Good morning lacrosse fans. Thank you for taking time out of your day for the Utah Lax Report. Don’t forget to forward to a friend, it’s the best way for the newsletter to grow. Let’s get to it.
Interview w/ Waterford Athletic Director Craig Morris
c/o Ben Haslam
Craig Morris is one of a handful of people in the lacrosse community who has seen the sport grown from a few teams in the mid 90’s to what it is today. He has coached at the high school and college level and was a huge part of the sanctioning effort. Please take a moment to listen to our conversation, there are tons of great nuggets of information in it. You can listen to the latest podcast above or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Feeling hungry? We have a lot to get through to stop reading and head to Vessel Kitchen and order my go-to, the Chicken + Grains: shredded chicken, coconut rice, quinoa, spicy house green sauce, fresno aioli, fire roasted peppers. Once you’re full, continue reading!
2021 Girls High School Preseason Region Rankings
This wraps up the region rankings. Once again, I didn’t come up with these, they are voted on by the coaches in the region. You can see all of the rankings in the story highlights on Instagram.
File photo from the archives
The Darts received six first place votes and will look to take the Region 1 title with head coach Makenzie Hekking at the helm, leading her alma mater.
2021 Region 1 Preseason Rankings
Region 1 Players to Watch1
Sam Wilkes (Davis), Macie Wood (Davis), Ava Bair (Davis), Carlie Murray (Weber), Reanna Maughan (Weber), Emma Greer (Weber), Rylee Webster (Layton), Sieara Christensen (Layton), Allie Gordon (Layton), Brooklyn Suttlemyre (Syracuse), Maggie Manley (Syracuse), Anna Bott (Syracuse).
Herriman: 2019 Girls D-I Champions
As the defending champions, Herriman certainly has a target on its back but that was almost 21 months ago. Several key players graduated in 2020 but the foundation should be strong for the Mustangs. Bingham and West Jordan will certainly challenge for the region title.
2021 Region 3 Preseason Rankings
West Jordan (1)
Region 3 Players to Watch
Olivia Rindlisbacher (Herriman), Bailee Butterfield (Herriman), Bailee Fabert (Herriman), Olivia Gilbert (Bingham), Mia Scharman (Bingham), Saige Drecksel (Bingham), Kenzi Winget (West Jordan), Emilee Algier (West Jordan), Sydnee Brinton (West Jordan), Allie Reiser (Copper Hills).
It’s not everyday that a new team gets the top spot. Farmington will have a lot to prove in its first season.
2021 Region 5 Preseason Rankings
Box Elder (1)
Woods Cross (1)
Region 5 Players to Watch
Paige Burwell (Farmington), Emily Leavitt (Farmington), Hailey Savage (Farmington), Taylor Byrd (Bonneville), Amanda Davies (Bonneville), Lyssa Hendrickson (Bonneville), Hannah Bird (Viewmont), Bekah Bargeron (Viewmont), Toree Wheatley (Viewmont).
The 2020 Bengals squad
The Bengals return a ton of talent and certainly a favorite to be in at least the semifinals this season.
2021 Region 6 Preseason Rankings
Region 6 Players to Watch
Haley Taylor (Brighton), Addi England (Brighton), Grace Rappl (Brighton), Kate Richards (Olympus), Maddy Larkins (Olympus), Hazel Baker (Olympus), Presley Parkinson (Highland), Sofia Patnode (Highland), Amelia Santelli (Highland), Grace Szwedko (East), Britlyn Smith (East), Lindsey Knaphus (East).
File photo from the archives
Alta will look to return to glory as one of the top teams in the state.
2021 Region 7 Preseason Rankings
Mountain Ridge (1)
Region 7 Players to Watch
Calli McDermott (Alta), Marley Webster (Alta), Kate Johnson (Alta), Kiley Mortensen (Mountain Ridge), Tessa Mortensen (Mountain Ridge), Morgan Mackey (Mountain Ridge), Nev Wilson (Mountain View), Holly Huntington (Mountain View), Kaelynn Wilson (Mountain View).
2020 Mountain Crest Mustangs
2021 Region 11 Preseason Rankings
1. Mountain Crest (5)
2. Sky View (1)
T4. Bear River
T4. Green Canyon
Region 11 Players to Watch
Marley Kierstead (Bear River), Bailey Bjorn (Bear River), Savanna Pehrson (Bear River), Taryn Durham (Mountain Crest), Alicia Solano (Mountain Crest), Kamrie Wilkinson (Mountain Crest), Belle Quiggle (Ridgeline), Maddie Topham (Ridgeline), Kylee Andersen (Ridgeline).
The Utah Utes fell to Air Force in OT, 10-9. Branden Wilson (2G, 2A), Tyler Bradbury (1G, 3A) and Jack Barron (2G, 1A) led the Utes. Box Score | Recap | Video. When Utah announced going NCAA D-I, it was exciting to think about a Utah/Denver rivalry but let’s be honest; the Utah/Air Force rivalry fits the rivalry mold much better for the time being. The Utes face Loyola next Saturday.
BYU went to Colorado and faced Adams State on Friday and CSU-Pueblo on Saturday. The Cougars beat the Grizzlies, 15-1, while taking down the Thunderwolves 18-5. Here’s the 2021 schedule for BYU:
UVU took to the road and beat Concordia, 10-7. The Wolverines will head to Colorado for games against Adams State and CSU-Pueblo this weekend.
The MCLA released its plan for something resembling a postseason this year. I think it’s easy for most of us in Utah to think things are somewhat back to normal but when dealing with a nationwide organization, it’s not so simple. Enter the 2021 MCLA Invitational. This sums it up:
MCLA @MCLAMCLA Adopts Invitational Tournament Format for 2021 | https://t.co/qB0ziclP4H https://t.co/Jrih07ztjL
I had a thought the other day; does a shortened season last year with no season or no meaningful season this year help or hinder a players desire to play? Let’s say you were a Freshman in college in 2019 at an MCLA school. You rode the bench or maybe got a little playing time. Last year, as a Sophomore, your team played 3 games and you saw no time before your season was cancelled. This year, you are a Junior in school but still a Sophomore in eligibility. Your team isn’t playing or doesn’t want to go to the MCLA Invitational. Does this make you want to play your Senior season more or less? Will teams be younger overall next year? What do you think?
Ryan Baker (Juan Diego) had 3 groundballs on defense for Bryant in a 14-8 loss to Stony Brook.
Logann Eldredge (Herriman) had 4 goals and 3 assists against Kent State on Friday.
Bubba Fairman (Brighton) had 1 goal and a groundball for Maryland in a 20-9 win over Michigan.
Zack Franckowiak (Corner Canyon) had a groundball for Rutgers in a 11-9 upset over Penn State.
Several Utahns featured in the Southern Virginia 21-16 loss to Hampden-Sydney. Box Score | Video - Tennison Schmidt (Brighton) had 6 goals and 1 assist. Chandler Wescott (Bountiful/BYU) had 4 goals and 3 assists. Dalon Hampshire (Bountiful/BYU) had 18 saves.
News & Notes
My brother and I were talking the other day about lacrosse photography. We’re wondering if any of you would be interested in a class talking about the ins and outs of getting great shots at lacrosse games. If you or someone you know (like a team photographer) would have any interest, please reply to this email and let me know. You can see his photos here and mine. We’ve shot youth, high school, MCLA, WCLA, NCAA, Pro and even International lacrosse.
Speaking of photos, if you have any old photos of lacrosse in Utah, I’m collecting them for use on social media and prints for anyone who may want them. Send me an email with what you have!
There are a couple of great clinics coming up. On Saturday, February 27, Tornadic is hosting a camp/7s games for girls 4th-8th graders. Learn more here.
Also on Saturday, True Lacrosse is offering a FREE Spring Starter Tune Up at Corner Canyon High School. High School ages will be from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with the youth starting at 10:30 a.m. Register here.
For the older lacrosse fans, Laxnumbers is the reincarnated LaxPower.
For the newer lacrosse fans, Laxnumbers is reincarnating LaxPower, which was an old lacrosse website that housed lacrosse schedules, news, forums, etc. LaxPower was a staple in any lacrosse fan/player/coach/ref daily life. They also had an RPI/Power rating before it was cool. I vividly remember checking scores, standings and power rankings in 2000.
You can view it here.
Utah Lacrosse Fandom Survey
I’ll leave the survey open for another few days. If you haven’t filled it out yet, please do so! You can find the survey here. I’m excited to share the results with you in the coming weeks.
I think that’s it for this week. If you’ve made it this far, thank you! Next week we should have our first coaches poll which I’m very excited about. Please forward this to a friend who also loves lacrosse.
— Tim Haslam
In the cases where players from certain teams aren’t listed, the coach didn’t submit players for consideration or I couldn’t find a reliable roster.