Obie Barnes Sr. made a plea to Obie Barnes Jr. late in yesterday's Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference lacrosse championship game at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. All it did was help Forest Park High School to an 8-6 victory over Lake Clifton.
"I told him, 'Please, son, don't leave me these kinds of memories after four years,' " Barnes Sr., the Forest Park coach, said.
The junior Barnes, a senior midfielder, had played sluggishly early on. He had no words for his father's plea, but his actions spoke volumes.
After Lake Clifton (10-3) had rallied from a 5-2 deficit to tie the score at 5 with 5:45 left, Barnes scored two unassisted goals to put Forest Park (14-0) ahead by 7-5.
Lake Clifton closed to 7-6 with 37 seconds left. But Barnes gave Brian Bailey an excellent pass, and Bailey scored with 22 seconds left to put the game away.
The younger Barnes finished with three goals and an assists. Sophomore midfielder Heath Jones helped carry the load for the Foresters early and finished with a goal and three assists.
"This is the first championship for us as father and son," said the elder Barnes, who has coached his son the past four years on Forest Park's varsity football and lacrosse teams. "This is especially nice because of the way Obie came through when we really needed him."
His son, the C Conference's regular-season scoring leader, spent most of the afternoon taking more verbal shots from his father than shots at the goal.
It wasn't until after a 10-minute rain delay that Barnes got going. And it wasn't a coincidence that the rain got Barnes on track.
"It cooled me off," the younger Barnes said. "It was real humid, and my chest was congested."
Yesterday's victory marked the first time Obie Sr. and Obie Jr. had won a title in four tries.
Last year, the Foresters reached the championship game with an 11-0 record before losingto Walbrook; in 1987 they lost to Northern. Forest Park also lost the B Conference football championship game in 1987 to City.
"I'll never coach OJ again, but you couldn't ask for a better finish," his father said.