Boys lacrosse teams start spring season regardless of weatherMar 16, 2023 01:31PM ● By Catherine Garrett
In a rainy and lightning-delayed game, Bountiful hung on to beat Farmington 8-7 in the first game of the season. Photos by Roger V. Tuttle
Ten seniors return for Davis from a young team that went undefeated in Region 1 last year and made it to the 6A semifinals.
“We’re still fairly young, but we have a lot of guys with varsity and playoff experience,” said head coach Dillon Yocom.
The Darts will be led by First Team All-State attacker Emmett Rice, a senior, who has a “high level of lacrosse IQ,” according to Yocom, along with senior defender Emerson Bell, who has been a varsity start his entire high school career. “Emerson is a leader and everyone looks to him,” Yocom said of the Honorable Mention All-State player.
Other key players for Davis this year look to be seniors Eli Greenway, Everett Hensley and Blake Lucas, juniors Jacob Faerber, Nick Johnson, Ben Roylance, Jackson Rust and sophomores Carter Sant and Ashton Wood. The Darts also welcome junior goalie Hunter Keller who started at Utah Military Academy the past two seasons. “He’s arguably the best goalie in the state,” Yocom said.
Also on the DHS team this season are seniors Fletcher Anderl, Daniel Brough, Jacob Dowdle, Jaxon Reynolds, Parker Romney and Collin Wright; juniors William Adams, Damon Brown, Parker Chandler, Samuel Larsen, Josh Magana, Mason Magee, Mackay Neiderhauser, Chase Nelson, Logan Reynolds, Spencer Rigby, Brody Searle, Carson Smolka and Deuce Wright;
sophomores Bryson Bare, Elijah Bateman, Christian Bott, Jackson Bunch, Isaac Call, Conner Clark, Spencer Clark, Charles Dibble, Luke Donigan, Dawson Draper, Rocky Edelman, Jack Hilton, Brek Jensen, Maxwell Lifferth, Cooper Mason, Emerson Minalga, Gavin Morrell, Luke Nosler, Keaton Reid and Tate Wallwork; and freshmen Malachi Elsmore, Hendrix Grace, Ethan Lifferth, William Marsh, Caleb Murdock, Taylor Rust, Payton Smith, Milo Thorpe and Trustan Tucker.
“All of our guys are pushing each other to be better,” Yocom said.
Yocom is being assisted on the coaching staff this spring by Josh Bell, Trevor Yocom, Tim Richards, Nick Erickson, Kyle Hoskins, Boston Frasure, Berklee Baskin along with foreign exchange student – from Germany – Freddy Behrens.
In its first game of the season, Davis went up against 6A champion Corner Canyon and lost 14-3.
“Last year, we started the year against Corner Canyon and it was great to again start the season playing great competition. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” Yocom said. “We knew they would be a tough opponent coming off back-to-back state titles. We learned lots of great lessons that will help us get to where we want to be at the end of the season. Emerson stood out at long stick middle for us and the anchor of our defense with three caused turnovers. We are excited to bounce back and play some more great competition this week.”
The Darts are also scheduled to face Region 1 teams in home-and-away matchups in Fremont, Farmington, Layton, Clearfield, Syracuse, Roy and Weber while also playing 2022 5A semifinalist Olympus March 23.
“Our region continues to get stronger,” Yocom said. “This schedule will push us and we want to be tested.”
Senior attackman Mason Hepworth, senior defenseman Dallin Larsen and senior goalie Leif Erickson headline Farmington High’s returners this spring along with junior attacker Cooper Hyde, junior middie Tyler Jacobs and junior defenseman Dante Coats.
Head coach Christian Taylor returns much of his varsity lineup from a year ago and is looking to junior Dom Coats, sophomores Mitch Milne and Zach Moore and freshman Ryker Yeates to also make significant contributions on the field as the Phoenix squad begins play.
“We feel really good about our team this year,” said Taylor. “We have most of our starters back along with a few key players. We also expect to have a solid defense anchored by Dallin and Leif.”
Also on the FHS team are seniors Tyson Beynon, Jacob Duncan, Dallin Larsen, Brigham Palmer; juniors Charlie DeAndra, Ryan Eddins, Jake Guile, Luke Guile, Malachi Harrison, Wyatt Jacobsen, Hyrum Johnson, Kai Leavitt and Brady Wallace; and sophomore Mitch Milne
“We think there’s a lot of room to grow and we’re just getting out every day and playing hard,” Taylor said.
Taylor is being assisted on the coaching staff this season by Scott Beynon, James Taylor, Rob Moore, Nick Carrino and Paul Williams.
In its first game of the year, Farmington lost to Bountiful 8-7 March 10.
The Phoenix team gets right into Region 1 play with home-and-away games against Syracuse, Davis, Roy, Weber, Clearfield, Fremont and Layton. Their final game is scheduled for May 12 in a non-region matchup with American Fork.
“We have a stronger region this year than last,” Taylor said. “Every game will be hard-fought and we’ll see where things go.”
Bountiful High senior goalie Cooper Lowe was credited by head coach Peter Jordan as “having his best game in a Bountiful uniform” that ultimately made the difference in an 8-7 win over Farmington for the Redhawks in their first game of the season.
“It was a good back-and-forth game where we unfortunately had a lightning delay for over an hour just before the fourth quarter,” Jordan said.
Junior Tate Terry had four goals and an assist to lead Bountiful while freshman Carter Terry (two goals), junior Jensen Freeman (one goal), junior Wyatt Farr (one goal), senior Adam Mabey (one assist), junior Kyle Nielson (one assist), junior Faletau Satuala (one assist) and sophomore Ryland Hewitt (one assist) also helped the offense.
Also on the BHS squad were seniors Caleb Allred, William Black, Tanner Crane, McCoy Diaz, Cooper Lowe, Russell Smith, Samuel Stevenson and Isaac Stout; juniors Jack Clemons, Mason Crane, Nathan Horne, Michael Kaspar, Brigham Morrison and Brandon Wilkinson; sophomores Jax Bytnar, Thorin Carlile, Dawson Hanson, Tate Hattaway and Britton Tidwell; and freshmen Dawson Allsop and Connor Mertz.
Peter Jordan is being assisted by Allen Clemons, David Jordan and Zach Jordan on the coaching staff this year.
The Redhawks are also scheduled to play East, Park City, Olympus, Herriman and Highland before Region 5 home-and-away games with Box Elder, Bonneville, Woods Cross, Viewmont and Northridge.
Viewmont High senior Abe Salmon, who is among one of the top scorers in the state, returns for the Vikings squad who welcome in a new head coach.
“I’m really excited about the 2023 team,” said head coach Dan Derrick who assisted with the VHS program last season. “Abe is by far the best player in our region and we have a lot of other key players returning on the offensive side and face off positions. We have some of the top ranked players in the state who are sharp, fast, creative and aggressive. They have different skill sets that compliment game styles very well. It will be a super fun exciting team for the community to come out and watch.”
Derrick said he wasn’t looking for a head coaching position, but he is happy to be at Viewmont and humbled for the opportunity as well as to continue to learn.
Derrick brings a wealth of experience to his coaching staff with six former college athletes, five of whom played lacrosse, for the experienced group of players the Vikings return from a year ago. The coaches include Kyle Fujikawa, Trevin Hales, Alexandru Andersen, Austin Inkley, Carson Franklin, Zach Wheatley and former Viking Max Staples.
“Transactional coaches focus on the score, but I try to be more of a transformational coach who feels we can still be successful even if we lose some games,” Derrick said. “We want to be organized, create a positive experience and win and with the great individuals we have, we will work together to find success.”
Also on the VHS team this season are seniors Parker Burt, Presley Gubler, Caleb Hansen, Kai Horlacher, Landon Jeppesen, Tyler Mauri, Tyson Mauri, Portar Randall, Camden Stephenson and Ben Thomas; juniors Nate Delgado, Andrew Hinton, Henry Holmgren, JJ King, Luke Larson, Evan Larsen, Eli Lewis, Vade Morris, Parley Shupe, Braxton Siddoway, Sam Terreros, Jacob Walker and Ryker Zeh; sophomores Duncan Alder, Daniel Almeida, Alex Elizondo, Detmer Ray and Boston Wetzel; and freshmen Luke Cluff, Tyler Evans, Mason Gerrard, Beckett Handy, Tanner Palmer, Colt Salmon, Brigham Shupe and Gauge Staples.
“We have some new players that moved into the area last summers with years of experience and we have some new freshmen,” Derrick said. “But, the coolest part I think about this team is their willingness to work. We have players who have completely transformed their game, from being ordinary players to becoming extraordinary players. It says a lot about them as players and about the community.”
Viewmont is scheduled to begin its season March 15 against West while also facing East, Highland, Bingham, Maples Mountain and Skyridge before Region 5 home-and-away games against Bonneville, Northridge, Box Elder, Bountiful and Woods Cross.
“This will be a fun team to watch,” said Derrick. “We will be fast, we will be quick and aggressive. The games will be entertaining for the fan who has never seen lacrosse and for those with many years of experience as well.”
Head coach Lt. Col. Brett Rurka – who is affectionately called by his flight call sign “Razor” by his players – returns a strong captain group this season in seniors Seth Laycock and Will Marx and junior Jack Wood.
“They are working really hard to help build team unity and encourage our players to work hard,” Rurka said. “We have a developing team of mostly freshman and sophomores and we’re absolutely excited about the year.
Freshman attackman Gus Wood will be looked to by coach Rurka to “bring a lot of offense,” with his ability to see the field and solid stick play. Freshman midfielder Gavin Rurka can contribute complementary offense from his position.
On the defensive side, sophomore Aiden Weston, who has a lot of tenacity, according to coach Rurka, will be counted on to “step up and be a force,” while sophomore goalie will direct the defense with “good presence in the cage.”
The players have been training since September to develop fundamentals they can bring to the field this spring. “While we’re young, these kids have a drive to get better and are learning and improving,” coach Rurka said. “We hope to help them develop their lacrosse IQ just a little more where every player on the team has better field awareness, agility and stick handling as we go along and then each year we’ll build on that.”
Woods Cross is scheduled to start the year against Payson, Highland, Skyridge, Waterford and Maple Mountain before home-and-away Region 5 matchups with Northridge, Box Elder, Bountiful, Viewmont and Bonneville.
Also on the WXHS squad this season are seniors Ben McGuire, Caleb Richards and Roy Yazzie;
juniors Mike Freebairn, Lincoln Oaks, Kenyon Von and Luke Yospe; sophomores Brennen Auger, Jared Cannon, Carter Dunn, Lucas Hammond, Ledger Harding, Carter Kringlen, Noah Lake and Asher Patten; and freshmen Jameson Rich, Dawson Staten and Isaiah Walletine.
“Razor” Rurka is being assisted on the coaching staff this year by fellow AFA lacrosse alum, and 2ND LT., Caden Wolfson who is providing “an immediate and incredible impact on the defense,” according to Rurka, and Dr. Mark Kringlen, a volunteer coach who is also the Woods Cross youth lacrosse director. Other support personnel are Dr. Raul Weston and Devon Wood along with Wes Johnson.
The Wildcats coaching staff and players will be hosting clinics this summer and in the early fall for new players and also for those with more experience as part of the community out-reach they want to be a part of to expose young athletes to the sport and help them be motivated to play lacrosse.