LSJ boys lacrosse player of the year: Okemos' Bennett Sherman

LSJ boys lacrosse player of the year: Okemos' Bennett Sherman

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LSJ boys lacrosse player of the year: Okemos' Bennett Sherman

Bennett Sherman, of Okemos, accepts the award for Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year at the Lansing State Journal's Greater Lansing Sports Awards Show show Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at the Lansing Center.

Bennett Sherman, of Okemos, accepts the award for Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year at the Lansing State Journal’s Greater Lansing Sports Awards Show show Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at the Lansing Center.

Bennett Sherman,11,of Okemos lines up a shot on the Notre Dame Prep goal during its Division 2 Regional Final June 3, 2016 in DeWitt.

Bennett Sherman,11,of Okemos lines up a shot on the Notre Dame Prep goal during its Division 2 Regional Final June 3, 2016 in DeWitt.

OKEMOS – Bennett Sherman can thank his family for his impactful prep lacrosse career.

Sherman, who grew up playing mainly football and hockey, was handed a lacrosse stick sometime in the fifth grade. His parents signed him up for a league, despite not being too familiar with the sport – a game many people claim is a mix between his two childhood favorites.

Parent’s know best.

“I just couldn’t stop playing,” Sherman said.

The senior attacker recently put a bow on one of the most decorated careers in Okemos history. Sherman, who scored more than 80 goals this season, helped the Chiefs capture their second straight Division 2 regional championship, a year after he contributed to their first-ever showing in the state championship.

LSJ boys lacrosse Dream Team, all-area team

Sherman went on to be named a first team all-state selection, as well as the State Journal boys lacrosse player of the year, after guiding Okemos to the state semifinals.

“From a talent perspective, I don’t know if we’ve had anyone better from the middle part of the state,” said Shawn Grady, who retired at the end of the year after he coached the Chiefs for 15 seasons. “He’s kind of mellow. You wouldn’t think he has one of those competitive sides to him, but it’s there.

“He’s not one of those guys that thinks you have to listen to him. He does it with style and class.”

LSJ boys lacrosse coach of the year: Okemos’ Shawn Grady

Aside from capturing the above personal accolades, Sherman said he wanted to come into the season and “carry on the legacy of the seniors” before him. Sherman nearly propelled No. 6-ranked Okemos back into the state semifinals when he netted a team-high seven goals in a 16-15 double-overtime loss to No. 5-ranked East Grand Rapids.

“It’s always a big goal to take it one step further than we did the year before,” he said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t do that. But there’s no doubt in my mind that everyone played their heart out in that last game.”

Sherman, who will attend Michigan State this fall, said he’s always wanted to follow in the footsteps of the talented players before him. And he did so by helping the Chiefs reach heights that were foreign prior to him joining the program.

“I always knew I could carry on the legacy of both the boys and girls players if I put my mind to it,” Sherman said. “I couldn’t have done (any of this) without my teammates and line mates.”

Contact James L. Edwards III at jledwards@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.

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