Hickman lacrosse coach Jamie Mullen gets to keep his bragging rights.
Mullen and the Kewpies defeated the Rock Bridge Bruins 8-6 on Friday at Cosmopolitan Park to gain possession of the Golden Crosse, a gold-painted lacrosse stick that hangs from a plaque.
A friendly rivalry has developed between Mullen and Jared Diamond, the Rock Bridge lacrosse coach. They played together for the Missouri lacrosse team for coach Kyle Hawkins.
“Jamie’s a great friend of mine and a great coach,” Diamond said.
Mullen said: “Jared and I are used to jabbing at each other from our playing days. We appreciate the chance to play against each other and match wits. He’s a great guy and a good friend of mine.”
The Rock Bridge players have looked to win the Golden Crosse after losing to the Kewpies 10-6 on March 18.
“This is a game that our players always look forward to and mark on their schedule,” Mullen said. “So far, we’ve been fortunate to dominate them every year, and we’re trying to keep that trend going. There’s a lot of extra pride involved.”
Diamond said: “It’s always disappointing when you lose, but our guys played a hard 48 minutes.”
Hickman junior attackman Zach Nikin and senior midfielder Devin Coleman each scored three goals.
Nikin’s goals came in the third quarter to bring Hickman out of a 4-4 tie.
Three minutes into the third quarter, Nikin took a pass from Chris Hurst on a breakaway, and without slowing, fired it past the goalie for his second goal of the quarter.
“Three games ago Zach really elevated his play,” Mullen said. “We looked to him as the staple of our attack along with Chris Hurst. He muscled up, and I think our guys fed off his energy.”
There was a large crowd to watch the game, which was the senior night for both teams. Eleven players from the Kewpies and five from the Bruins are graduating.
“This is the largest crowd that these two teams have played for,” Mullen said about the fans that packed the bleachers and covered the hill adjacent to the field.
“This game has been around (in Columbia) for six years now, and you’re starting to see little kids around with lacrosse sticks,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing.”