The Man in the Cage

By Carlo Jimenez ’19

It’s game day for the Bellarmine lacrosse team. As everybody gets ready in a packed, smelly locker room there is one calming force among the 26 jerseys.

With images of Rocky in his head, Louis Harvey ’19 puts on his goalie pads, sweatpants, and grabs his stick as he heads out early to warm up. Coming off being first team all-league, in his third year starting in front of the cage, and only allowing double-digit goals twice in the last two seasons, the scouting report on the Bells always reads “they have an outstanding goalie.”

Louis runs out every game and taps the crossbar the same way. Top, left, and then right. “It’s a consistency thing, it centers me,” he said. But Louis Harvey hasn’t always been so comfortable in front of the cage. In fact, he wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.

“I started off as an attackman,” said the former 1st team all-leaguer. “One day I was in my front yard passing with my brother and he threw me a bad pass and I caught it and he said, ‘you should play goalie.’” Louis began playing as a full-time goalie around 6th grade and fell in love with the position.

“I really loved it,” said Louis. “I was never the fastest, [but] I was always [the] bigger kid.”

Louis’s first start came on April 4th, 2017 against the Serra Padres. “We won the game 14-3. I played well, could’ve played better, could’ve stopped 3 more balls,” he said. As Louis recalled his past games, the constant need for improvement always came up in his responses.

Louis doesn’t mask the fact he was pretty nervous for that first start. “There were a lot of nerves, I was super overwhelmed but I wanted to prove to [the team] I belonged and it was important to me,” he said.

He took every game seriously and ended up as the 3rd best goalie in the league that season. In addition, Louis was named to 2nd team all-league as a sophomore. “I wasn’t expecting to play but then I did. But getting 2nd team all-league, I was like yeah!” Despite his honorary mention during sophomore year, Louis wasn’t satisfied. “I felt like I could’ve gotten first team and asked [myself] why I didn’t get it,” he said. Once again, Louis always looks for places to improve even when he surpasses everyone’s expectations, including his own.

When Louis entered junior year, he wanted to be a leader. “[I] started leading warmups and took the offseason before [my] junior year a lot more seriously, stepping up to [my] leadership position,” he said. As Louis improved his game, so did the Bells.

April 18th, 2018. One game stands out to every Bellarmine lacrosse fan in the 2017-2018 season. “Honestly I think that was one of the best games I’ve ever played.” Number 30 played a crucial role in the game against Saint Ignatius as he made save after save in order to give SI their first league loss, ever. “I made all the saves I should have,” he said, and it was on the 16th save that Louis passed it ahead to freshman Dominic Bravo ’21 who finished the play and scored. “I have never been happier about a win in my entire life,” said Lou.

“Making a save that you had no business making” is what gets Louis going. “That’s what pumps blood through my veins,” he said. There is no better feeling for the team captain than an unexpected save. For Louis, he makes that save quite often.

As Louis participates in his final season with the Bells, the nerves still get to him on occasion. “Now I still get nerves because I take this very seriously, but it’s not as intense as the first time [I played],” he said. Louis has grown a lot since his start against Serra, stating, “My reaction time is better, my stance is different, I’m louder, I’m in much better shape, and I have better knowledge of the sport.”

Louis has one goal in mind this season. “Stop balls and win games,” he said. However, his senior year campaign brings along new challenges.

The Bells had a lot of turnovers this year as a program and a brand-new starting defense. After starting the year by losing WCAL honorable mention Nick Pristine ’20 and WCAL 2nd teamer Dominic Bravo ’21 to injury, more so than ever Louis has become the rock of the defense with 0 minutes of combined varsity experience. “It’s been harder for me to keep my cool but that’s part of being a leader,” said Louis.

As the Bells continue the 2019 season with Louis Harvey leading the way, all he can do is thank the game for all that it has done for him. “I have never loved a sport like I love Lacrosse and it has brought me so many great memories, it has allowed me to travel the country, and to become friends with awesome new people that I love, I love every minute of it.”