Mix has CdM thinking perfection

Just the other day, Casey Mix ran behind schedule. He hadn't showered after his lacrosse practice at Corona del Mar High.

A dance awaited him in half an hour. He rushed into the shower to get ready.

"I'm more nervous than I have ever been before a lacrosse game," said Mix, who was looking forward to dancing to '80s music during CdM's Orchesis Dance Company show at Newport Harbor High. "I'm in a dance with nine other seniors."

Mix has shown off his moves before, but usually on a field while wearing a helmet and shoulder pads, carrying a stick and trying to score.

While Mix's dance routine the other night might have scored well if it was in a competition, his moves in lacrosse are hard to top. On the field, Mix has been perfect, as in, he's helped CdM win 33 straight games.

The winning streak began at the start of Mix's junior year and it has continued nine games into his senior year. A lot of the success is due to Mix staying healthy.

He played eight games as a freshman and 11 as a sophomore. A fractured vertebra sidelined him his first year and a fractured left leg his second year.

"It was really tough," Mix said of having to watch his teammates play without him. "I was determined to play four years and to help our team win and I couldn't finish each of the first two years."

Mix said there was no pressure to return to the game right away, even though his father, G.W., is the coach at CdM, and his brother, Ryan, was a star during his time at the school.

Mix even wore Ryan's old number after Ryan graduated in 2010 and left to play at Notre Dame. Mix put on No. 10 as a sophomore, and he barely competed in half of CdM's games that year.

The following year, Mix stuck with No. 10, and his junior season turned out to be a perfect 10.

Mix completed his first full season and the Sea Kings finished 24-0 and as U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section champions for the first time. G.W. likes to say his team doesn't talk about the past or the streak.

His son said it's hard to avoid the talk. He hears opponents talk about ruining the streak before games.

During the stretch, there have been some close calls. Twice in the past two weeks, CdM has pulled out one-goal wins.

Leave it up to two out-of-state teams to come close to ending the Sea Kings' streak. Colorado's Fort Collins and Mullen have each challenged CdM, ranked No. 4 in the state by laxpower.com. Mullen of Denver was the latest, but the Sea Kings staved off the threat Wednesday.

Mix assisted on Jack Ortlieb's goal-ahead goal in the fourth period. There was plenty of time left for more offense, Mix said, but in the final five minutes, the defense stopped Mullen and CdM held on for a 9-8 victory.

"Hoyt Crance made two unbelievable saves I had never seen a goalie make," said Mix, who also praised the defensive effort turned in by Brett Greenlee, Chad Redfearn and Hugh Crance. "Last year, we had seniors back there and now we have sophomores. They're big reasons why we're doing so well.

"There was talk that we wouldn't be as good this year after we lost seniors like [midfielder] Michael Keasey [to Yale] and [goalie] Michael Ortlieb [to Holy Cross] and our whole defense."

Mix and the rest of the Sea Kings are proving that they're still unbeatable.

Mix ranks second on the team with 46 points (28 goals and 18 assists), four behind Jack Ortlieb. The two are CdM's top attackers, leading the team past Danville Monte Vista, 13-5, in a meeting between two of the state's finest programs, and Newport Harbor, 15-7, in the Battle of the Bay rivalry game last week.

While Ortlieb wears No. 9, Mix is No. 43. He switched numbers before his final year because the No. 43 looks cool and makes him look bigger than 6-foot.

There's a shot CdM can match Mix's jersey number in terms of consecutive wins. He isn't thinking that far ahead. His dad won't let him.


Twitter: @DCPenaloza

Casey Mix

Born: June 3, 1994

Hometown: Philadelphia

Height: 6 feet

Weight: 170 pounds

Sport: Boys' lacrosse

Year: Senior

Coach: G.W. Mix

Favorite food: Chicken Parmesan

Favorite movie: "Warrior"

Favorite athletic moment: "Winning [the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section title]."

Week in review: Mix helped the Sea Kings past Danville Monte Vista, 13-5, and Newport Harbor, 15-7.

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