Good afternoon lacrosse fans! I hope you’re doing well and thank you for reading the Utah Lax Report. We are now on Instagram! Go follow us there if IG is your thing.
Interview w/ Danny Larkin
My interview on the podcast this week is with Danny Larkin. Danny and his twin brother Ricky, played high school lacrosse at Olympus before playing at DeSales (NCAA D-III) in Pennsylvania. The twins then came back to join Westminster en route to a MCLA D-II title in 2008. Danny spoke about his time at these three schools as well as Wasatch LC and more. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify or listen above.
I’ll also point out that Wasatch LC is starting a girls team this fall. Tryouts for both the boys and girls teams will be on August 15 & 22. More info can be found here.
Lacrosse in Utah News/Notes
A couple locals got national attention this week. At the Adrenaline Black Card event, Berkley Horoba (Alta) made the 2023/2024 all-star team while Bodi Sutherland (Corner Canyon) made the 2021/2022 all-star team. Trae Ika (Corner Canyon) and Blake Franckowiak (Corner Canyon) played for West Coast Starz at the Adrenaline Platinum Cup. True Utah went 1-2 at the Adrenaline Platinum Cup in Delaware over the weekend.
Jon King (Corner Canyon) and Thomas Vandenberg (Park City) played at the Crab Feast with the Mad Dog 22’ National Team.
Dylan Bauer (Park City) was awarded the Jeremy Huber 19 Award. Huber unexpectedly passed away in 2015 while a player at Johns Hopkins. Huber was from Las Vegas and was a standout player.
In other local action, Tribal West successfully hosted the Salt City Classic last weekend with several teams participating. The Ski Town Shootout begins this weekend. Find out more info here.
It was a big week for the league as it finished up pool play. Here’s how things shook out:
Whipsnakes 4-0, +24
Chrome 3-1, + 5
Archers 3-1, -2
Redwoods 2-2, -3
Waterdogs 1-3, -3
Atlas 1-3, -10
Chaos 0-4, -11
The Whipsnakes are maybe the least talked about team but obviously the best. Their closest game was their first, a 13-9 win over Redwoods. They dismantled Archers yesterday in the second half en route to a 17-11 win. They didn’t dominate last year en route to their championship, so what is the difference this year? There are a couple: 1) Zed Williams and 2) the bubble format.
Zed Williams - Last year, Rambo led the team with 49 points while Mike Chanenchuk had 34, Ryan Drenner had 21 followed by Ben Reeves with 16. Basically, Rambo had to carry the team (which he did, winning the MVP). This year is different. In 12 games last season, Rambo averaged 4.08 points per game with the next highest being Chanenchuk with 2.83. While Rambo is averaging more points per game this year (5.25, including a 10 point game over the Archers) Williams is helping to carry the load with 4.25 points per game. John Haus in the midfield is also helping Chanenchuk who both have 10 points. Simply put, there is more point sharing with the Whipsnakes which makes them even scarier. The big question for the offseason is do you break up the Maryland pro team? What would be the justification?
The Bubble - Also known as PLL Island, being isolated and playing a short schedule plays into hot teams. Lacrosse games are known to have scoring runs, but so do seasons. Over the course of a normal season where you are traveling all across the country, your team is bound to have better weeks than others. In the bubble, the hot team will reign and that hot team is the Whipsnakes. As good as the Archers are (and as good as we want them to be) they entered the final game with an OT win over Chrome, a two goal win over Waterdogs and a one goal win over Atlas. So the Whipsnakes enter the bubble with the MVP, the gold badge on their jersey and became the hottest team, including the hottest goalie (Bernlohr) and face-off specialist (Nardella). Dethroning the champs will be difficult.
Grant Ament has been a standout (if you listened to the podcast with Adam Ghitleman, you would know this already) but this clip is awesome!
US Lacrosse Magazine broke down the group play round.
Play resumes on Tuesday with Chrome taking on Chaos (3:30 pm, NBC Sports Gold), Redwoods v. Waterdogs (6:00 pm, NBC Sports Gold) and Atlas v. Archers (8:30 pm, NBC Sports Network).
These literally popped up when I was about to press send. Please watch. The PLL coverage has done wonders for the state of Utah and lacrosse.
Some words of advise from Dom Starsia.
There was also an update from World Lacrosse regarding the Iroquois playing in the 2020 World Games.
That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and wear a mask. It’s working!
— Tim Haslam