It Has Begun! PLL in Utah, 2023 Championship Recap, Region Changes and Club Lacrosse
Writers: Megan Chambers and McKenzie Christiansen
Welcome, lacrosse enthusiasts, to the 2024 Utah Lacrosse Report newsletter! Get ready to dive into the most exhilarating time of the year: lacrosse season. Brush off your sticks and cleats as we prepare to step onto the field with intensity. A wise coach once shared a pearl of wisdom from Harold Craxton: "Amateurs practice until they can get it right; professionals practice until they can't get it wrong." Let that resonate. Now is the moment to define your player identity. Will you embody the spirit of an amateur or strive for the professionalism Craxton speaks of? As the season kicks off, every player shares the same field, gear, and rules, but your actions determine your path. When the coach urges "hurry," will you merely accelerate or push yourself to sprint with unwavering determination? This year offers the chance for everyone to make their mark on the field. Who will you become?
Utah Lacrosse Fandom
Exploring the lacrosse community and understanding our current scene intrigues me. With the start of this new year, I've crafted a survey HERE to gather these perspectives. I'd greatly appreciate a moment of your time filling it out as well as passing it along to your teammates!
Significant expansion for lacrosse in Utah.
Explore the PLL Archers' apparel selection HERE!
The Archers Lacrosse Club, reigning champions of the Premier Lacrosse League, are making a big move to Utah for the upcoming 2024 season. Mike Rabil, the league's co-founder, expressed immense excitement about this shift, highlighting Utah's special significance as a venue that hosted their games during challenging times in 2020. This relocation aligns with the league's strategic shift, assigning each team a specific geographic location. In the Western Conference, alongside teams like the Carolina Chaos, Denver Outlaws, and California Redwoods, the Utah Archers are set to bring their winning spirit to the vibrant lacrosse scene in the state.
Jeff Robbins, the President and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, noted the rapid growth of lacrosse locally and globally, especially with its inclusion in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. This move to Utah is seen as a significant step in promoting the sport's expansion and solidifying the state's position in the national lacrosse landscape. Additionally, the PLL's commitment to investing in youth lacrosse programs in Utah is set to create greater accessibility and foster a strong bond between the Archers and the local community. With the Archers settling into their new Utah home, enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the thrilling matches ahead, ready to support and witness their favorite team in action.
2023 High School Champ Recap
On May 25(girls) 26(boys), 2023, numerous teams asserted their championship titles at the Utah High School Lacrosse State Championships, held at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah, where the 4A, 5A, and 6A championships unfolded under the evening lights.
6A State Champs: Boys
Fremont vs Corner Canyon KSL Sports Rewind
In 2023, the 6A Championship title was claimed by Corner Canyon. In the 6A Championship game against Fremont, Corner Canyon emerged victorious with a convincing 19-5 win. Congratulations to both teams, Corner Canyon and Fremont, for making it to the 6A State Championships. We eagerly anticipate seeing what these boys will bring to the field this spring!
6A State Champs: Girls
Mountain Ridge vs Lone Peak KSL Sports Rewind
In the 6A, the Mountain Ridge Sentinels and Lone Peak Knights engaged in a fierce battle for the 6A championship title. Ultimately, Lone Peak emerged victorious in overtime with an 11-10 win.
5A State Champs: Boys
Park City vs Olympus KSL Sports Rewind
In 2023, Park City Lacrosse clinched the Boys 5A State Championship once again! The state championships against Olympus were truly thrilling, with both the boys and girls teams emerging victorious. Congratulations to both teams on a well-played game! We can't wait to see what these two teams have in store for us this spring.
5A State Champs: Girls
Park City vs Olympus KSL Sports Rewind
Park City Miners secured the 5A Girls Lacrosse Championship, claiming their first 5A state title. This achievement came after a narrow loss to Olympus by one goal in 2022. The halftime score was tied at 5-5, but Park City dominated in the second half, defeating Olympus 12-8 in the final and earning recognition for their successful performances in the 2023 season.
4A State Champs: Boys
Green Canyon vs Sky View KSL Sports Rewind
In 2023, Green Canyon claimed the 4A state championship title. Throughout the season in the 4A classification, Green Canyon established a strong reputation for themselves. Congratulations to Green Canyon for their achievement. As we look forward, we can't wait to see what these boys will bring to the field this spring!
4A State Champs: Girls
Bear River vs Mountain Crest KSL Sports Rewind
In the 4A Girls Lacrosse Championship, Bear River (Garland, UT) triumphed over Mountain Crest (Hyrum, UT) with a commanding score of 19-7. This victory marked Bear River's second consecutive 4A championship and their second-ever state title in the sport. At halftime, Bear River led 14-3, with Mountain Crest scoring 4 more in the second half and Bear River adding 5 more.
Region Movement in 2024
Between 2023 and the 2024 season, significant changes occurred in the Girls Regions, with the notable removal of region 4 and the inclusion of region 2. The teams participating in the 2024-2025 season comprise of Canyon View, Cedar, Crimson Cliffs, Desert Hills, Dixie, Pine View, Hurricane, and Snow Canyon.
Boys Club Teams
Utah Summit Lacrosse proudly participated in the 2024 Sand Storm tournament, emphasizing our commitment that extends beyond the game. At Utah Summit LC, our overarching mission is to curate a lacrosse experience fostering personal and athletic growth for both boys and girls. Their programs not only aim to elevate lacrosse skills and IQ but also to instill qualities like confidence, mental toughness, selflessness, and respect for others.
801 Tribe, based in Sandy, UT, stands as a vibrant and dedicated lacrosse team. With a name reflecting both community and unity, the 801 Tribe embodies a collective spirit rooted in the local region. As a lacrosse entity, they likely play a crucial role in fostering the growth of the sport within their community. The choice of "Tribe" in their name suggests a close-knit and collaborative approach, highlighting not only individual skill development but also the importance of teamwork and camaraderie. The team's location in Sandy, UT, places them in a region known for its passion for lacrosse, and their presence likely contributes to the thriving lacrosse community in the area.
2024 Sand Storm Lacrosse Tournament: Palm Springs CA
Coach Melissa Nash, leading Elevate, brought 60 players to Palm Springs this year, expressing anticipation for the weekend of games. She conveyed excitement about taking three teams to the Sandstorm tournament, considering it the pinnacle of their fall/winter season. This marked their third trip to California this fall, and each experience was described as immensely enjoyable. Coach Nash marveled at the remarkable improvement of all teams at each tournament, forming a close-knit group of players from across the state. As the tournament unfolded, Elevate TopGun Blue, boasting 12 seniors in the Girls HS Open C division, showcased their competitive spirit with a strong 5-1-0 record in pool 4. Despite an impressive journey to the championship game, they experienced a heartbreaking defeat against DCC Black. Coach Nash commended their performance, noting they played their best lacrosse, securing 2nd place in a division of 31 teams. Elevate TopGun White, in the Girls HS Open D division, held a solid 3-2-0 record in pool 3, demonstrating continuous improvement. Elevate TopGun Gray faced a tougher challenge in pool 5, finishing with a 1-4-0 record but securing a notable win against the Scream U-15 team, showcasing coachability and teamwork.
Force Elite emerged triumphant from Sand Storm in Open C Pool 1, showcasing an undefeated streak with a stellar record of 5-0-0, despite having only two field substitutes. Unfortunately, they were denied the opportunity to advance to the championship due to standing rules, Force Elite left an indelible mark on the tournament, amassing an impressive 55 goals while conceding only 18. The midfield, under the adept leadership of Sammy McMaster and Grace Szwedko, dominated draws, and the offense, featuring the dynamic duo of Summer Buechner and Ryann Hatch, maintained a harmonious balance. The team's goals were predominantly assisted, and this cohesive play seamlessly extended to defensive transitions, where attackers excelled. The defense, orchestrated by goalie Kaelyn Hart and defenders Kam Berg and Jane Shumway, exhibited relentless and aggressive play, frustrating opponents and creating turnovers. Despite the championship setback, Force Elite's collective effort and skillful performance reverberated throughout the tournament. Matt Kenning, expressing the sentiment before the lacrosse weekend, encapsulated the bittersweet essence, acknowledging the farewell to the club season and bidding adieu to graduating seniors while emphasizing the enduring camaraderie and the joy that Sand Storm brings to lacrosse enthusiasts in Utah.
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You might be thinking, "My child graduated, and I'm not interested in lacrosse anymore. I should unsubscribe." I'd like to urge you to reconsider or at least stay connected with the community in some way. There's a continuous need for extra hands, so if you're willing and have some spare time, please consider staying engaged.