Corona owns rivalry

NEWPORT BEACH — G.W. Mix joined the staff of the Corona del Mar High boys' lacrosse team as a volunteer assistant two years ago to help his son.

He is now in his second season as the Sea Kings' head coach. The man at the other end of the sideline Friday night used to be the coach Mix was under.

Mark Todd has returned to coaching after stepping down as CdM's coach two years ago. The move never surprised Mix, not even the fact that Todd is now with the Sea Kings' rival, Newport Harbor.

The two programs met at Newport Harbor, but nothing has changed. The Sea Kings still own the Battle of the Bay, winning 8-3 in front of a good-sized crowd.

"I thought the game was pretty well contested," Mix said. "As it always is, [it was] pretty heated, pretty aggressive."

Mix and Todd even exchanged words during the match. Mix had the last ones after he said CdM claimed the rivalry game for the sixth straight season.

The most recent victory was not as one-sided as the ones in the past. The Sea Kings led, 1-0, after the first quarter.

Newport Harbor kept it competitive until Michael Keasey scored two of his three goals in the second quarter, putting the Sea Kings up, 4-0, at halftime.

There was a reason for the slow start by CdM. Keasey is only one of three starters back from last season's CdM team advancing to the U.S. Lacrosse Orange County Southern Section Division I title game.

"We're a really young team," Keasey said. "We lost 17 seniors [to graduation]. It's a bit of a rebuilding year. We have a lot of young guys, so we're trying to get the guys going."

Keasey, a junior, picked up the Sea Kings (3-1), along with junior Michael Ortlieb.

Ortlieb started as an attacker last season. Instead of scoring goals this season, he's preventing them. Ortlieb made a handful of great saves.

It took Newport Harbor (3-3) almost 30 minutes to find the back of the net for the first time.

Matt Buchanan scored with 6:13 left in the third quarter, but CdM was in control with a 5-1 lead.

Mix's son, Casey, pushed the advantage to five in the fourth quarter.

Casey finally scored after he had a goal disallowed in the third quarter after it was discovered he used an illegal stick.

Casey, a sophomore, is one of three new starting attackers. He is trying to fill the shoes left by his older brother, Ryan, who is a freshman at Notre Dame.

Coach Mix might be at CdM for a while, which means he and Todd will coach against each other again.

"I don't know," said Mix if he will be coaching after Casey graduates. "The little guy, the water boy, Kyle, [is my other son and] he's 9. Kyle hasn't decided if he wants to pick up the stick yet and I'm not sure I want to convince him to do it."

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