Santa Barbara Shootout Recap, Region Preseason Rankings Continued
Good afternoon lacrosse fans! I received an email from Fish at Tribal West this week letting me know that readers of the Utah Lax Report can receive 10% off their online order using the code TRIBAL2022 on tribalwest.com. You can order online and pick it up in-store!
In the MCLA, the Utah club team was the only team in action as it went on its first road trip to Idaho, finishing the weekend 0-1 with an 11-8 loss to the College of Idaho on Friday.
Utah State begins an ambitious road trip today as they take on North Dakota State followed by games against St. John’s, St. Thomas and Minn-Duluth this week. Utah heads to Marquette on Saturday and the Griffins head to Grand Junction on Sunday to take on Colorado Mesa.
Pole Goal of the Week goes to Koby Smith from Towson. Chef’s Kiss!
Upcoming Men’s Schedule
2/21 - Utah State @ North Dakota State - 6:00 pm
2/22 - Utah State @ St. John’s - 6:00 pm
2/22 - BYU @ Westminster (Scrimmage) - 6:00 pm
2/24 - Utah State @ St. Thomas - 5:00 pm
2/25 - Utah State @ Minn-Duluth - 3:30 pm
2/26 - Utah @ Marquette - Noon
2/27 - Westminster @ Colorado Mesa - Noon
All of the WCLA teams from Utah headed to Southern California for the annual Santa Barbara Shootout to compete against some of the best teams in their divisions. All of the Utah teams had a competitive, skillful tournament with amazing growth.
Brigham Young University
The Cougars went 2-1 on the weekend, beating Texas, 12-6, and Oregon State, 24-4. The lone loss came to Virginia, 10-4.
University of Utah
“Syd was a vital part of our attack system this weekend and was our top goal scorer. She is a midfielder at heart but was put in various positions on the field and played to a level of excellence at every opportunity,” said Utah Head Coach Courtney Wagner. “There was no game that we didn’t need to fight for our best lacrosse. We played to our potential and had fun in the process.” The Utes beat Washington, 19-16, and UC Davis, 18-7. The Utes fell to Virigina, 11-7, and Arizona State, 17-14.
Utah State University
The Aggies bested Washington State, 24-0, Oregon, 17-14, and Minnesota, 12-6. The lone loss was to Arizona State, 19-13.
Utah Valley University
The Wolverines started out with a very physical game against Bosie State. UVU just did not want to quit or lose, it was a very close game the entire time but they pulled together and won 10-9. The Wolverines then dominated Cal State Fullerton, 26-0. On Saturday the Wolverines played UC San Diego who played very physical and is one of the best teams in WCLA D-I. The game went back and forth.
“It was a hard battle but by halftime our players were determined and we played as a team, when one player was tired or struggling eight others stepped up and help, I watched them literally come together and play for each,” said UVU Head Coach Jorgy. “We came home feeling a great sense of accomplishment because UVU played together as a team and won three games.”
Weber State University
The Wildcats fell to Standford, 13-5, Denver, 20-0, and UC Irvine, 17-2.
Boys High School
This is the last of the preseason rankings for the boys. Please refer to past issues for the other regions.
Our preseason rankings and coaches poll are brought to you by Salty Lacrosse.
Region 5 Preseason Rankings
Bountiful Midfielder Hayden Hanson
Bountiful, who placed second in the region last year behind Farmington, takes the top spot heading into 2022. The Redhawks, formerly known as the Braves, have one of the best poles in the state in Cole Terry. Senior Hayden Hanson won 60% of faceoffs and led the team last year in goals with 63. The Redhawks open play on March 11 against Park City then play Bingham, Farmington, Brighton and Highland before beginning region play and includes an April 18 showdown against Olympus. Newcomer Northridge will look to make noise as well.
April 29 could decide the region when Northridge hosts Bountiful.
2022 Region 5 Preseason Rankings
Region 5 Players to Watch
Coleman Vasas (Bonneville), Kaden Powell (Bonneville), Kyler Welch (Bonneville), Cole Terry (Bountiful), Hayden Hanson (Bountiful), Jamison Bain (Bountiful), Alan Trey Rowley (Box Elder), Corbin Andreasen (Box Elder), Seth Forbear-Linville (Box Elder), JD Clanton (Northridge), Trey Bowen (Northridge), Drew Tate (Northridge), Presley Gruber (Viewmont), Abe Salmon (Viewmont), Jacob Bell (Viewmont), Connor Williams (Woods Cross), Walter Hoge (Woods Cross), Zach Orme (Woods Cross).
Region 9 Preseason Rankings
Wasatch welcomes back Kevin Wallace who coached the Wasps just a few years ago. Wasatch has a great non-region schedule with Brighton and Park City as notable standouts. Region 9 is one of the few regions to only play one region game which will pay dividends for all teams as the season progresses.
According to the coaches, the April 27 game between the Wasps and Maple Mountain could settle the region title, but Salem Hills, Spanish Fork and Springville will have their say as well.
2022 Region 9 Preseason Rankings
Maple Mountain (1)
Cedar Valley (1)
Region 9 Players to Watch
Quinten Mecham (Cedar Valley), Gage McDonald (Cedar Valley), Deilen Westbrook (Cedar Valley), Dallin Bingham (Maple Mountain), Adam Newbold (Maple Mountain), Jacob Meredith (Maple Mountain), Spencer Behrend (Payson), Chandler Loveless (Payson), Caden Rowley (Payson), Jace Welsch (Provo), Carson Shorts (Provo), David Miller (Provo), Landon Butters (Salem Hills), Parker Darrington (Salem Hills), Christian Shuler (Salem Hills), Aaron Norris (Spanish Fork), Brixton Gull (Spanish Fork), Andrew Seidel (Spanish Fork), Cameron Ollerton (Springville), Austin Snarr (Springville), Aaron Campbell (Springville), Sam Madsen (Wasatch), Owen Erker (Wasatch), Cole Jorgenson (Wasatch).
Region 10 Preseason Rankings
Juan Diego LSM Jacob Anderson
Juan Diego enters the 2022 season as the favorite to take the Region 10 title. Waterford welcomes new head coach Travis Glennon to the mix. Judge looks to return to glory and UMA is searching for a first win as a UHSAA program.
Juan Diego opens its season on March 11 at Judge. These two programs used to have a tradition of playing on St. Patrick’s Day so I guess the 11th will have to do! The Soaring Eagle has several great non-region matchups including American Fork, Skyline, Olympus, Wasatch and Brighton.
2022 Region 10 Preseason Rankings
Juan Diego (4)
2022 Region 10 Players to Watch
Jacob Anderson (Juan Diego), Logan Huggard (Juan Diego), Wyatt Robertson (Juan Diego), Jack Harris (Judge Memorial), Will Yarrish (Judge Memorial), Sam Cowan (Judge Memorial), Hunter Keller (UMA), Bosten Schilleman (UMA), Kanyun Avner (UMA), Diesel Knight (Waterford), Carson Reynolds (Waterford), Devin Sullivan (Waterford).
Girls High School
Region 5 Preseason Rankings
2021 Box Elder Bees
Box Elder Head Coach Amber Earnest is stepping into 2022 with a strong, long line up and is ready to play some competitive lacrosse.
“I am excited and looking forward to this upcoming season,” said Earnest. “I have some high expectations for my team this year and we will have some tough games in Region 5 but we are definitely up for the challenge.”
Bountiful Head Coach Olivia Cope said, “It’s going to be great to play most of the teams we played from 2021.”
Cope is excited to see the growth of skills, knowledge and competitive play from last year to this year. Bountiful anticipates Box Elder as their biggest competitor this 2022 season.
“Box Elder had a deep bench with lots of fresh legs and a lot of good offensive drives,” said Cope.
2022 Region 5 Preseason Rankings
Box Elder (5)
Region 5 Players to Watch
Sunny Price-Huish (Bountiful), Naomi Brice (Bountiful), Emily Pulsipher (Bountiful), Jentry Stoker (Northridge) Savanna Polcz (Northridge) Vaida Staples (Northridge) Aleigha Evans (Bonneville) Taylor Byrd (Bonneville), Mckinlee Goldsberry (Bonneville), Samantha Atwood (Woods Cross), Maggie Preece (Woods Cross), Skylar Midgley (Woods Cross), Aubrey Billings (Box Elder), Kelsye Smith (Box Elder), Hannah Chlarson (Box Elder), Bekan Bargeron (Viewmont), Toree Wheatley (Viewmont), Rachel Lee (Viewmont).
Region 6 Preseason Rankings
2021 Park City Miners - Class A Champs
Park City is one of the best high school teams in Utah. Accompanying them in Region 6 is Olympus and Brighton, who are strong teams with talented athletes and with knowledgeable coaches. The Miners, Titans and Bengals ended 2021 with a bang as all three made it to the Class A semifinals. There’s major competition between these three elite teams. There are so many talented athletes on these Region 6 teams. All of the Region 6 teams have long legacies of strong players, strong coaches and strong lacrosse histories.
“The Region 6 Championship game last year was one of the best games I’ve ever seen. It was raining (hard) and both teams brought lots of energy. One of our goalies (Sarah Hart) got a last second save to secure the win for us,” said Brighton Head Coach Melissa Nash. “My Brighton team lost some major talent last year in Haley Taylor (University of Oregon), Grace Rappl (Westminster) and Addi England (Southern Virginia University). But, we also return loads of talent - watch out for 2021 USA Lacrosse All-American and RIT commit, Zoe Heffernan. And Westminster commit and powerhouse, Hunter Doyle. Along with a handful of other All-Region and All-State returners from last year.”
I would expect nothing less than intense and high-energy games for this years’ Region 6 games - particularly amongst those three teams (Park City, Brighton & Olympus).
The end of April/beginning of May will feature showdowns between the Region 6 favorites. On April 29, Brighton travels to Park City. On May 4, Olympus heads to Park City then on May 6, Brighton heads to Olympus.
2022 Region 6 Preseason Ranknigs
Park City (6)
Region 6 Players to Watch
Lindsey Knaphus (East), Meghan Donohoe (East), Atna San (East), Zoe Heffernan (Brighton), Hunter Doyle (Brighton), Leuren Ellis (Brighton), Sam Rieley (Park City), Kathleen Whiteley (Park City), Ava Kimche (Park City), Kate Richards (Olympus), Eva Thorn (Olympus), Hannah Nelson (Olympus), Ivy Bridge (Skyline), Olivia Lowe (Skyline), Maleah Holloway (Skyline), Grace Szwedko (Highland), Amelia Santelli (Highland), Sofia Patnide (Highland).
Armchair Lacrosse Coach: Assault Protection
That’s right, Assault Protection. Last week I wrote about the need for more lacrosse officials and the outsize role they play in the growth of the game. I noted some of the reasons why the members of our local lacrosse community should consider joining the ranks of the zebra here in Zion.
Anyone who wants to understand why we are lacking enough officials to keep up with the growth of the game needs to look no further than the words above. The National Association of Sports officials lists a number of benefits to becoming a dues-paying member and listed prominently at #4 on that list is the $15,500 Assault Protection Program. Yeah, have a look, it’s a real insurance program for sports officials in case they become a victim of an assault while on the job….officiating games of sport…Let that marinate in your brain for a few seconds.
It’s important to make it clear that I am merely an armchair lacrosse coach and will never be confused as a marketing genius. BUT none of us need to be a genius of any kind to see that potential physical assault could be a red flag on the recruiting front. It makes our recent call to action sound pretty nuts in this context. “You too can have a positive impact on the game of lacrosse by contributing some of your time to officiating games at the HS and Youth level…. and don’t worry if you get beat up in the parking lot, we’ve got you covered.” Not good.
In a survey of over 17,000 sports officials by the aforementioned NASO, 48% of respondents indicated that they had felt unsafe or feared for their safety at least once while officiating. Even worse 58% of officials believe sportsmanship is in decline, especially at the youth level. Shot in the dark here but I think this may be an indicator of larger societal issues. However, a social scientist I am not, so I will not attempt to solve all of our problems in one sitting, but I imagine youth sports may be a good starting point.
I, like many, believe sports are still one of the most effective development tools we have to help integrate young mammals into society successfully. Most of us can recite a litany of character traits that can be learned and fostered through participating in sports. This list is as long as my arm and my leg. In fact, I just listed 44 undeniably important human characteristics in the last 5 minutes. So how is it possible for adults to preach the virtues of accountability, resilience, humility, adaptability, problem-solving, integrity, respect and sportsmanship while deplorable sideline behavior is considered pervasive throughout youth sports in the US? As the old saying goes “Sports don’t build character, they reveal it”.
Many of us are now thinking “That’s not us though. It’s those other parents and coaches that are the problem” but here's the thing, it’s not. All of us need to do a better job regardless of where we think we fit on the lunatic spectrum. Because pressure is building. The professionalization of youth sports has been rapid. Serious investments, of both time and money, have been made. For some, this means club teams, travel, private coaching, nutritionists and advanced training of all kinds. Misinformation and misunderstanding about collegiate sports permeate up and down the sideline in every town in America. But I am not venturing to make right or wrong judgments on any of this, I am just pointing out that the pressure is real and if we don't acknowledge it there is no way we can reframe our perspective on what constitutes acceptable behavior.
Here is the data point that I'm choosing to focus on as a root cause/solution. 70% of kids in the US quit organized team sports by the time they are 13. Now, a lot happens to a human between the ages of 4 and 13 that can lead to this outcome for sure but the simple overarching reason is undeniable. Sports all too often can be a terribly negative experience overall for young people regardless of their perceived level of success. WHY? The kids themselves say it’s the yelling and constant criticism. The incessant emphasis on winning along with the fear of making mistakes that accompanies this hyper-negative environment. Couple this with the disturbing thought that many of the most egregious incidents of bad sideline behavior escalating to disciplinary actions and or the police being called happen at K-4 games! I think there may be a connection here.
So what can we do to keep officials and youth athletes from running for the door?
Remember why kids play sports. #1 to have fun, #2 to be a part of a team (friends) and #3 the excitement of competition. Winning hardly comes up. Maybe success should be measured by long-term development and happy/healthy faces. Plenty of time to learn how to win. Adults need to keep things in perspective and model the behavior. The best advice I have come across in my own search are the words “I love watching you play”.
Shared experiences impact both compassion and empathy. If every youth and HS coach were required to complete basic lacrosse officials training and testing through US lacrosse would go a long way. Every Varsity HC should be required to sign up and officiate one Saturday youth level game per season. Culture and education from the top down.
More programming and partnerships with organizations like Changing The Game Project and Positive Coaching Alliance for everyone involved. Behavior is a contagion and most humans want to fit in with the norms of the tribe.
Humanize officials for everyone. Maybe lacrosse officials should be encouraged to engage directly with spectators and fans. This of course could be done in a professional and respectful manner. Pregame and halftime. Answering questions. Especially at the youth level. Hard to blast a person who you see as an actual person trying their best.
Every program should have a well-established code of conduct for parents and spectators. A great one can be found at I love to watch you play.
At the end of the day, we are all trying to have a great expirence no matter what sideline we are on.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!
That’s it for this week, stay safe out there and see you on the sidelines!
— Tim Haslam (Intro/Mens/Boys), Kenzie Christiansen (Womens/Girls) & Brad Lavoie (Armchair Lacrosse Coach)