The Beth Tfiloh boys varsity lacrosse team won the school’s first-ever Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championship on May 25 at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field. The feat was heightened by the fact that the Warriors were playing without any of their seniors, who were on the school’s annual senior trip to Israel and Poland. And BT was playing a team, Indian Creek of Crownsville, Md., that had beaten the Eagles by five goals earlier in the season.
This was Beth Tfiloh’s fourth consecutive year competing for the championship. The game was a nail-biter with a back-and-forth of goals keeping the score close until an hour-and-a-half delay for weather froze the game, 8-8, with less than four minutes to play. When the game resumed. Scott Tepper, a junior, scored the game-winner, his fifth goal of the game, giving BT (15-2) the title.
“Being in [the championship], all of us juniors realized that it was time to step up, that we could get it done if we put in a lot of effort and hard work,” Tepper said. “As a junior lacrosse player at Beth Tfiloh, it will be my last year in the playoffs [because of the Israeli trip for seniors], so I put my heart into it.”
Tepper was particularly proud of this victory.
“We played without any seniors,” he said. “And it was hard because our starters played more or less the entire game without substitutions. Playing against a team with more people is just harder, but we were able to push through and play stronger.”
Justin Tepper, Scott’s brother and a sophomore at Beth Tfiloh, also played an integral role in the victory, winning all 10 faceoffs in the first half and 14 of 18 for the game.
“Really, the faceoffs were the biggest factor because it gave us the extra possessions that we really needed,” he said. “With those, we were able to keep the ball for longer and take more shots.”
Bob Bieschke, the Warriors’ head coach, was not surprised that his team came through despite its earlier loss to Indian Creek.
“The first game was two days after Passover; we just weren’t gelling,” he said. “This time, the boys were focused, had a mission and did the job. I’m very proud of them. They rose up and you can’t ask for more than the heart they showed. It says a lot for the program and the boys to go to a championship four years straight and finally win one.”
The game took place the night before BT’s last day of classes.
“It was a great way to end our school year on such a high note,” said Renee Koplon, principal of BT’s high school. “It was such a proud moment, for the school and for me as the principal.”
“I think winning this lacrosse championship for our school is also big for the Jewish community,” said Justin Tepper. “The MIAA has been called one of the best high school athletic conferences [in the country] and [we showed that] an all-Jewish team can win a championship in it.”