Discover more from Utah Lacrosse Report
Utah v. Denver & Preseason Region Rankings
Issue 77 - Also: Interviews w/ Deen Anderson (East) & Matt Kenning (Corner Canyon), TRUE Lacrosse update and more!
Good afternoon lax fans. Guess what? We’ll have live, in-person lacrosse this week!
The 2022 Lacrosse Fandom Survey is still live so please take a moment to fill it out and send it to your teammates.
I don’t know about you, but I had cheered for Denver. I had bought a Denver t-shirt at a fall scrimmage against the Outlaws. I cheered in 2015 when they won the title. I’m sure I’m not alone, which makes the game this Saturday even more exciting. Obviously, Utah has played Denver at the D-I ranks already, but for the first time, the Pioneers will cross the Continental Divide and come to the greatest side of the Rockies. So, all I’m asking is that you forgo skiing/snowboarding just this week to come and fill Rice-Eccles Stadium. Come if you love the Utes, come if you hate the Utes. Come if you love lacrosse, come if you for some reason are reading this and don’t like lacrosse. Come if you want to see Jimmy Perkins again, who was brought on to be the volunteer assistant last week. I’m also doing a podcast with Coach McMinn so look for that on the Ute social channels later this week.
Who: Utah v. Denver
Where: Rice-Eccle Stadium
When: Saturday, February 5 - 1:00 PM
Tickets: Buy Here - 12 and under are free. Groups can use the code ‘GROUP’ for $5 tickets with a minimum of 10.
In the NCAA D-II ranks, the Westminster men were voted No. 1 in the preseason RMAC poll. The Griffins also tabbed Gabe Mein, Andoni Odencrantz and Gavin Beliman as captains for the 2022 season.
Upcoming Men’s Schedule
Feb. 5 - Denver @ Utah - 1pm - Rice-Eccle Stadium - 12 and under get in free
Feb. 5 - Utah Club @ UVU - 1pm - UVU
Feb. 10/11/12 - BYU v. Boise State, Washington State, Simon Fraser - Boise, Idaho
Feb. 11 - Utah Club @ Utah State - 6pm
Feb. 12 - UVU @ Utah State - 1pm
Boys High School
Interview w/ Deen Anderson (East)
In 2009 I was an assistant at Highland when the opportunity arose to coach a ⅞ team comprised of kids from Highland, East and West. We took on the name of Salt Lake Lacrosse and had an amazing season. It is certainly one of my favorite lacrosse seasons I have been part of. One of our key players was Daniel ‘Deen’ Anderson. In the final game of the season, in the playoffs, versus Alta, we were tied at the end of regulation. There’s only one way to solve a tie in this scenario and of course, it’s Braveheart. I picked Deen as he was a great faceoff man and one of our best scorers. He won the faceoff but had the shot saved. The Alta player stormed down the field and slipped it past our goalie to win. I remember calling Deen that night to see how he was doing and he replied, ‘It’s just one game coach. There will be plenty more.’
That same Deen Anderson is now the head coach of his alma mater, the East Leopards. Anderson started playing lacrosse in 4th grade - a year after his older brother Matt begin playing. Deen started with his other brother, Mike, who was in 3rd grade (and also on the Salt Lake Lacrosse team in 2009). After progressing through the youth ranks, Deen went on to shine for East, graduating in 2013. After a mission to the Philippines, Anderson played a year at Southern Virginia before returning to Utah to play under Coach Holman on the 2017 and 2018 teams then went back to Southern Virginia for the 2019 season.
“It is a dream of mine to coach at my alma mater and it was a chance for me to give back and share what I’ve learned being a player,” said Anderson. “ I feel very blessed to have had the coaches who have taught me the game since I started playing the game.”
Joining Anderson on the sidelines will be a gang of Andersons: Matt (BYU), Mike (SVU) and Joey (East) as well as Sau Tafisi (East), Brody Bolerjack (Utah State), Ryan Gregersen (UVU). JV coaches include the Godfather of East Lacrosse, Charlie Freedman (BYU), the dapper John Evans, Abram Wilcox (SVU) and Dalton Hoops (Lenoir-Rhyne).
“It was a huge priority coming into the coaching job that we were well staffed with coaches not only at the varsity level but at the JV level as well,” said Anderson. “We have a good mix of coaches who recently played college ball and coaches who have been around the game for a long time. I’m looking forward to coaching with my brothers this season. In my senior year of high school, I played with two of them and the third coached so I’m really excited to get to take part with all of them as coaches”
The team plans on team dinners and watching Utah practices/games to build the East culture.
“My most dramatic lacrosse memory was when at SVU, we were on the bus heading to a game in New Jersey,” said Anderson. “Our bus caught on fire about 30 min outside of Philadelphia. Luckily no one was harmed but we did spend the next morning getting some gear that didn’t make it off the bus at Dick’s Sporting Goods before our game that night.”
East will have its fair share of challenges in a tough Region 6. The Leopards open at Woods Cross on March 15.
Region 6 Preseason Preview
Park City Attackman Chase Beyer
Don’t be surprised if Region 6 puts three teams in this year’s 5A semifinals. Last year, Region 6 put two teams into the Division A semis (Olympus, Brighton) and now Park City (Division A runner-up) joins the region. The Miners graduated 11 seniors and lost 4 other key players who transferred or moved out of state. Olympus and Brighton return a ton of talent and Skyline will finally have home games again after construction forced the Eagles to play off-campus last year. East brings in Deen Anderson at the helm who hopes to lead his alma mater to the next level. Highland graduated a core group of players so the field is ripe for the Rams to make some noise. One of the other points from Region 6 is that five of the six coaches have been coaching at their school for more than 4 years. Those same five coaches have been coaching for a combined 47 seasons in all. Consistency helps build programs.
Obviously, it’s early, but I’d keep an eye on the Olympus @ Park City game on May 4 which is likely the game to settle the region.
2022 Region 6 Preseason Rankings
Park City (2)
Region 6 Players to Watch
Issac Hanson (Brighton), Grayson Harris (Brighton), Mitchell Dolato (Brighton), Lo Tafisi (East), Jack Taylor (East), Ami Tonga (East), Will Henderson (Highland), Jake Haslam (Highland), Khalil Jones (Highland), Hutton Murphy (Olympus), Camden Rossi (Olympus), Ethan Hartsfield (Olympus), Chase Beyer (Park City), Jude Trahan (Park City), Jack McHenry (Park City), Zane Neville (Skyline), Britton Brown (Skyline), Michael Jones (Skyline).
Region 3 Preseason Preview
Mountain Ridge Midfielder Gavin Gann
Newcomer Mountain Ridge takes the top spot in Region 3 after making the jump to 6A. Traditional powerhouse Bingham claims the second spot while Copper Hills, Riverton and Herriman were close in the poll. West Jordan and West fill out the remainder. Most of the coaches in this region all said something about Mountain Ridge joining the region. Whether it was the opportunity to create a rivalry or increased competition, Region 3 is better off with Mountain Ridge in the mix.
Mountain Ridge Head Coach Trent Bangert put together a great schedule for the Sentinals. A tournament length game against 4A favorite Green Canyon kicks off the season. The part that stands out is a late March contest against Olympus and a mid-April game against Park City. The rest of the schedule features great region competition. Bingham also has Olympus on the schedule as well as American Fork, Bountiful and Pleasant Grove in non-region play.
At this point, look towards the May 3 showdown between Mountain Ridge and Bingham as the key region game.
2022 Region 3 Preseason Rankings
Mountain Ridge (6)
Region 3 Players to Watch
Christian Jones (Bingham), Tyson Stidham (Bingham), Luke Wilson (Bingham), Logan Kofford (Copper Hills), Trevor Martin (Copper Hills), Lucas Abbott (Copper Hills), Asher Deputy (Herriman), Ethan Namba (Herriman), Jacob Hendrickson (Herriman), David Wright (Mountain Ridge), Gavin Gann (Mountain Ridge), Jacob Walsh (Mountain Ridge), Jack Mortensen (Riverton), Tyler Hayward (Riverton), Adam Shulsen (Riverton), Parker Willardsen (West), Jack Pronovost (West), Keo Wiliams (West), William Bailey (West Jordan), Ben Cox (West Jordan), James Hall (West Jordan).
We’ll post other regions as the votes come in. If you’re a head coach and haven’t heard from me, please reach out.
Semifinals for 5A and 6A will be played at Westminster College (SLC)
Finals for 4A, 5A and 6A will be played at Zion’s Bank Stadium (Herriman)
Boys and Girls will play on their own lines and not the unified lines at both venues.
1st Round, 2nd Round, and Quarters will be played at the higher seeds field.
Club Spotlight: TRUE Utah
Submitted by TRUE: 2021 was our most eventful year for the TRUE Utah Program. We had 10 State teams based out of Salt Lake City. 3 Utah County Dragonfish teams. 4 Ogden Bulls teams and 3 Wellsville (Logan) waterdog teams.
Our 2023 team reached #18 in the USclublax rankings and is currently #28 according to the most recent poll. They recently won the adrenaline challenge. We launched our Mountain West All-Stars program which takes in the top TRUE players in the MTN West coast region. Our teams competed at Blackjack and the Adrenaline Challenge.
The 3 regional programs: Waterdogs, Dragonfish & Bulls provided a local training option for players and they competed in the Brine SLC tournament. This coming summer, these regional teams will be back with local training and tournament play in Utah.
The Utah Sting box program has seen its largest participation numbers in program history. The Sting will be competing at our local run winter tournament January 28-30 and head to Phoenix for the Western Invitational February 5/6th.
Girls High School
Interview w/ Matt Kenning (Corner Canyon)
Who is Matthew Kenning? He’s a Father of 4 daughters, Coach at Corner Canyon and Director at Force Lacrosse. Coach Kenning's lacrosse journey began in 2011 with his 2nd oldest daughter. She started playing lacrosse in 8th grade. Her coach needed an assistant, Coach Kenning stepped up and filled those duties. His 3rd daughter watched her older sister play lacrosse and just had to play! She had no coach for her youth team. Once again Coach Kenning stepped up to lead his daughter’s youth lacrosse team.
Corner Canyon Girls Lacrosse has talented Freshmen joining their spring 2022 team. The team has big shoes to fill with Goalie Ella Cheminant and 2 of her defenders graduating last spring.
Kenning with #22 Eliza Jorgensen and #17 Lauren Ackerman who are now Corner Canyon JV coaches.
“We have very talented and athletic kids ready to step into their shoes,” said Kenning. The Corner Canyon class of 2023 (juniors) brings unbelievable talent and technique that will bring great depth to asset the team in a great season.
“We’re excited to play everyone on our schedule,” said Kenning.
The Corner Canyon schedule is filled with strong teams from outside their region like Riverton, Bingham and Davis. Corner Canyon had some losses to Park City, Brighton, and Alta last spring. The team is gearing up to compete against them once again.
April 14th, 3:30 pm - Corner Canyon @ Skyridge. This Region 4 game against Skyridge will be one game you won’t want to miss.
Throwback to spring 2021 Corner Canyon had heated competition against Skyridge falling short by 1 point in both games.
Those weren’t the only 2 times the teams competed against one another! On May 18th in the playoffs, Skyridge won 13-10.
“Park City is still intimidating but I think Skyridge is scary good this year,” said Kenning.
When asked about the differences between Force (Summer Club) and Corner Canyon. Coach Kenning makes it known Corner Canyon players are never pressured into playing for Force. Playing for Force doesn’t put Corner Canyon players at an advantage for tryouts or positions on the Corner Canyon team. Coach Kenning's philosophy doesn’t alter between any teams he coaches. “I work with the talent I have and will always try to tailor the offense and defense to match the players.” Coach Kenning focuses on Fun, IQ, Positivity and Love for team/sport.
An inspiring story from Matthew Kenning.
“One of my players once said they were afraid that if they messed up they would get benched and would not be able to play. I told that player that if I benched everyone who made a mistake during a game then eventually we would have no one to play.” Always do your best and learn from the mistakes you’ve made.
Region 3 Preseason Preview
Do you think we’ll have a rainy spring season? Rain or shine Region 3 is ready to compete. As we look back on spring (2021) Mountain Ridge and Herriman in a high-scoring, fast-paced, and overall intense game. As well as Riverton and West Jordan with the two teams playing each other twice in Spring 2021. With both Riverton and West Jordan taking home a win. It makes us wonder how Spring 2022 will be different.
Herriman Girls Lacrosse Photo from March 2021
Mark your Calendars
April 5th 5:30 pm Mountain Ridge @Herriman
Spring 2021 recap on Herriman vs Mountain Ridge (H-15, MR-13)
Herriman 12 / 15 of Herriman’s goals came from 2021 seniors.
Mountain Ridge with their leading scorer as a 2021 senior.
Head coach at Mountain Ridge Coach Angie Brescia reassures us that Mountain Ridge Girls Lacrosse has been working hard to prepare for their competitive season. Upping their speed and aggressiveness along with teamwork. There will be multiple threats on their field this year. “Herriman High has always been a strong and competitive team, we’re all excited to see how this game plays out.”
March 31st 5:30pm Riverton @ West Jordan
Spring 2021 recap on Riverton vs West Jordan, these teams met on the field twice in 2021. First game 3/23/2021 R-18, WJ -13
Second game 4/29/2021 WJ–16, R-12
2022 Region 3 Preseason Rankings
Mountain Ridge (4)
Region 3 Players to Watch
Kaycee Ellison (Bingham), Afton Wilson (Bingham), Ashlyn Smith (Bingham), Anna Cooley (Copper Hills), Olivia Young (Copper Hills), Tessa Marty (Copper Hills), Morgan Eldredge (Herriman), Kelsey Lambert (Herriman), Madilyn Rogers (Herriman), Annabelle Kugler (Herriman), Emmery Clark (Mountain Ridge), Paige Runia (Mountain Ridge), Tessa Mortensen (Mountain Ridge), Livia Sargent (Riverton), Isabel Milner (Riverton), Emma Pennington (Riverton), Sydnee Brinton (West Jordan), Emilee Allgier (West Jordan), Amelia Henderson (West Jordan).
→ Wasatch LC HS Tryouts
Date: February 5th 4pm - 5:30
Location: Basin Recreation Fieldhouse, Park City.
More info: wasatchlc.com
→ Force Lacrosse Tryouts
Date: February 5th
Time: 10am - Noon
Location: Sport City Draper
Ages: 2023 to 2029
More info: Force lacrosse website
→ Alex Aust & Marcus Holman Clinic
Date: February 6th
Girls Training - 5-6pm (All ages)
U11 Boys Training - 5-6pm
U13 & U15 Boys Training - 6-7pm
Location: Sports City Draper
→ Summit LC Lynx Tryouts
Utah Summit is thrilled to host our 1st ever Girl's Lacrosse Team Tryouts! This summer we will be training and competing with elite girls' lacrosse teams. The Summit LC Lynx is Utah's newest premier girls lacrosse program.
Season: Summer 2022
Starts: February 18th & 19th at 7:00 PM
Location: Spence Eccles Fieldhouse
High School Girls Tryouts: February 18th & 19th from 7-9PM for 2023 - 2025.
Middle School Girls Tryouts: February 18th & 19th from 7-9PM for 2026 - 2029.
That’s it for this week, stay safe out there and see you on the sidelines!
— Tim Haslam (Mens/Boys) & Kenzie Christiansen (Womens/Girls)
In the cases where players aren’t listed, the coach didn’t submit players for consideration or I couldn’t find a reliable roster.