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THE GRIND: West Forsyth boys lacrosse turns to Bagwell for lift
Grind Reed 5 042915 web
West Forsyth junior Reed Bagwell had 35 goals and 17 assists through 15 games this season as he becomes a greater focus of the Wolverines attack. - photo by Micah Green

West Forsyth coach John Laden described his junior “middie,” Reed Bagwell, as a coach on the field. Bagwell, who plays midfield for the Wolverines’ boy’s lacrosse team, is as mentally sound on the field turf as he is physically, and it has translated into him becoming the facilitator of West’s attack.

Bagwell didn’t even know what lacrosse was until his current teammate, Justin Kabo, handed him a flier for lacrosse tryouts in the fourth grade.

Now he doesn’t just watch his own game film; he’s constantly rummaging through YouTube videos looking for anyone and everyone’s tape on different ways to attack defenses. He’s also constantly lifting up his team as a vocal leader.

“He’s our trigger man,” Laden said. “Skill-wise, he has great field vision, great defense, he’s a good assist guy, but this year what’s most special is the fact he’s turned into a tremendous leader for us. He went from a young boy with a lot of God-given talent and hard-working talent, but he’s become a vibrant young man. He’s almost like a second coach for me.”

As the years have gone on, Bagwell’s numbers tell the story. As a true freshman, thrust into varsity lacrosse, Bagwell had 24 assists to 20 goals.

“When I was a freshman it was a transition from middle school lacrosse,” Bagwell said. “You didn’t want to mess up because you were scared, as the little guy, if the juniors or seniors were going to get mad at you. I pretty much focused on doing my thing and making sure I gave them the ball.”

In 10th grade he scored 30 goals to 18 assists. This season, through 15 games, he’s scored 35 goals and offered 17 assists. Clearly, the game has continued to orbit around Bagwell. As the numbers changed, so did his sense of leadership as the team around him got younger.

“I definitely wasn’t the go-to guy my freshman year,” Bagwell said. “I was on the field, but wasn’t doing much. Last year and this year coach has come to me a lot to get things going for the team, get them pumped up and put them on my back sometimes.”
Bagwell said that’s been the case in “six or seven” games.

The Wolverines haven’t had a banner season in 2015, now at 5-10 after a four-game win streak was snapped against Chattahoochee on April 24, but Bagwell said the team isn’t backing down.

“You have to keep working. You can’t give up because you’re going to be behind.” Bagwell said.

Bagwell’s focus will shift to his senior season with hopes of returning West to playoff form. Afterward, he’ll head south to the school he’s already verbally committed to in Jacksonville University.

“He’s worked very hard to achieve that goal. He’s had his dream come true which is a credit to the hard work he’s put in,” Laden said.