This issue features a Q&A with Sky View Head Coach Kevin Mann, an update about the Bulldog Brawl, is the Nebo District sanctioning?, and the continuation of the story of the first lacrosse game in Utah in 1946.
Mann Has Sky View Primed For Season
The Sky View Bobcats are ready to roll with Kevin Mann at the helm. Mann hails from Centerville where he played at Viewmont before playing at Utah State for 4 years. Mann is in his third year at Sky View and is a software developer when he’s not coaching. Mann was introduced to lacrosse in the sixth grade when kids in his neighborhood invited him to play. Mann is joined by several assistants: Sam Hawes (BYU), Will Hansen, Bryce Stuart, Brandon Sorensen, Reagan Wadsworth, Kayden Linton, and Ty Hawks.
TH: What is your favorite thing about lacrosse?
KM: Scoring goals on the run!
TH: If you could change one thing about lacrosse, what would it be?
KM: Somehow make the ball more visible to spectators. Other sports that are played on a large field have a much bigger ball (soccer and football for example) I think one of the things holding lacrosse back is it can be hard for spectators to follow. I don’t think there is realistically much we can do about this besides maybe going with an orange ball but it would be nice if the ball was easier to see for spectators.
TH: With this being the first year of sanctioning, how has Sky View handled the transition?
KM: Ryan Grunig the AD at sky View has treated lacrosse just like any other sanctioned sport. He has been extremely helpful and good to work with. I think this season will be the best year ever for Sky View as far as school support goes. All home games will be played in the Sky View stadium and that should lead to better attendance at games as well. The players will have access to the locker rooms and all the resources the school has to offer for other sports and I think Sky View lacrosse players will have a better experience this season being student athletes.
TH: Who are some returning players that will make an impact this year?
KM: Jacob Zollinger, Senior LSM. He scored over 20 points last season and is a lockdown defender who is also a threat on offense. Garrett Zollinger, Sophomore Middie. Made a big difference on our varsity team as a freshman and will only get better this season. Kaleb Bodily, Senior Middie. Tough player who works harder than anyone on the field. Can score with both hands and doesn’t get beat on defense.
The Bobcats are in Region 5 which has opted to do home and away games for region play. Here’s how Region 5 stacked up last year:
Green Canyon (12)
Sky View (21)
Box Elder (23)
Bear River (31)
Mountain Crest (40)
UMA (JV Only)
Is Nebo District Sanctioning?
A source emailed me a few weeks ago and said, “We found out some great news this week. It has only been shared with the principals officially but some lacrosse friendly principals received permission to share with some of the parents that lacrosse will be sanctioned in Nebo School District for Spring 2021. We have been told that they have budgeted for each of the district high schools.”
Then came this Facebook post:
This is obviously huge news, especially considering the deflated spirits of those in the Nebo district just weeks before. Assuming the district has indeed budgeted for each school, it would add Maple Mountain, Payson, Salem Hills, Spanish Fork, and Springville into the league. I reached out to representatives at Nebo School District without response.
The First Lacrosse Game in Utah
I teased this a little bit last fall, but here’s where we are at so far in this story:
I found an article from the June 29, 1946 edition of the Salt Lake Telegram that says players from Notre Dame college in Canada will come to Utah to play an exhibition game as a fundraiser for the Knights of Columbus youth committee. The game was to be played on July 10, 1946 at East High School. Days before the game, the venue was changed. According to another article, the game had to be moved and ended up at White Park, a softball complex across from the Fairgrounds in Salt Lake City. Tickets were sold at the Mint cafe on the corner of Regent Street and 200 South on the first floor of the Beason Building. The game was promoted as ‘the first of its kind ever staged in the intermountain area’, but in fact, Notre Dame had played several games in the west before coming to Utah.
On July 2, 1946 the Canadians left Saskatchewan and headed to Lethbridge, Canada where the Hounds beat the All Stars, 13-12. After the game the teams pressed on to Great Falls, Montana where they played indoors on a marble floor. The Hounds won again, 19-12. A rest day in Great Falls preceded a trip to Yellowstone National Park where the trip journal states “we arrived there rather travel weary but still spry enough to appreciate the great scenic wonders that unravelled before our eyes as we rode through nature’s play grounds.” The group moved on to Idaho Falls where the All Stars beat the Hounds, 14-11. On July 9, 1946, the bus made its way to the ‘land of the Mormons’. The journal states “After riding most of the day we sighted the great Salt Lake, and at the foot of a great mountain the famous city of the temples. We received wonderful hospitality in Salt Lake City and spent four days there and played at White Park.” The All Stars beat the Hounds, 13-5. The game was moved from East High School due to poor field conditions to White Park which was a softball complex just south of the Fairgrounds.
The Deseret News published a recap of the game on July 11 saying that nearly 1,000 spectators were at the game while also saying the game ‘borders on legalized murder’. The article also claims that the game was so successful, that a second game was arranged. It’s not clear from the Notre Dame journal if this was actually the case or if the second game was planned from the beginning. The Desert News article also had a proper box score with the Hounds taking a 4-2 lead into halftime before the All Stars went on an 11-1 run in the second half.
The second game did happen and was played at Murray Park with the Hounds winning, 11-10. The recap goes as follows: “The game was wide open with neither team ‘sparing the rod.’ The highlight of the evening was the two goals scored by Tub Lennie who while playing goal for the All Stars shot the ball into the Notre Dame net at the other end.” The team left after the game and headed for Billings, Montana for a game then finished the trip with a game in Plentywood, Montana before heading home.
The local media did its best to get Utahns prepared for the matches. John Mooney, whose byline pegged him as Telegram Sports Editor, published a twelve paragraph article on July 9, 1946 about the history of lacrosse, rules of the game, and information about Notre Dame college. The Murray Eagle ran a front page article title ‘LaCrosse Game at Murray Park’ on July 11, the day before the second game. The article stated ‘This exhibition… may be the last chance in a long time for local fans to witness the amazing skill and power that this game demands.” It also had admission at $1 for adults and 35 cents for children.
In the coming weeks I’ll publish stories about Utahns who played at Army and Oxford in the mid 1930s and early 1940s. Stay tuned!
Burrup Announces Bulldog Brawl
Provo Head Coach Christian Burrup has announced the inaugural Bulldog Brawl that will take place on March 7. The purpose of the Bulldog Brawl is to help increase experience for newer programs.
Schedule(All games at Provo High School)
9am - Provo v. Mt. Ridge & Orem v. UMA
10:30am - Box Elder v. Mt. Ridge
Noon - Orem v. Mt. Ridge & Provo v. UMA
1:30pm - Mt. Ridge v. Bear River
3:00pm - Orem v. Bear River & Provo v. Box Elder
4:30pm - UMA v. Mt. Ridge & Orem v. Box Elder
6:00pm - Provo v. Bear River
Inside Lacrosse Recap of ‘The Challenge’
Ty Xanders praises MJ Cirillo (Brighton/Salt Lake Summit) and gives Trae Ika (Loomis Chaffee/Salt Lake Summit) honorable mention.
And last but not least, one of my favorite tweets to come out of #LaxCon
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— Tim Haslam