Dash Roshell, left, and Salem Bawaneh are the senior leaders of the Dos Pueblos boys lacrosse team.

The growth and development of Dash Roshell and Salem Bawaneh has played a huge part in the success of the Dos Pueblos boys lacrosse program this season.

The Chargers are in position to make the playoffs for only the second time in their 10 years of playing lacrosse. They are currently 7-3 and in second place behind Cate in the Channel League. In the latest CIF-SS Division 3 rankings, Cate is No. 6 and DP is 11th.

Roshell and Bawaneh are the senior captains and heart and soul of the team. Roshell plays defense and Bawaneh is the goalie.

Coach Lucas Martinez never imagined these two would become marquee players and leaders when he first saw them as freshmen.

“They were pretty small, unassuming kids that came to a team that was heavily loaded with seniors back then,” Martinez recalled during his presentation at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Press Luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe.

That was during the COVID-shortened spring season of 2020. 

Martinez became a father the next season and didn’t coach. He returned last year and couldn’t believe how much Roshell and Bawaneh grew physically and how they raised the bar in their skill-level and lacrosse IQ.

“I came back in their junior season and I heard Dash switched from short-stick midfield to defense and Salem started playing goalie,” said Martinez. “I said, ‘I don’t know about that.’ Then I saw them on the field and they blew me away. Dash grew about a foot and his athletic abilities went through the roof. He is the fastest kid on any field he sets foot on. 

“He went from this little unassuming kid to our best defenseman as a junior.”

He said Bawaneh has gone from a super quiet kid to a standout goalie who is talking non-stop during games and organizing the defense.

“The goalie is the quarterback of the defense, you always have to be talking. It’s extremely important to be communicative to lead your team and tell them where to be and what to do,” Martinez explained.

“When Salem was a freshman, I think I heard him speak three words in a season. So, when I heard he had switched to goalie and heard he was pretty good, I had to see that for myself. And he just blew me away.

“He’s always talking, always knowing where the guys need to be. It’s like five sets of eyeballs. He knows exactly what’s going on everywhere and he does a great job running our entire defense and running our team, really.”

Martinez calls Roshell “the best defenseman in the entire Channel League this season. His athletic ability has really shot through the roof and his ability as a leader is really special.”

Martinez credits both players for setting the tone and building a winning culture at Dos Pueblos.

“They’ve created a culture where everybody lifts everybody else,” he said. “Where we are right now in terms of skill level and ability to win close games is not something we’ve seen before from our team.

“These guys have taken this program to the next level and I’m really proud of both them for everything they’ve given to the program.”

The Chargers have three games left in the regular season. They host Cate on Tuesday, play at Thacher on Thursday and at Santa Barbara on Monday.

“If we do well, we’ll be in a good spot to get a good seed in the playoffs,” said Martinez.

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Barry Punzal, Noozhawk Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at bpunzal@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.