Derrick Brooks pushed through limits and pain to have a record-setting senior season.

The Oxford Hills attacker’s prolific season, which featured 62 goals and 10 assists in 14 games, has earned him the 2023 Sun Journal All-Region Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year honor.

“To be honest, I still don’t know my limits; I even surprise myself even up to today,” Brooks said. “I joined a summer lacrosse league, and I do some stuff there where I am like, ‘Holy crap, I didn’t know I even could do that.’ I feel like, sometimes, you don’t know your limits, but you have a good idea of it.”

Oxford Hills coach Hunter Rowell said Brooks’ production was the result of his aggressive style.

“He was fearless,” Rowell said. “Especially in Class A, you are going to get hammered when you get the ball and he didn’t have an ounce of fear in him when he got the ball. He knew the job he had. He needed to get the ball in the net — if he had those opportunities.”

Brooks said that knowing he had good stick skills made it easier for him to battle through opponents’ physical play. His stick skills come from playing lacrosse, his No. 1 sport, year-round.


“I think a lot of kids think you can play lacrosse, or any sport like baseball, that you can start when it starts, and that’s not how it goes,” Brooks said. “To throw 90 miles per hour, to hit the top-right in lacrosse or be able to hit a home run, you have to practice all year round is the biggest thing. I never stop practicing for lacrosse.”

Brooks tweaked his right knee during the football season, and it continued to bother him during the lacrosse season. But he said his teammates were counting on him this spring, so he worked to keep his knee is as good of condition as possible.

“I had to do a lot more stretching and agility stuff … to keep it the best,” Brooks said of his knee. “Once I stepped on the lacrosse field, I knew I had to push myself to be the best player for the team. Even if that meant having a little knee pain.”

Brooks set the Oxford Hills record for career goals this season, scoring his 101st against Edward Little on May 23 and finishing with 110 career goals. He achieved that mark in only three seasons, since his freshman campaign was lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the 62 goals he netted this spring are a single-season program record.

Along with the record-setting day against Edward Little, another game that stands out to Brooks is the Vikings’ 16-2 win over Westbrook on April 18, when he scored nine goals and had four assists.

Brooks said the weather was great and the Oxford Hills offense played fast and had good ball movement.


“It was not a hot day, but it wasn’t a cold day — it was a nice day to play lacrosse,” Brooks said. ” I feel like we all felt good when we got off the bus, it was go time and we all knew it was.”

Rowell said Brooks and his fellow senior teammates elevated the program during their careers.

“With the senior class, it’s the drive and tenacity to leave it all on the field — win, lose, or tie — to do everything that you can to represent your program, your team and your school well,” Rowell said. ” I think he did that incredibly well. The upperclassmen that are coming up have some big shoes to fill if they want to keep that momentum going this upcoming year.”

After making the playoffs the past two seasons, the Vikings missed out this spring. They won three of their final games, including a 10-8 win over Morse/Boothbay in the regular season finale, but they finished a few Heal points shy of securing the final postseason berth in Class A.

That was disappointing, but Brooks makes sure to remember the positive aspects of the season.

“It was rough after making playoffs your sophomore and junior years and losing your freshman year to COVID,” Brooks said. “You only get three seasons of lacrosse, and I always wanted my senior year to be the biggest. Even though we didn’t make the playoffs, it was my biggest (season). I tell myself I would rather end winning against Morse than losing in playoffs.”

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