Boys Lacrosse

Lacrosse cousins etching names into Lakota East, Lakota West record books

WEST CHESTER TWP. — AJ Harrison found his cousin Reice Hafl after Lakota East faced off against Lakota West on the lacrosse field Tuesday night at Firebird Stadium.

The two seniors posed for family members to take a couple pictures.

It would be one of the last times they’d compete against each other before they head off to play at different colleges next year. So, the moment has become more and more special.

“We’re pretty tight I’d say,” Harrison said. “We’re pretty close.”

Harrison elaborated that he’s always checking up on Hafl. And vice versa.

“We hang out a lot,” Hafl chimed in. “Our relationship is very good actually.”

They’ve been best friends for nearly their entire lives, and the game of lacrosse has kept it that way.

Harrison is a standout attackman at Lakota East, while Hafl is a standout attackman at Lakota West.

It’s literally a — friendly — family divided.

“We’ve just stuck around playing lacrosse with each other,” Harrison said before laughing. “ … Or against each other.”

AJ Harrison (left) and Reice Hafl (right) when they were youngsters. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Both began to show interest in lacrosse early on in grade school, but there was a lull in competing alongside one another when they attended different junior high schools.

When they entered high school, Harrison and Hafl picked their competitive relationship back up.

“I’m always checking on the other end to see how he’s doing,” Harrison said. “I’m like, ‘Dang, he just scored. Now I’ve got to do something.’”

That was exact case Tuesday as Lakota East defeated Lakota West 9-3.

“Sometimes it goes well. But tonight, it really didn’t,” Hafl smirked. “He’s the one I respect on the other team the most. I always look at him and see what I need to do.”

Harrison explained that both have completely different playing styles. Hafl is more of the ball movement type, whereas Harrison can take a game over by himself at any time.

“I honestly love his play style more,” Harrison said of Hafl. “I think his playing style fits great for a team. Mine is a little bit more selfish.

“It makes me want to be more like him. I see him doing well, and I feel like I need to step up my game.”

Their game has etched Harrison and Hafl’s names into their respective school’s history books.

Harrison recently became Lakota East’s all-time leading scorer by surpassing the 72-goal mark. Hafl prior to that eclipsed 100 career points at Lakota West.

Their success will send them to the next level, as Harrison heads to Walsh University and Hafl to Indiana Tech.

“Obviously, this is our last year, so we’re making the best of it,” Hafl said. “This summer were probably going to relax, get together, work together and then go our separate ways.

“Our college teams don’t play on the schedule, so we will have one more time playing against each other. It’s kind of a last-ride thing coming up.”

Lakota East hosts Lakota West on April 25 to complete the season series.

“If only we could guard each other,” Harrison smiled. “We will have to settle for watching each other score goals I guess.”


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