UHSAA RPI Released, Westminster Upsets Belmont Abbey, Livia Sargent - Girls Player of the Week
Issue 86 - The rest of the Top 5 Best High School Players from Utah continued...
Good morning lacrosse fans! Thank you for taking time out of your day for the Utah Lax Report. If you’re reading this while on Spring Break, thank you. Have fun wherever you’re at and be sure to hit the wall!
As a reminder, the fine folks at Tribal West are offering 10% off your online order using the code TRIBAL2022 on tribalwest.com. You can order online and pick it up in-store!
The dates for the Tribal West Camp were announced over the weekend so mark your calendars for July 26 - 29. Registration will open soon so be sure to keep an eye on the Tribal West social media when the link goes live.
Armchair Lacrosse Coach: Top 5 Players to Ever Play HS Lacrosse in Utah (Continued)
Editors Note: If you missed No. 1 and No. 2, read this first.
Remember, this is a Top 5 players ever to come out of Utah (born and bred) taking into account the collegiate body of work.
After receiving several strongly worded letters and many middle-of-the-night hangups from blocked numbers I think it’s safe to say that this TOP FIVE LIST has struck a nerve. People need to remember that I am just some knucklehead (knucklehead = armchair lacrosse coach) playing fast and loose with many of my own ill-conceived opinions. In other words, I'm giving you lacrosse zealots what you want, high-quality thoughts wrapped in low-quality writing. I blame public school. However, I will not be intimidated by you thugs. I plan to finish this list below no matter how short-sighted and unpopular it is.
No. 3 Ted Ferrin / Elliot Grow
These two are widely considered to be two of the best to ever play in the MCLA with multiple National Championships between them. In my opinion, these two epitomize the free-flowing and powerful nature of BYU lacrosse across the last 20 years. It is safe to say that both Ted (Olympus) and Elliot (Highland) had the skill and athleticism to play at any of the various initials and numbers associated with collegiate lacrosse but they made the conscious choice to stay local and likely had a lot to do with raising the level of play and national profile of virtual varsity lacrosse in the eyes of the blue blood establishment types. If I were better at this I would have researched and listed the many accolades that both of them accumulated over the years but that would be very un-armchair of me. So I will leave you with two final opinions: (1) Ted Ferrin is likely on the Top 5 players in MCLA history list and (2) Elliot Grow could have played in the MLL if he chose to pursue it.
No. 4 Case Rose / Garrett Bullet / Garrett Michaeli / Zack Franckowiak
Look, this list of players above includes Top 20 D-I Captains, starters, academic and athletic Big 10 all-conference selections. Almost all of these guys could be considered “underrecruited” out of Corner Canyon and went on to prove they belonged on the biggest stages and multi-time No. 1 ranked Rutgers teams. Rosey scored huge goals as a first-line midfielder in some big-time moments on ESPN and captained a team. Go back and watch Bullet go head-to-head with Michael Sowers in 2020 with the C on his jersey - enough said. Michaeli was drafted by the Bayhawks and was productive as a pro, let alone a productive LSM and Close D guy in the Big 10 for years. Francko is still playing as a member of one of the more iconic rope units (NASCAR) in lacrosse and D’ing up top midfielders week in and week out. Plus, Casey Rose getting his haircut by Carc was great but this feature by BTN was tremendous. They are all pioneers.
No. 5 Bernhardt “Beau” Pederson
Currently, the No. 1 short-stick defensive midfielder on the No. 6 ranked team in the nation (Princeton) while competing in the strongest conference. Like Zack Frackowiak and Bubba Fairman noted above, he plays what is very likely the toughest position in our sport. Getting dodged on every possession of every game then responsible for clearing the ball, starting and making great decisions in transition and being a monster on ground balls. At this point as a Junior if you flip on a game (all of which are televised) you will see that #23 hardly leaves the field leading people to forget that the 6’3” 215+ pound athlete played attack all through high school at Park City. People need to understand what it takes to make that jump athletically, needless to say, it’s huge and to do it well is an even bigger deal. Lastly, people forget that in 2020 when the season got shut down, Princeton was ranked No. 3 and looked a lot like a final four team and he was playing a lot then too. The story is far from over for BP.
Josh Stout, Lone Peak HS, University of Utah
Brandon Dodd, Logan HS, Air Force Academy
Ryan Baker, Juan Diego Catholic HS, Bryant University
Collin Madsen, Olympus HS, Dominican (NY), Westminster College (UT)
Josh Holland, Riverton HS, Seton Hill University, Westminster College (UT)
Dallas McLellan, Juan Diego Catholic HS, Westminster College (UT)
Boys High School
Last week, Dane Stewart and I recorded a show talking about lacrosse for KSL Sports. You can watch it via the tweet below.
As always, our polls are brought to you by Salty Lacrosse.
No. 1 Corner Canyon - The Chargers took care of business against Pleasant Grove (23-2) and Westlake (16-3) last week and will head to Southern California for its toughest test yet. Corner Canyon takes on Mater Dei on Tuesday and Corona Del Mar on Wednesday. USA Lacrosse Magazine has Mater Dei as No. 1 in the West and Corona Del Mar as No. 2 in the West. Mater Dei beat Corona Del Mar, 14-8, on Saturday. The magazine also has Corner Canyon at No. 5. Once again, it will be time for us to put aside our pride and cheer for the Chargers to continue to put Utah on the map. After this trip, Region 4 play awaits the Chargers.
No. 2 Olympus - The Titans had a showdown with No. 4 Mountain Ridge on Tuesday that ended up being rescheduled after the first 10 minutes of play. On Thursday, Olympus beat Spanish Fork, 19-3. The Titans will have no games this week due to Spring Break.
No. 3 American Fork - American Fork edged No. 7 Lone Peak on Tuesday, 8-6, then beat Pleasant Grove, 13-4. The Cavemen will have no games this week due to Spring Break.
No. 4 Mountain Ridge - After the game with No. 2 Olympus was rescheduled, Mountain Ridge beat Bingham, 13-11, on Thursday. The Sentinels will play Herriman on Tuesday and host No. 5 Park City on Friday.
No. 5 Park City - It was a busy week for the Miners who beat Green Canyon, 13-3, on Wednesday then headed to Colorado to take on Valor Christian and Cherry Creek. The other side of the Rockies was unkind to the Miners who lost to Valor Christian, 11-7, and Cherry Creek, 12-6. Surely the Miners are one of the most battle-tested teams in the state which should pay dividends down the road. Park City will travel to Wasatch on Wednesday and No. 4 Mountain Ridge on Friday.
No. 6 Alta - Alta beat Lehi on Tuesday, 19-2, and Orem on Thursday, 18-7. The Hawks will have no games this week due to Spring Break. The lone test on the schedule for Alta will be on April 22 as it hosts No. 5 Park City.
No. 7 Lone Peak - Lone Peak lost to No. 2 American Fork on Tuesday then beat Skyridge, 16-5, on Thursday. The Knights will have no games this week due to Spring Break.
No. 8 Davis - The Darts beat Clearfield, 17-2, on Tuesday then beat Syracuse, 21-9, on Thursday. Davis will have no games this week due to Spring Break.
No. 9 Fremont - Fremont beat Syracuse, 17-7, on Tuesday and Roy, 19-5, on Thursday. The Silverwolves are scoring goals in droves with their lowest offensive output being 15 in the first two games of the season.
No. 10 Bountiful - The Redhawks are the newest team in the coaches poll and enter with a 4-1 record. The lone loss was to No. 5 Park City in a game that Bountiful led by one goal at halftime. Bountiful beat Brighton on Tuesday, 8-6, and Highland on Friday, 21-3. The Redhawks will have no games this week due to Spring Break.
Region 3 and a handful of other teams are in action this week. Riverton takes on Copper Hills on Tuesday. Brighton also heads to Southern California to take on Cathedral Catholic and La Jolla.
I’m just going to leave this tweet from Rob Pannell here. Do what you want with it.
UHSAA RPI Released
The UHSAA RPI was released on Friday. For those not familiar, the UHSAA RPI is the official metric to seed postseason play. Also, if you’re just joining us, this year will feature playoff brackets based on school classification, not 1-16, 17-32, 33+ like the past year and most of the non-sanctioned years. I’m keeping track of the RPI movement each day and will publish the link next week. Of course, the RPI was released with a little bit of skepticism. For example, in 6A, if you look at the Top 6, there are some interesting tidbits. It’s no surprise Corner Canyon is No. 1. They were No. 1 all last year too except for one day in April. No. 2 is Mountain Ridge which no one will argue with except for American Fork which is also undefeated but sits at No. 5. Here’s where it gets interesting. No. 3 is Weber at 6-1. Their lone loss is to No. 4 Fremont whose lone loss is to No. 6 Davis. A little bit backward! Anyway, you can see the RPIs here: https://www.uhsaa.org/rpi/boyslacrosse/2022/ - It’s updated as each game goes final and a score is put into MaxPreps (hence the importance of putting scores into MaxPreps). Also, it will definitely change as the season goes on and the games are played. I suspect we’ll see some teams move as many as 7-8 spots as the season goes on.
There are a couple of unfortunate consequences of doing the playoffs this way. First, we won’t see Corner Canyon play Olympus. Since the Chargers are 6A and the Titans are 5A, and a regular-season matchup isn’t on the docket, we won’t see the best two teams in the state square off. The second problem I have with this system (and the 1-58 system) is that there isn’t a reward for region champs outside of a trophy and some bragging rights. In the old days of UHSAA sports, region champs were given home games and played the No. 4 seed from another region. Now, in 6A, it’s likely the region champ will be given a home game and a great seed, but if we look at 5A, it’s possible a region champ won’t even be in the Top 10. Right now, the highest team from Region 9 is Maple Mountain at No. 10. Now, if the season ended today, they would have a first-round game at home, but other region champs will have a first-round bye. In 5A, what if the Top 8 were seeded from the first and second teams in each region based on RPI? Then seed team 9 - 27 using their spot in the RPI. Could be fun and it rewards doing well in region play. Maybe all we need is a trophy and bragging rights though?
Girls High School
Girls Player of the Week - Livia Sargent, Senior at Riverton High School
“Livia has been one to watch, having made the Utah Girls U17 Nationals team last year, she is a strong midfielder and let Riverton in many successful games this season. She is a leader on Riverton as a Senior who is always inclusive and nice to everyone. She is very receptive to feedback and always has a good attitude on and off the field. Liv is a force to reckon with this year!’ - Coach Dorton
Not a lot of movement as many teams are on Spring Break this past week and upcoming week. We do welcome Alta to the Top 10!
No. 1 Park City played Friday night against Wasatch. The Miners took home the win, 17-4. Next up for Park City is hosting Highland on Tuesday.
No. 2 Skyridge beat Westlake on Tuesday, 20-5. On Thursday night, Skyridge dominated No. 6 Lone Peak, 17-9. The star of the show for Skyridge was Rivanna Buecher with 14 ground balls, 9 caused turnovers, 7 goals and 9 assists. Next up for Skyridge is American Fork on April 12.
No. 3 Brighton got a big win Tuesday night over Viewmont, 20-2. Brighton stayed consistent by taking a win over Lehi on Thursday, 20-2. Zoe Heffernan ripped up the field this week with 11 goals, 3 assists and 9 ground balls. Next up for Brighton is a game versus Jordan on April 14.
No. 4 Olympus did not have any games. Their next game is at Juan Diego on April 13.
No. 5 Mountain Ridge dominated Juan Diego on Tuesday night, 20-4. Mountain Ridge beat Bingham, 22-4, on Thursday night. Emery Clark wrecked the field with 10 goals, 6 assists, 9 ground balls and 1 caused turnover. Next for Mountain Ridge is a home game against No. 1 Park City this Thursday.
No. 6 Lone Peak had a striking win over American Fork, 14-4. Lauren Siri had a great week with 3 goals, 1 assist and 4 ground balls. Lone Peak fell short to No. 2 Skyridge, 17-9. Next is hosting No. 7 Corner Canyon on Tuesday.
No. 7 Corner Canyon played and won against Pleasant Grove on Tuesday night, 19-6. Friday night they went up against Westlake and took the win by 14 goals, 20-6. Simone Parker dominated the field this week with 14 goals, 1 assist, 15 ground balls and 5 caused turnovers. The next game for Corner Canyon is played at No. 6 Lone Peak on Tuesday.
No. 8 Davis had a hard game against Clearfield where they walked away with a 1 goal win. Brinlee Wilding scored 3 goals. Kaydence Johnson had 6 ground balls and 2 caused turnovers. Next up for Davis is an April 12 showdown against Roy.
No. 9 Bear River challenged Bingham Friday night and won, 17-11. The stand-out players for this game are Marley Kierstead with 6 goals and Bentley Lorimer with 15 ground balls. Next up for Bear River is Thursday at East.
No. 10 Alta had a great win Tuesday night over Lehi, 13-2. Jessica Law shined bright with 7 points in her game versus Lehi. The Hawks then beat Orem, 25-1. Eva Becerra and Mylie Johnson were the leading players with 7 points each in their game against Orem. The next game is April 12 against East.
3/29 Corner Canyon vs Pleasant Grove
Corner Canyon beat Pleasant Grove, 19-6, on Tuesday night. Corner Canyon had a very solid defense and a balanced offense. 7 girls on Corner Canyon were able to score goals. Corner Canyon stands proud of their few calls and that the team played clean with lots of trust. “We came out strong and played well against a solid team,” said Corner Canyon head coach Matt Kenning. Corner Canyon nominated Lizzy Boyle as their player of the game. Lizzy set the tone early on offense with 2 first-half goals and 2 assists. She never dropped or made a bad pass. On the defending side of Corner Canyon is Pleasant Grove, defense had amazing fast-break stops and marked up fast throughout the whole game. The team learned how crucial catching and passing are to the game of lacrosse. Corner Canyon was a great example of ball movement. Pleasant Grove nominates Eliza Berg as their player of the game. “Eliza is our fastest runner and works hard in midfield. She had great endurance and had great skills shown tonight. Also had 2 goals,” said Coach Wright.
3/29 Provo vs Orem
Provo dominated with a 23 point lead over Orem, 24-1. Provo excelled in shutting down their offense in the midfield through double-teaming and forcing turnovers. In this game, they were able to really learn the importance of settling the ball on offense and looking for assists. Provo nominated Lauren Bauer as their player of the game. “She placed her shots strategically so that they were hard to defend, and ended up with 100% shot accuracy,” said Coach Coyne. “This team put a lot of hard work in to get the results they wanted. I’m very proud of how they played.” Turning the table to Orem, their transitions have improved game to game. The team is working on their defense and assisting the goalie in crashes. Orem nominates Ginger Johnson as their player of the game. “She was all over the place on defense making good blocks and interceptions,” said Coach Adams.
UHSAA RPI Released
The UHSAA RPI was released on Friday. You can view it here: https://www.uhsaa.org/rpi/girlslacrosse/2022/ - As a reminder, this is the system that will be used to seed the playoff brackets when the postseason starts. This will surely change as time goes on and more games are played.
I turned the table a bit and asked the top three teams in 6A to have their captains give us team insight. It is amazing how much heart, passion and trust these girls have with their team.
Skyridge 6A No.1 - Captains Brooklyn Gibson and Allie Vaughn: “We love seeing everyone’s improvement throughout the season/year it's always exciting; plus having everyone come together - whether it’s at a game or a team dinner always makes you feel proud knowing you’re trying your best to create experiences people are going to remember for the rest of their lives and hopefully have some great memories of pushing ourselves to the next level and enjoying everything else along the way. Our team has so much talent from every single player and we’ve mastered working hard while also having the time of our lives. We are also extremely lucky to have coaches putting so much time and thought into our team. They’re our biggest supporters and want us to succeed in every aspect of our lives. Skyridge started out our season with a challenging loss against the great Park City but ever since then we’ve been pushing ourselves, playing other tough teams, and are now 4-1. As for the rest of the season, we’ll be working hard and enjoying the ride; playing the best we can, supporting each other and looking to make a deep run in the 6A state tournament.
Davis 6A No.2 - Captain Ava Bair: “I love to lead the team and help the girls find love for the same sport as I do. I love guiding the girls and helping them outside of practice when they ask. I think it’s amazing that everyone is able to play well together to create a team that works really well and everyone can pull their own weight. Though we are undefeated, we’ve had a few kinks we’ve needed to work out. However, we worked things out at the practice before Spring Break and I think we’re going to come back stronger than ever. I think we have some recovery to make up for the rest of the season. Our game against Skyridge will be difficult, however, I know that we have the skillset to beat them. So if each player is willing to work hard and to the best of our potential, we will be having a pretty long season.” Captain Macie Wood: “My team is so fun to lead! I love helping the girls improve and seeing them get more confident in themselves while playing! We all get along and we have so much fun. We are hardworking and never give up. Since we lost some of our best players last year, we have had a rough start getting back into the competition. However, we pull through and work hard. That has gotten us to be undefeated so far. This past week, we have been working so hard to improve all our skills. Because of this, the rest of our season will be very successful. I see a lot of wins in our future!” Captain Morgan Bunch: “I definitely think we have a lot to work on and I know there is talent in each member of our team, I think we just need to gain the confidence. We also need to respect ourselves and not get down on our team or ourselves individually. I think if we pick up our confidence and hold our heads high we will be able to conquer more than we think. Again, I think if we work on our confidence not only in ourselves but in our team we will be able to win state and take that championship.”
Syracuse 6A No.3 - Captain Brooklyn Suttemyer: Brooklyn loves to lead her team and “build friendship; Lacrosse is the game that lets us have fun together.” Captain Emma Hamblin: “Something special about my team is that we are all friends on and off the field. My team has improved so much from where we first started. We have worked hard to win games and we always have a positive attitude on the field.” Captain Gabby Fessle: “I’m super proud of all of us and how much work we have put in. It’s awesome that we started with a lot of new girls again and have still done so well. We are better than last season and we are going to surprise a lot of people.”
It was a great week of college lacrosse in the state. On Wednesday, BYU beat cross-town rival Utah Valley, 15-8. Alton Taylor (American Fork) led the Cougars in goals with 3 while Seth Garff (Sam Ramon Valley, CA) had 4 points for BYU with 1 goal and 3 assists.
On Friday, Westminster kicked off the day at No. 18 Belmont Abbey. The game was close throughout but a 6 goal run in the second and third quarters helped propel the Griffins to take the lead in a game that went to overtime. Joseph Celentano (Saint Ignatius College Prep, CA) scored the game-winning goal for the Griffins, his first of the season. The Griffins then attended the Duke v. North Carolina game on Saturday.
Also on Friday, BYU hosted Texas A&M and won, 16-6. Southern Utah traveled to Logan to face Utah State and was sent home with a 25-2 defeat at the hands of the Aggies in what will surely be the first of many games between these two squads.
On Saturday, Utah took on Air Force and beat the Falcons, 10-8, which marked the first ASUN victory for the Utes. Eight players had one goal for Utah while Koa Todd (St. Margaret's Episcopal, CA) had two for the Utes. Cache Valley native Brandon Dodd (Logan) had 3 goals for Air Force.
Also on Saturday, UVU beat Texas A&M, 14-8.
On Sunday, Westminster lost to Mount Olive, 8-6. Also on Sunday, Utah State lost to the College of Idao, 16-8.
Pole Goal of the Week goes to High Point pole Trey Smith.
4/7 - Wyoming @ Utah State - 6 pm
4/8 - UVU @ Boise State - 3 pm
4/8 - BYU @ Liberty
4/8 - Wyoming @ Utah Club - 7 pm
4/9 - Utah @ Cleveland State - 10 am
4/9 - Wyoming v. SUU @ Utah Club - 12:30 pm
4/9 - UVU v. Washington @ Boise State - 1 pm
4/9 - SUU @ Utah Club - 2:30 pm
4/9 - BYU @ NC State - 3 pm
4/9 - Utah State @ Air Force Club - 4 pm
4/10 - Utah State @ Colorado School of Mines - 12:30 pm
4/10 - Adams State @ Westminster - 2 pm
4/11 - BYU @ Virginia Tech - 2 pm
4/14 - Texas @ UVU - 5:30 pm
4/15 - Utah Club @ Colorado School of Mines - 7 pm
4/15 - SUU @ Fort Lewis - 7 pm
4/16 - Utah Club @ Air Force Club - 11 am
4/16 - SUU @ Western Colorado - Noon
4/16 - Texas @ BYU - 1 pm
4/16 - Robert Morris @ Utah - 1 pm
It was a big weekend for our local college teams with BYU and Utah State heading to Colorado while UVU headed to Idaho.
Friday's game against the University of North Carolina: BYU had a great gave Friday ending with a win, 13-5.
Saturday’s game against the University of Michigan: BYU had an excitingly close win 12-10.
Saturday’s game against Boston College: BYU fell 8 goals short of a win, falling by the score of 17-9.
Utah State: 1-2
Friday's game vs Northeastern University: USU fell 3 points short of a win, 17-20.
Saturday's game vs Colorado State: USU had a Victorious win, 20-5. This game led to the Aggies earning a place at regionals.
Saturday's game vs Texas: USU had a tough battle against Texas in Colorado but ultimately fell short, ending the game, 18-7.
Tayvia Yocom is No. 6 in Draw Control
The team excelled at many different things during their games including transitions on offense and defense, our rides and our defensive zone positioning. “This week we are focusing on shot placement and fakes. I think every girl contributed tremendously to our games but we always love giving shout-outs to our goals,” said Team President Rachel Jenson.
Utah Valley: 2-0
Saturday’s game against Montana State: UVU ripped up the field with a 32-1 win over Montana State.
Saturday’s game versus NNU: UVU strikes again with a 29-0 win over NNU
UVU women's lacrosse team played back-to-back games on Saturday which is never easy. They connected as a team. UVU is looking forward to the regional championship tournament on April 15-16. UVU has 5 different players ranked in the top 10 in the nation.
Kennedy Richards is No. 2 for Points, Goals and No. 7 Assists.
Eliza Jorgensen is No. 2 in Assists and No. 3 in Points.
Maya Lightfoot is No. 2 in Draw Control and No. 10 in Points.
Shea Munger is No. 1 in Ground Balls, No.1 in Draw Control and No. 4 in Take-Aways.
Lauren Ackerman is No. 5 in Ground Balls.
“All of the UVU players have set their goals and are willing to put in the time and effort to help make this team better each week,” said Coach Jorgy.
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)