Good morning lacrosse fans. Thank you for taking time out of your day for the Utah Lax Report. Don’t forget to forward to a friend, it’s the best way for the newsletter to grow. No podcast this week. The opening week of the high school season tied me up more than I anticipated. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I try to posts scores on Instagram every night and Twitter is automated through a connection with MaxPreps so please enter your scores there as quickly as possible! Also, please enter your stats so I can write about your players.
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Week 1 Coaches Polls
After a week of action, here’s what the coaches are seeing.
In the boys poll, Corner Canyon gobbled up more first place votes than they had in the preseason poll (18). I saw the Chargers up close on Saturday at the Battle of the Beet, which they won. I was chatting with Chargers head coach Aaron Ika and I asked him about the tournament to which he said, ‘We are playing this because we are hoping to jell and get experience as a team.’ I thought about that a lot as I was driving to the Utah/Westminster game and I think that kind of attitude will pay dividends later on as the season progresses. It wasn’t about winning (which they did) but about the team chemistry. (Honest question: What have you done with your team to build chemistry? Let me know in the comments or hit reply.)
Park City held onto the second spot with a big win over Lone Peak and a win in a battle against Bingham. Mountain Ridge moved to third place with a 19-12 victory of Lone Peak on Thursday. Mountain Ridge was led by Keaton Jex (6G, 2A) and Colby Roberts (4G, 4A).
Farmington entered the polls with a bang after beating Juan Diego on Monday, 11-3, and Herriman on Wednesday, 19-3. In full disclosure, I coached at Farmington in 2019 and in 2020 before COVID. I certainly know more about Farmington than any other team. Its seniors are in their third year as starters after becoming a new program in 2019 after splitting with Davis. Marcus Ball (6G, 2A), Cole Beynon (5G, 1A) and Easton Roberts (3G, 3A) are getting into a groove. Farmington entering the polls plays well into its game today against No. 4 Brighton who beat Alta on Friday, 8-7. Today’s game will be a great measuring stick for both programs.
At No. 6 is Olympus. I was at its game on Friday when they took on Bountiful at Larry Wall Stadium at Bountiful High School. Olympus won 15-7 with excellent play from Hutton Murphy (4G, 3A), Ethan Hartsfield (3G, 2A) and Camden Rossi (4G, 1A). I spoke with Olympus head coach Nick Merrell after the game and he’s excited to see what the Titans can offer. It was also good to catch up with the Olympus coaches and Cam and Jim Redmond (Bountiful assistants) as well as hear the unmistakeable voice of Allen Clemons over the PA. The game marked the first game ever in the stadium at Bountiful. My good friend and former Utah Lacrosse News compadre, Bradford Davis, who started the program at Bountiful posted this picture:
Caption: 17 years ago, me and a bunch of other pimple-faced 9th graders thought it was a good idea to start the Bountiful High Lacrosse team. We recruited anyone that wanted to run and hit someone and was mildly coordinated. We looked like a bunch of misfits. One of our players was basically wearing a bucket on his head for a helmet. Our first game was against the thriving Olympus High program and it was highly embarrassing. We were a school club that basically had the same respect as the boys urinal. Flash forward 17 years and the Braves are playing Olympus again. This time however it’s a school sanctioned sport and they were playing in the hallowed Larry Wall football stadium for the first time. This was unheard of in my day.
We owe a lot of thanks to all those kids (now adults) out there like Bradford. We have come a long way. Still more work to do though! Back to the polls.
Lone Peak will look to bounce back this week after going 0-2. Wasatch LC posted highlight reels from the Knights games against Park City and Mountain Ridge.
Bingham stays in the same spot after losing to No. 2 Park City, 12-11. American Fork takes the No. 9 spot after beating Salem Hills, 19-1. The Cavemen will take on Cedar Valley today and Timpview on Friday. Fremont takes the No. 10 spot after beating Logan, 19-7, this week and will take on Clearfield on Tuesday.
Looking ahead to this week, here’s what I’m seeing on the schedule.
No 4. Brighton @ No. 5 Farmington - This will certainly boost the RPI for the winner.
No. 3 Mountain Ridge @ Timpview - Timpview is a team that is getting ignored in the polls. A big win here would make some noise.
No. 4 Brighton @ No. 7 Lone Peak - You read that right, Brighton is playing back-to-back away games against ranked opponents.
Davis @ Roy - This is a region game which could have implications come May. Davis is riding high after a win over Weber while Roy showed well at the Battle at the Beet, losing only to Corner Canyon.
Green Canyon @ No. 1 Corner Canyon - I think Green Canyon is a sleeper from the North. Coach Oldham is a fantastic human and great lacrosse coach. I’m not certain Corner Canyon will lose at all this year, but Green Canyon should give them some stiff competition.
No. 6 Olympus @ Westlake - I feel Westlake is also getting overlooked in the polls and will have a chance to make some noise with a solid showing against Olympus.
No. 3 Mountain Ridge @ No. 1 Corner Canyon - Could this be a championship preview?
Full highlights coming soon from the Pleasant Grove v. Timpview game.
Park City and Brighton remain in the top two spots of the Week 1 Girls Poll. Alta moved up to No. 3 with a 13-4 win over Corner Canyon but fell to No. 2 Brighton, 18-11 on Friday. After the loss to the Alta, the No. 4 Chargers beat Jordan, 15-8, on Thursday. Herriman, Lone Peak, West Jordan, Olympus and Waterford round out the Top 10.
If you’re looking for a great girls lacrosse related follow on Instagram, head to the @vikingslax.news page:
As we look ahead on the girls side, here’s what stands out to me.
Skyline @ Viewmont - The only game of the day should be a great matchup to kick off the week.
Plenty of region games on Tuesday that will give a clearer picture of what lies ahead.
No. 4 Corner Canyon @ No. 1 Park City - This is the game of the week on the girls side and I’m excited to see how this one plays out.
No. 8 West Jordan heads to No. 5 Bingham. The Jaguars are 2-0 and hope to upset the Miners.
No. 4 Corner Canyon @ No. 2 Brighton - Another tough road test for the Chargers.
The Westminster Griffins hosted the Utah State Aggies in a scrimmage that was won by the Griffins.
Utah State will travel to Orem this weekend to face UVU at Noon.
Utah Midfielder Branden Wilson, Westminster LSM DJango Clarke, c/o Utah Athletics/Ben Haslam
Utah beat Westminster, 18-5, on Saturday (Recap | Box Score). Utah will head to Mercer on March 27 while the Griffins head to Lake Erie College on March 26 followed by a game against No. 3 Mercyhurst on March 27.
Here’s my Sammy Cambere clip of the week:
Utah State will host Montana in a double header with a game on Friday at 7 and one on Saturday at Noon.
UVU will head to St. George to face Arizona on Saturday.
Here’s a couple links to galleries from the past week. If you have photos, send me a note and we’ll figure out how to share them: tim@timhaslam
News & Notes
So a few weeks ago I jumped on Clubhouse because I noticed Terry Foy (Inside Lacrosse), Gerry Byrne (Harvard Head Coach) and Jaime Munro (Legendary coach) were chatting. It got brought up that basketball is typically the best sport to carry over to lacrosse or in other words, if you’re a great basketball player, you’ll likely be a great lacrosse player. It got discussed that while that may be the case, there aren’t a lot of hoops players playing lacrosse so it kind of doesn’t matter. I pinged Terry after the chat and asked him to run a twitter poll asking how many basketball players are on the followers team. 135 people voted. 28.1% said 0. 56.3% said 1-4, 10.4% said 5-10 and 5.2% said 10+. Terry followed up the results with the tweet below.
Terry Foy @TerenceFoyOn the Clubhouse with me & @jamiemunro3, @ByrneCrimson said he had success recruiting linebackers & that he hadn’t recruited many hoopers. Cited overlapping seasons, small rosters & need to play AAU as reasons more 🏀 don’t play 🥍 . How many basketball players are on your team?
It’s certainly an interesting topic to think about. Eric Mika (BYU Hoops) played lacrosse at Waterford and Lone Peak. Elliott Grow (BYU Lax) was a state champion in basketball at Highland in 2006. Pat Spencer (Loyola) played hoops at Northwestern a few years ago. What do you think? Are there basketball players on your team? What’s the basketball player to football player ratio?
I think this plays into the bigger discussion of a multi-sport athlete. Everyone wants them, but is it realistic? If you love basketball, you’re likely tied up in AAU year round.
That’s it for this week. If you’ve made it this far, thank you! Please forward this to a friend who also loves lacrosse.
— Tim Haslam