Tahoma’s Brian Johnson, Bellevue’s Ashkaan Jaberi named prep lacrosse coaches of year in Washington state

Tahoma’s Brian Johnson, Bellevue’s Ashkaan Jaberi named prep lacrosse coaches of year in Washington state

 Lake Tapps volunteer named Person of Year; Auburn Riverside, South Kitsap earn Team Sportsmanship Awards

SEATTLE – Tahoma High School boys lacrosse coach Brian Johnson has been named Coach of The Year and Bellevue High School assistant Ashkaan Jaberi has been named Assistant Coach of The Year by the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association.

The two standout prep lacrosse leaders were honored along with longtime Lake Tapps Lacrosse Club Kathi Lucchesi as Person of the Year and Auburn Riverside and South Kitsap High Schools as Team Sportsmanship Award recipients as a part of the league’s annual awards program.


2014 Coach of the Year – Brian Johnson, Head Coach, Tahoma High School
A second-year head coach for the Tahoma program with just six seniors on his roster, Brian Johnson guided Tahoma to the Division I SPSL/Narrows Conference crown. With a 13-5-0 record, Johnson’s Bears advanced to the semifinals of the Washington lacrosse Boys State Tournament where they fell to eventual state runner up Issaquah by a single goal.


Tahoma High School boys lacrosse coach Brian Johnson (Photo: Tahoma High School Lacrosse)

“This award is recognition of the hard work are kids put in for the program. We’ve fostered a close-knit family group similar to when I played,” said Johnson, a former prep football running back and basketball point guard at Tahoma who won a state lacrosse title in 1999 playing under Washington state lacrosse hall of fame coach Vern Smith.

This year, five Johnson-coached student-athletes were tapped with SPSL/Narrows All-Conference honors including first-team selections Hudson Taylor and Brody Sullivan, both juniors, and second-team honorees junior Dakoda Barger and sophomore Macen Granlund. Sophomore Nate Gowdey earned honorable mention recognition.

“We practice very hard and purposely create competition between our offense and defense,” said Johnson who assisted Smith, a winner of the award in 1999, for five years before taking over the program in 2013.

“On game days everything comes together. But it starts with competition. That desire to work toward something – never being satisfied to where you’re at that makes us successful,” he said. “It’s the morals and ethics that you teach the kids that really speaks to the character and success of the whole program.”


Bellevue High School boys assistant lacrosse coach Ashkan Jaberi (Photo: Bellevue High School)

2014 Assistant Coach of the Year – Ashkaan Jaberi, Bellevue High School
Bellevue High School boys assistant Ashkaan Jaberi was named Assistant Coach of the Year after the defensive specialist helped guide the Wolverines to their third consecutive Washington state title with a shut-out win over rival Issaquah.

The award is the first for Jaberi, a 2007 Bellevue graduate and club lacrosse player at the University of Washington, who just this fall helped guide the Wolverines football program to another state title as an assistant working with the offensive line under head coach Butch Goncharoff.

“Ashkaan is extremely valuable to our program. He brings a fresh young energy, has a great eye for the game and a strong work ethic,” Bellevue lacrosse coach John Baumann said. “Ashkaan is a strong roll model for all of our student-athletes.”

2014 Person of the Year – Kathi Lucchesi, Lake Tapps Lacrosse Club
Long-time Lake Tapps Lacrosse Club volunteer and Auburn Riverside High School parent Kathi Lucchesi has been named 2014 Person of the Year by the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association. It’s the third consecutive Person of the Year award for Lucchesi who volunteers as WHSBLA league secretary and serves on the board of directors of the South Sound youth lacrosse club of some 300 third and fourth graders through high school aged youth in the Lake Tapps, Auburn, Bonney Lake, Buckley, Enumclaw, Sumner and White River communities.

2014 Everet Smith Team Sportsmanship Awards – Auburn Riverside High School, South Kitsap High School
Auburn Riverside High School and South Kitsap High School have been honored with the Washington High Boys Lacrosse Association Everet Smith Team Sportsmanship Awards for 2014.

Auburn Riverside, under the guidance of head coach Louis Lucchesi, finished the Division I regular season with a 13-3-0 record to advance to the Washington Lacrosse Boys State Tournament before falling to eventual state champion Bellevue High School in the state semifinals.

Division II winner South Kitsap, led by head coach Juliua Ifurung, struggled to find a win this season finishing with a 0-12-0 record.

While completing the season with very different outcomes, both squads competed with dignity and honor, holding their opponents in high esteem while honoring the game of lacrosse.

The Everet Smith Team Sportsmanship Award, named for the late Northwest lacrosse pioneer and Washington State Lacrosse Hall of Famer Everet Smith, recognizes Washington state high school lacrosse teams that exemplifies the highest level of sportsmanship during the season.

About Lacrosse in Washington State
Lacrosse has over 100 years of history in Washington state with clubs playing in the early 1900s and high schools now in their fourth decade of state competition.  With Native American origins, lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports on the continent and today is considered the fastest growing sport in America.  In Washington state, some 4,000 student-athletes attending over 200 high schools play prep lacrosse, while another 6,000 play lacrosse at the youth, adult and collegiate club levels throughout the state. For more information on high school lacrosse in Washington state visit http://www.WashingtonHSLAX.com.



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