Good morning lacrosse fans. I really hate to start a newsletter off this way, but there was an incident at a game last week that left me sleepless. Please know that racism has no part in our society, let alone the lacrosse community. I’ve been to almost 30 games this year from Weber to Timpanogos and everywhere in between. Usually driving home I think about the game, the fans, the officials, the coaches, the players, and after most games, I think to myself, ‘we have to be better.' I say ‘we’ because despite being on different teams and having different jerseys, we are all part of the lacrosse community, which, despite being the largest it’s ever been, is still small. When our sport is shown favorably, it’s favorable for all of us. When it’s shown negatively, it’s a notch against all of us. So let me take a moment to address some things I’ve seen:
Everyone - It’s not okay to use racist terms on the lacrosse field - ever. I’m not going to tell you how to live your personal life, but it has no place in the lacrosse community. Do better.
Coaches - It’s not okay to taunt or mock a player on the opposing team - ever. It’s also not okay to degrade the people working the table or talking to opposing fans while coaching. Also, please fill out the officials' feedback form so we can help improve that aspect of the game too. Do better.
Assistant Coaches - Stop yelling at the refs. You ask your players to abide by the rules so you should too. Do better.
Officials - Let’s be honest, some refs are there to collect a check and go home who have no interest in helping the game. This is bad for our sport. If this is you, please stop. Also, please take control of games that are getting out of hand. It’s not hard to see it. Do better.
Fans - If you’re an adult yelling at an opposing player (14-18 year old) then you need to stop. Do better.
With all that said, I’ve been to games this year where the fans have been great, the coaches have coached well and the officials have been excellent but unfortunately, it’s rare. We need to be better at trying to make this scenario more common and it takes all of us, not just one team or one ref or one coach.
I feel the season as a whole has been a success. It hasn’t been without hiccups or controversy, but overall, Year 1 of sanctioning has been what I thought it would. It’s a bittersweet time of year. The regular season is ending but playoffs are on the horizon.
As a heads up, the playoff brackets will be revealed on Wednesday morning. I think they will be released on the UHSAA Twitter account but also on MaxPreps. Also, I try to be respectful to your inbox but I’m likely going to send 2-3 newsletters per week as I do my best to cover the playoffs.
Interview w/ Alta Head Coach Brandon Horoba
Alta Head Coach Brandon Horoba
My podcast guest this week is Alta Head Coach Brandon Horoba. Horoba starting coaching at Alta in 2002 then went to Brighton from 2009-2016. While with Brighton, he won 3 state championships as a head coach and one as an assistant coach. After Brighton, Horoba coached at UVU for one season then went back to Alta in 2018. Horoba has also been part of a handful of club programs as well. In this episode, we talk about each one of his coaching stops, breaking away with the UHSLL, club lacrosse and more. You can listen to the latest podcast above or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a rating!
Look, if you haven't been to Vessel Kitchen yet, that’s okay. However, you should make a goal to do it soon, it’s great food by great people. It has locations in Midvale, Sandy, 9th + 9th and Kimball Junction.
Week 9 Coaches Polls
No. 1 Corner Canyon - The Chargers beat Skyridge, 21-2, on Tuesday then sent No. 6 American Fork home with a 20-4 loss on Friday. Corner Canyon hosts No. 10 Lone Peak on Tuesday in the finale for both teams.
No. 2 Olympus - The Titans beat Pleasant Grove, 13-7, on Wednesday and won Region 6 on Friday with a 16-2 win over Brighton. Olympus hosts No. 4 Park City on Tuesday in the finale for both teams. The game will be broadcast on the Game Night Live Rewind YouTube channel or KSL Sports.
No. 3 Farmington - The Phoenix beat Bonneville, 15-6, on Wednesday and Woods Cross, 16-4, on Friday. Farmington will head to Bountiful on Monday. If Farmington wins, they will win Region 5 outright. If Bountiful wins, the two teams will be co-champs.
Mountain Ridge @ Park City - Full gallery here
No. 4 Park City - Park City beat Payson, 27-0, on Monday then came from behind to beat No. 5 Mountain Ridge, 11-8, on Saturday. The Sentinels led 6-2 at the half but Park City came out of the second half and won the quarter, 5-2, making it 8-7 for Mountain Ridge heading into the final frame. Park City scored 4 goals and allowed 0 to win, 11-8. Freshman goalie AJ Silianoff, who came in at halftime, had 4 saves for the Miners to secure the victory for Park City. The Miners will take on No. 2 Olympus on Tuesday.
No. 5 Mountain Ridge - Mountain Ridge beat Timpanogos, 25-3, on Tuesday and Mountain View, 20-0, on Thursday, then fell to No. 4 Park City, 11-8, on Saturday. (See above for details from this game.)
No. 6 American Fork - The Cavemen survived a scare from Westlake on Tuesday, winning 7-6, then lost to No. 1 Corner Canyon, 20-4, on Friday to finish the regular season.
No. 7 Green Canyon - Two big wins for the Wolves by a combined score of 38-4 set up a season finale against Box Elder on Monday.
No. 8 Davis - The Darts beat Layton, 20-0, on Tuesday then narrowly defeated Fremont on Thursday, 15-14. The game was tied 8-8 at halftime and Fremont scored to tie the game at 14 with less than 20 seconds left. Rhett Rice won the ensuing faceoff for Davis, found Mason Kilgore wide open who started a fast-break then found Blake Williams who buried it for the go-ahead goal. The Darts rushed the field and got a penalty so Fremont started with the ball at the midline with 5 seconds left and a man up and took shot but Davis goalie Kache Allen made a great save to preserve the win. You can watch the game-winning goal here.
No. 9 Timpview - The T-Birds beat Mountain View, 19-1, on Tuesday and will take on Orem this Tuesday.
Lone Peak @ Pleasant Grove - Full gallery here.
No. 10 Lone Peak - The Knights beat Pleasant Grove, 21-11, on Tuesday and Westlake, 8-6, on Thursday. Lone Peak will finish its season on Tuesday at No. 1 Corner Canyon.
Region 1: Davis - Will likely go 14-0 in Region 1. They play Syracuse on Tuesday.
Region 3: Bingham leads at the moment but if Riverton beats the Miners on Tuesday, Bingham and Riverton would be co-champs.
Region 4: Corner Canyon - Will likely go 10-0 in Region 3. They play Lone Peak on Tuesday.
Region 5: Farmington has the advantage but plays Bountiful on Monday. Should the Braves win, they would be co-champs with Farmington.
Region 6: Olympus - Champ, 4-0 in Region 6.
Region 7: Mountain Ridge - Champ, 12-0 in Region 7.
Region 8: Park City - Champ, 7-0 in Region 8.
Region 10: Juan Diego & Waterford are co-champs.
Region 11: Green Canyon - Champ, 10-0 in Region 11.
RPI Update / Brackets
I, like you, was also shocked that the UHSAA RPI was taken down on Wednesday. I was told it was to create a little excitement around the bracket release and also take time to make sure all the scores are entered and the RPI is correct.
With that said, Taylor Redd and Jordan Harris took the time to recreate the RPI and they published it here. It will be updated the remaining two days of the season for the 15 games left. Here is what the brackets would look like if the season ended today.
Region 9 Champs
The Southern Utah teams that comprise Region 9 held a championship on Saturday with Snow Canyon beating Canyon View, 9-1. Let’s hope we can get these teams included in the UHSAA next season!
No. 1 Park City - The Miners continue to roll with a 23-0 win over Payson, 26-1 win over Provo and 16-3 win over Lone Peak last week. The Miners host No. 5 Olympus on Tuesday to conclude the season.
No. 2 Skyridge - Skyridge narrowly beat No. 10 Corner Canyon on Tuesday, 9-8, then beat Pleasant Grove, 15-5, on Thursday. The Falcons will travel to Highland on Tuesday.
No. 3 Brighton - The Bengals beat No. 5 Olympus on Friday, 13-12, to claim the Region 6 title. Brighton pulled ahead on a goal by Hunter Doyle with a little over a minute left. Olympus won the ensuing draw and possessed, earning a free-position shot with 10 seconds left. On the whistle, the Olympus player dodged then shot high but was saved by Hailey Bangerter who held on to the ball to secure the win. See my attempt to film it here. Brighton travels to No. 9 Davis on Monday then hosts No. 4 Mountain Ridge on Tuesday. The latest public RPI had Brighton at No. 10.
No. 4 Mountain Ridge - The Sentinels dominated Timpanogos on Tuesday, 14-2, then beat Mountain View, 20-1, on Thursday. Mountain Ridge travels to No. 3 Brighton on Tuesday.
No. 5 Olympus - The Titans beat rival Skyline on Wednesday, 20-0, then fell to No. 3 Brighton, 13-12, on Friday. The Titans will take on No. 1 Park City on Tuesday.
No. 6 Waterford - The Ravens bested Cedar Valley on Tuesday, 23-2, and will take on Woods Cross on Tuesday.
No. 7 Herriman - The Mustangs weren’t tested in its two games this week as they beat Bingham, 22-3, on Tuesday and West Jordan, 20-7, on Thursday. Two region games remain for the Mustangs: Monday at home against Riverton and Tuesday at West.
No. 8 Alta - The Hawks beat Lehi, 18-0, on Tuesday and beat Orem, 28-3, on Thursday. The Hawks host Timpanogos on Tuesday.
No. 9 Davis - The Darts lost for the first time this season on Thursday in overtime to Fremont. You can see the game-winning goal here. Davis hosts No. 3 Brighton on Monday and travels to Syracuse on Tuesday.
No. 10 Corner Canyon - The Chargers re-enter the polls after taking No. 2 Skyridge to the end, but lost, 9-8. Both times these two teams have played, Skyridge has won by 1. Corner Canyon then beat American Fork, 10-8, to finish the season.
Region 1: Davis - In theory, they haven’t clinched the region since they still play Syracuse. If Syracuse wins (they lost in the first meeting, 17-6) and Fremont beats Weber, there would be a three-way tie for first. Of course, if Davis wins on Tuesday, they are the lone region champ at 13-1.
Region 3: Herriman - Even if the Mustangs lose to Riverton on Monday, they likely won’t lose to West on Tuesday, thus, pending bizarre results, the Mustangs are the lone region champ at 12-0.
Region 4: Skyridge - Champ, 10-0 in Region 4
Region 5: Farmington - Champ, 10-0 in Region 5
Region 6: Brighton - Champ, 4-0 in Region 6
Region 7: Mountain Ridge - Champ, 12-0 in Region 7
Region 8: Park City - Technically haven’t clinched since they play one more region game but let’s be honest, they’ll win and be 8-0 in Region 8.
Region 10: Waterford - Champ, 4-0 in Region 10
Region 11: Bear River - Champ, 10-0 in Region 11
Interesting that all but one region had its champion go undefeated in region play.
Q&A with Brighton Senior Haley Taylor
Brighton Senior Haley Taylor | c/o Scott Osborn
My Q&A today is with Brighton Senior and team captain, Haley Taylor, who leads the 13-0 Bengals offense with 71 goals and 14 assists. Tylor has had multiple 7 point or more games including 7 goals and 5 assists against Jordan. Taylor is committed to playing NCAA D-I lacrosse at the University of Oregon and study Architecture.
“HayTay Taylor is incredible on and off the field,” said Brighton Head Coach Melissa Nash. “She is the first girl that will grab your eye in any lacrosse game. She plays with such energy and grace that you are naturally drawn to her, whether she has the ball or not. She makes everything she does look easy - from her draw controls, big ground balls to her powerful shots - left and right-handed. She is fun to watch and fun to coach. Haley puts in more work on her game than anyone, while also taking 3 AP classes (just this year), being a National Merit Scholar and Sterling Scholar. Aside from her stick skills, pure speed and big brain academics (and her incredible art), HayTay is a good person. She cares about her teammates, respects her coaches and is a good example to everyone around her. I feel lucky to have watched her grow up the last 4 years and can't wait to see what comes next for her.”
5 Questions w/ Haley Taylor
TH: When/why did you start playing lacrosse?
HT: I started playing in 5th grade, but I started club in 7th.
TH: What is your favorite part about lacrosse?
HT: My favorite part about lacrosse is the creativity that comes with it. Because the sport is still so new and growing, anything goes.
TH: What is your stick of choice?
HT: My favorite stick is the Epoch Purpose 15 degree with ladder stringing.
TH: Favorite field to play lacrosse on?
HT: Papé field at Oregon!
TH: How/why did you pick your jersey number?
HT: #22 was pretty random for me when I chose it. However, Gary Gait (one of the best players of all time) wore #22 while at Syracuse which is pretty cool.
Westminster beat No. 18 Colorado Mesa in the RMAC tournament final on Saturday, 17-13 (Recap), and Spencer Whinery was named All-Tournament MVP. Unfortunately, the Griffins were not invited to the NCAA D-II National Tournament.
BYU and UVU are on their way to Texas for the MCLA Invitational.
2021 MCLA Invitational Tournament
Round Rock, Texas
Quarterfinals – May 12
GAME 1: East No. 4 LSU vs. West No. 1 Chapman, 10 a.m.
GAME 2: West No. 4 Utah Valley vs. East No. 1 Georgia Tech, 10:30 a.m.
GAME 3: West No. 3 Concordia-Irvine vs. East No. 2 Clemson, 1:30 p.m.
GAME 4: East No. 3 Liberty vs. West No. 2 Brigham Young, 2 p.m.
Semifinals – May 13
GAME 1 winner vs. GAME 3 winner, 11 a.m.
GAME 2 winner vs. GAME 4 winner, 11:30 a.m
Finals – May 14
Semifinal winners, 10 a.m.
— Tim Haslam