is also highly touted and has already committed to the University of Maryland, he’s just developing at 5-9, 140 pounds.

“I knew Brian was going to have the year that he had, as far as Player of the Year and All-American,” Coach Cameron said. “I didn’t know what to expect from Sean being a 14-year-old kid playing at the varsity level. Every day he surprised me. He always pleasantly amazes me.”

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS

The offensive firepower of the Cameron brothers certainly helped the Cardinals, but the defensive turnaround was the key. After scoring six goals in the first 18 minutes, BG shut down the Astros from the midway through the second quarter to the end of the game.

Christian Trahan’s work in faceoffs, coupled with Doug Barker’s defensive persistence on Pinkerton star Ryan Auger paved the way to th dominant second half. Colin Casey also made every stop in net to prevent any possible Pinkerton momentum.

“It’s not one person. It’s the whole team defense,” Coach Cameron said. “The best defense is having the ball. The best defense is a good offense – and that was Christian Trahan. He started winning the faceoffs.

“Colin was making saves,” Cameron added. “Barker, we challenged him on Auger, because Auger was the one matchup we were worried about. He was just completely able to handle him in the second half. Auger is a great player, an All-American level player.”

RIVALRY RENEWED

Bishop Guertin has played Pinkerton in the past five Division I championships, and nine times in the title game since 2005. Saturday’s win draws the Cardinals only one title short of Pinkerton’s state-leading 10 crowns.

“If we didn’t have them, we could get complacent,” coach Cameron said. “It makes us better.”

Over the past three seasons, the team to win the regular-season meeting has lost the championship game. Bishop Guertin’s 7-5 loss to the Astros at Stellos on May 1 served as a wake-up call.

“After losing the first game on May 1, it really fueled our fire,” Brian Cameron explained. “With that being said, I don’t think we need to lose to be fired up to play Pinkerton. Every year, we don’t like them, they don’t like us. I like a lot of the individuals. I play with a lot of them. But once they put on that red jersey and we put on that green jersey, we don’t like each other.”

It makes for a fierce confrontation among friends.

“They all really like each other. My son, Sean, some of his best friends are guys on that team,” Coach Cameron said. “When you wear a Pinkerton uniform and a BG uniform, it kind of goes away. There’s nothing dirty, there’s nothing cheap out there. It’s good hard, clean lacrosse because we respect their coaching staff and their players.”

Until the next chapter, bragging rights belong to BG.