This episode of the Utah Lax Report podcast features an interview with Troy Oldham, the current Green Canyon Head Coach. Oldham began playing lacrosse here and there in high school in the 1980s and competitively while in college at Utah State. After playing, Oldham entered the coaching ranks in the 2000s while coaching his son on youth teams which led to coaching Sky View beginning in 2011. We talked about winning a championship at Sky View, his time at Utah State, building lacrosse in Cache Valley and his current position at Green Canyon. Coach Oldham was also named the 2019-2020 State Coach of the Year by the NFHS Coaches Association.
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Here’s the recap of the championship that was posted on Utah Lacrosse News: On a beautiful and sunny day in Park City the Sky View Bobcats hosted the Syracuse Titans. Up until this point, the Bobcats had not lost a single game. Syracuse was also having a great season. In what was a very even match-up for most of the game, the Bobcats took control in the final quarter to clam the 2014 D-II championship, winning 9-3.
The Bobcats wasted little time getting into their groove. Midfielder Bryant Cannell scored early to set a tone for the Bobcat offense. Within the next minute, Syracuse answered back when midfielder Jordan Stark worked the ball around behind the crease, beating his defender and scoring left-handed to tie up the score. Play continued back and forth down the field until midfielder William Hansen scored top shelf to give the Bobcats the lead, which they held until the end of the first quarter.
Just twenty-four seconds into the second quarter the Bobcats had won possession of the faceoff and quickly scored to bring their lead to two. Hansen scored his second goal, assisted by midfielder Ben Watteyne. Again, the two teams matched up very evenly, each setting up play on offense only to lose it back on either missed shots or turnovers. Finally, in the last few minutes, Sky View was able to convert again. Stark scored his second goal to finish off the half. Bobcat goalie Phillip Cannell had three crucial saves, to add to the three from the first quarter.
Sky View entered the second half down a man. As the penalty expired and Bobcats midfielder Jonathan Dunn subbed in he received the ball, dodged his way through the defense and scored. Stark contributed again halfway through the quarter with an assist to attackman Jackson Anderson. The rest of the quarter proved to be mostly uneventful again as neither team was able to convert.
The Bobcats, up by only two, stepped up their offense in the final quarter to take control of the game. Sky View pulled ahead by two more goals within the first three minutes. Syracuse had not given up but struggled to win possessions. In the final minutes of the game, the Titans put in all-star faceoff middie Connor Meyer to play out the final 1:30 to finish out his senior season. During this time Meyer faced off twice, winning his final faceoff of his high school career. Midfielder Bryant Cannell picked up all four assists for the Bobcats, adding to his goal in the first quarter.
“Our offense last year was a lot of 1-on-1’s,” commented Bryant Cannell,” but this year we knew to win we had to have a team offense. Ever since eighth grade, it has been our goal to win state, and we stuck together.”
“We knew that Connor was hurt,” stated Bobcat Head Coach Troy Oldham. “Connor is such an amazing player. He is just an amazing faceoff guy. We knew Jordan [Stark] had totally stepped up. Coach Meyers is a great coach. He is a strategist. We knew they would play tough. So we had to be on our game. We focused on the fact that defense wins championships, offense wins games.”
Sky View goalie Phil Cannell had 8 saves while Duncan Schofield had 11 saves. Each team won 7 face-offs.
The Sky View Bobcats completed one of the most dominant seasons in Utah lacrosse by going coast-to-coast through the regular season and playoffs, capping off the perfect run by beating Syracuse 9-3 and leaving virtually no doubt that they deserved to hoist the championship trophy.
The Bobcats accomplished this feat behind a stout defense that gave up only 4.4 goals per game, and the Sky View offense worked like a methodical machine, slowly and steadily extending Bobcat leads and creating an impressive average margin of victory of 8.3 goals.
“At the beginning of the season, we set a goal to be undefeated,” said Sky View Head Coach Troy Oldham, “that’s hard to have faith in, but they believed in it, they wanted it, they banded together.”
The first game of the season was Sky View’s closest, a 7-5 victory over East High School. But as the season got going, the Bobcats started to roll, bowling over Roy, Weber, Lehi, Bonneville, and Fremont.
“We never really felt the pressure of the undefeated season,” mused Coach Oldham, “The bigger goal was to get to state, and the bigger goal was to learn everything we possibly could and just keep moving.”
And keep moving is just what Sky View did, continuing to pour it on in Las Vegas over Spring Break and then rolling past Syracuse, Box Elder, Pocatello, Mountain Crest, and Logan to lock up their spot as conference champs. All that remained was the playoffs, and the Bobcats sent home every opponent they faced.
Four Bobcats earned first-team all-state honors for their undefeated efforts: MVP midfielder Bryant Cannell, MVP defense Tanner Duryea, defender Jordan Isrealsen and MVP goalie Phil Cannell. Attackman Brock Halling earned second-team all-state honors as well.
“I’ve never been around a group of kids [like this],” said Oldham, “who just believes that they will not lose. They dared to be a number one team.”