PLL Championship Series in Utah? IMLAX Leagues Resume, Senior Spotlights

  
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Good afternoon lacrosse fans! I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and thank you for spending some time reading the Utah Lacrosse Report. I sure missed watching the NCAA Championships this weekend! I was telling my kids about the tradition of Memorial Day weekend (both in and out of the lacrosse community) and it made me reflect on watching my first NCAA Championship in the Spring of 2000. I had played lacrosse for about 3 months at that point and had never seen college lacrosse. Admittedly, to a 15-year-old, it was the first time I’d heard of Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays fell to Syracuse, 14-12, on Saturday. You can watch the full game here. The other game that day featured Princeton beating Virginia, 12-11. That set up the final which led to a 13-7 win for Syracuse. Liam Banks and Ryan Powell were the studs for the Orange. Josh Sims, a decorated midfielder, led Princeton. It was an eye-opening experience as a young lacrosse player and I’m grateful for every Memorial Day weekend since. What has been your favorite Memorial Day weekend memory?

News & Updates

Youth/High School

Well, there will be lacrosse this Spring after all! Intermountain Lacrosse (IMLAX) released guidelines last week outlining the rules/adjustments that were made to accommodate the situation. I won’t go into detail as to what they said, just know that lacrosse at the youth level will happen this year. The lone part that stood out to me was that there will be no face-offs. This actually happens yearly in Utah in the form of the girls’ high school Super 7s league each fall. I personally think it’s a great format, especially under the circumstances.

The high school level gets a little trickier. The IMLAX teams minus a few who opted out will have a two-week tournament starting next weekend. The games will be tournament length and also have no face-offs. It’s not 100% yet but it sounds like that is the direction it is heading. The UHSAA teams are considered club teams since May 22 and are on their own. It looks like many are setting up games with each other. I’m hearing that the girls’ teams will put something together as well, likely a 7x7 tournament.

For both the youth and high school IMLAX leagues, coaches, officials and players will be screened before the game using a chatbot that will ask questions.

I’d love to hear your feedback on if you think removing the face-off is a good idea or not so shoot me a note or reply at the bottom.

PLL

An interesting article came through my newsfeed this week. From the Observer Today (New York), an interview with Zed Williams (NLL Georgia/PLL Whipsnakes) mentioned that Utah is in the running to host the PLL Championship Series.

“The PLL is like a tour,” Williams said. “The league usually travels to designated spots, but this year they are going to play in one location that hasn’t been determined yet. The games will be streamed and be on the NBC sports networks.”

Williams said that a couple of the locations in mind are Massachusetts or Utah, but nothing is set in stone. 

Well, what an interesting twist! When the league announced a quarantined event somewhere, I thought Florida or California would be the go-to choices, but it sounds like it could be here. That makes sense if you think about it. One of the ‘cons’ of having an event here is our relatively small lacrosse community compared to other parts of the country, however, in a quarantine event, that all goes away. If you look at just facilities, ease of travel, low amount of COVID-19 cases compared to other states, health systems, etc., then Utah is a great place to hold an athletic event!

Other

St. Johns published an article about former Riverton stand-out, Mikala Davis.

ESPN analyst Paul Carcaterra interviewed Bubba Fairman on Twitter. It’s a four-tweet series so be sure to catch all four!

Senior Spotlights

The Deseret News published its shoutout to Seniors: Boys | Girls

The Herald Journal also published an article about the lacrosse season getting canceled.

Thank you to the coaches who submitted these!

Corner Canyon Boys

Tyson Packer - Tyson is a 2020 senior captain. One of the first there and last to leave. Tyson is a great example on and off the field. His ‘All In’ attitude has been contagious amongst the team. We thank Tyson for the wonderful example he has set for the younger players. 

Sam Peterson - Sam is a first-year varsity player who was asked to change positions from attack to defense. Sam is definitely a We Not Me guy. Without hesitation he made the switch and quickly earned the nickname ‘6 Piece’ by his teammates for getting ‘nuggets’ (constantly being in passing lanes and knocking the ball down). He has been a great addition to the team and a great teammate. 

Jacob Simpson - Jake Simpson, aka ‘The Flying Dutchman’, has been putting balls in the back of the net for Corner Canyon for the past 3 years. A senior captain, Jake had averaged 60 points the previous two seasons and was already up to 19 points in 3 games for the 2020 season. Jake’s ‘All In’ attitude on the field led to many great plays but made him an even better teammate off the field. 

Maxwell Covey - Max is a great athlete but his willingness to do whatever it takes for the team is where he really shines. D-Mid is a no-frills position in today’s game of lacrosse and Max embraces his role. His ‘Do Your Job’ attitude sets him apart and makes him part of one of the top D-Mid units in the state. He is a great example of what a Corner Canyon player is all about and he has made Corner Canyon Lacrosse better by being involved.

Zach Meyer - Zach Meyer, known by the coaches as ‘The Intern’, is the coolest under pressure and fastest guy on the field. You may not always be able to tell by his laid back demeanor but Zach is one heck of a competitor. Always willing to do what helps the team, his ‘We Not Me; attitude translated into him playing both offensive midfield and defensive midfield. Zach was part of our three short stick defense at times this year because we were so comfortable having him on the field. The only guy we asked to be a two-way midfielder, Zach excelled in whatever we asked him to do.

Andrew Ballman - Andrew Ballman, aka ‘Balls’, follows in the tradition of aggressive and gritty defensemen at Corner Canyon. From the moment he put on the Chargers colors he has been a great addition to our defense. His ‘All In’ attitude on the field helps anchor our defense. He definitely makes attackmen think twice about trying to get to the middle of the field.

Jacob Holmberg - Jacob Holmberg was new to the varsity team this year. Jake is a guy who leaves it all out on the field. Willing to do whatever is needed to help the team, he played both LSM and D-Pole. His ‘We Not Me’ attitude shined during our first three games this year, jumping in wherever he was needed. Jake was a great example to the younger guys on what it meant to be a great teammate.

Chaz Cutrer - Senior captain Chaz Cutrer has played many different roles for the varsity team over the last three years. An outstanding leader, Chaz is willing to accept whatever role the coaches have asked of him. He has played offensive midfield, attack and this year, defensive midfield. Never one to back down to a challenge, Chaz’ ‘Do Your Job’ attitude propelled our team to the right mindset from the start of the year through our first three games. 

Blake Luper - Blake Luper has been a varsity guy at Corner Canyon for three years. A fierce competitor and senior captain, Blake has shined this season from the very start, netting 5 goals in our home opener. A guy who has been ‘All In’ from the beginning Blake has spent many hours on the wall and in the gym and it was on full display this year. Blake embraced his leadership role with tremendous passion and brought everyone up to his level. Thank you Blake for all the hard work.

Nicolas Hiner - Nic Hiner is another one of our blue-collar workers. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t hesitate, he doesn’t waver. He just asks what he can do to help and gets to work. His ‘Do Your Job’ attitude was evident from the very start of the year when he was asked to move from midfield/attack to be a FOGO. Not only did he embrace the new job, but he excelled at it, winning all but 3 face-offs in his first two games. In his third game, due to another player’s injury, he had to shoulder the entire load and helped us to a 10-3 halftime lead. Nic is a great example of putting the team first.

Jordan Boys

Brad Forbush - Favorite thing about playing lacrosse or for Jordan: Getting to play with everyone on the team. It didn’t matter the skill level, everyone was included and played together as a team. Bradley plans to college at SLCC for the first year and then transfer to Dixie State College. Bradley has enjoyed all of his experiences at Jordan, that have built many friendships and provided so many great memories.

Korben Gawrych - Gawrych began playing lacrosse last year for the first time and really enjoyed the game. His position was defender and he fearlessly defended the goal against the opposing team. He was looking forward to another great season but sometimes things don’t always turn out the way we plan. It was fun while it lasted. He appreciates the life lessons taught by coach Spendlove both on and off the field, he is a great role model for the boys. After graduation Korben plans to serve a mission and following his mission, college, where he will pursue his goal of becoming an architectural landscaper. He loves to create beauty and transform a landscape into something spectacular. He has great vision.

Parker Wade - From the day he could walk he's been throwing, catching, climbing and running! He loves being outside; hiking, camping and snowboarding, anything that gets him in the mountains. He loves music and has an appreciation for all genres. He has played the guitar from a young age and is a very good musician. Parker has always had a love for sports and any kind of fun, high energy activity. He's a natural athlete and has always been full of life, ready for the next adventure! His competitive nature keeps his energy high and his excitement for the game entertaining! Parker is a loyal, kind, and easy-going kid who connects with people and loves life. His future plans after High School include serving an LDS mission, and then returning to attend UVU or the Community College, probably live in a van while figuring out what next exciting adventure awaits!

Tyler Carbine - Favorite thing about playing lacrosse or for Jordan: Tyler’s favorite part was his teammates and he plans after high school to go to college. Tyler grew up playing Jordan football and was very excited for his varsity year of lacrosse.

Talon Marshall - Talon has been playing lacrosse for the last year. He started out playing with his friends and enjoyed it so he joined the team his senior year. He has enjoyed working with the coaches and his teammates. It has been a highlight of his senior year, unfortunately, a short-lived highlight, but one none the less. Talon is ready to graduate and start a new chapter of his life. He is weighing out all his options so his plans after graduation are still to be determined.

Chase Fairbanks - Fairbanks has been playing lacrosse since kindergarten. He has played every position including goalie but at 6’3”, he ultimately found his groove as a long pole defender. Chase's favorite thing about Jordan lacrosse has been being a part of a team that feels more like a family where everyone pushes and encourages each other along the way! It is an added bonus to feel like he’s playing the game he loves with a big group of awesome friends. Chase has been accepted to Southern Utah University's helicopter pilot program in the fall and is anxious to move south and start working toward getting up in the air.

Taylor Rieben - Taylor loved ‘Vibin’ with the boys. Lacrosse has been Taylor's life for five years. He plays year-round and has loved it. We couldn't be more proud of him, watching him from just learning to play to be a strong player and leader on his team. This last season has been tough for him, us and I am sure his entire team to miss out on. The blessing through it all is his amazing teammates and coach. Taylor has made lasting friendships in his teammates and his coach and as his parents we couldn't ask for more from this fabulous group of boys we have watched grow, learn and play. We will miss watching Taylor play at Jordan, but we can't wait to see where his future takes him and what his next adventure will be.

Yousif Aldarweesh - Yousif has been playing lacrosse since 7th grade and loved how all the guys are tight like a family. After high school, Yousif plans to go to college and continue his lacrosse career.

Landon Ivins - Ivins has played lacrosse for five years. His favorite thing about playing for Jordan is the team. Landon has joined the Navy, specializing in Master of Arms, and will leave June 16th for training. He will be training in Chicago and then Texas. Then he plans on attending UVU.

Luke Parker - Lucas has been playing lacrosse since age 10. Lucas was looking forward to his senior year of lacrosse, but it didn’t work out the way we thought. Lucas has always loved his teammates and has played with some of them for many years. After high school, Lucas plans to attend UVU and serve an LDS mission. He wants to become a teacher. We know wherever he lands he will do great things and we can’t wait to see them. We love you Lucas and we are so proud of you.

Stockton Glover - Stockton was just 3 years old when we went outside one spring day to see what he was doing and found him in his 13-year-old brother’s lacrosse gear; complete with helmet, pads, cleats, stick and ball. Though he could hardly move with all the big gear on, he knew exactly how to put it on and he was scooping that ball for all he was worth! Because his two older brothers were playing, he couldn’t wait to turn five so he could play Storm lacrosse on a real team. Stockton has played lacrosse for the past 12 years. He loves the game. He spends countless hours watching college lacrosse on TV and working to understand the strategies of the game and ways to enhance technique. Lacrosse was natural for him as a young player, but having 4 knee surgeries on each knee over the past few years made it a continual battle to try to regain strength, mobility and speed. Still he loves the game and was so disappointed that he was unable to actually play his senior season. Stockton appreciates the tradition that exists with Jordan lacrosse as it was one of the first high school programs in the Salt Lake Valley. He is very grateful for all of the coaches and volunteers who have given of their time and talents for many years to enable him to play the game that he loves. Stockton will be attending one semester at Utah State University this fall, with plans to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints next spring.

Wesley Edwards - Edwards started playing lacrosse in the 6th grade and has been playing defense since his freshman year. His favorite things about playing lacrosse are the friendships he's made ("How bout that Airplane food"), the lessons he's learned about working hard through challenges, and the new vocabulary words he learned from the Vegas players. After graduation, he is headed to Northern California on a Spanish-speaking mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he returns he will attend BYU where he plans to major in History.

Zak Thaxton - Zak has played for six years and his favorite thing was being able to be in the weight room and having the team motivate each other to push to our limits. After high school, he’ll be going to USU to receive an associates degree and then transfer to Colorado State to major and master in financial economics.

Jordan Girls

September Hicks - This was my first year playing lacrosse! I was very nervous to play because I was worried about judgment from the rest of the team, but they did nothing but encourage me and help me every single day. I’m so grateful for the girls and my coaches. After graduation I will be attending Utah Valley University and going to school for Forensic Science to become a Behavioral Analyst for the FBI. I would like to send a special ‘Thank You’ to Taylor Stone for encouraging me to try something new and for being the most wonderful coach.

Megan Fernandez - Megan has been playing lacrosse for 6 years. She has loved the bonding and friendships she has had with the girls on the team. Megan was looking forward to being a Captain this year, and taking the field one last time with her best friends. Megan will be attending the University of Utah this fall on a full-ride honors scholarship, where she will study environmental engineering. She will play lacrosse for the U of U. We are so proud of her.

Trinity Sandberg - Trinity has been playing lacrosse for four years. Her favorite thing was being able to learn a new sport and have fun playing. She tore her ACL and Meniscus while playing fall ball prior to her senior year. She was determined to get back on the field for her senior year. Trinity attended physical therapy several times a week and did many exercises at home to help speed up recovery. The physical therapist told her she had one of the fastest recoveries he has seen. Trinity plans on attending SLCC after high school, she is currently interested in exercise science

Halli Thompson - Halli Thompson played her first season of lacrosse seven years ago and immediately fell in love with the sport. She has not stopped playing since and hopes to continue through college. She loves the bonds she has made with her teammates and coaches throughout the lacrosse seasons. She has learned that practice, persistence, hard work, and teamwork are what it takes to be great. She plans on attending the engineering program at the University of Utah and continuing to use the skills and winning attitude that she learned in lacrosse in her pursuit of a career in engineering. 

Lexi Burns - Lexi has played lacrosse for six years. Her favorite thing about Jordan lacrosse was winning the state championship and the friends she has made. Her plans after high school will be playing college lacrosse.

Skyline Girls

Cosette Charles - Going to Westminster, playing lacrosse for their team, getting a paramedic license and wanting to be an ER Doctor.

Reagon Wolf - Going to Dixie State University, becoming a Dental Hygienist, and joining their club women's lacrosse team.

Tessa Frey - Serving a mission with the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints than attending BYU, and playing women’s lacrosse for BYU.

Liz Ruben - Wants to go into the Army as a 68W (Combat Medic). While in the Army She'll be Majoring in Emergency Management, Paramedic, and Fire Academy.

Arynn Maxon - Going to Western Washington University of College.

Amaya Roy - Going to Dixie State University.

Julane Machado - Going to the University of Utah.

Karla Tapia - Going to University in Hawaii at Monoa.

Bridget Miller - Going to Western Washington University.

Elle Neville - Either going to SLCC or University of Utah and wants to go into nursing. Elle will be playing college lacrosse.

Kimmy Curtis - Going to Utah State University and playing lacrosse.

Lanie Cheatham - Going to Wesleyan, Middlebury or Oberlin.

Waterford Boys

Liam Bywater - Liam was a tenacious lacrosse player who made the switch to defense early in his career and thrived on that side of the ball. Liam never shied away from contact and his aggressive style of play served him well. We will miss Liam’s great stick work and the tenacity he brought to our defense. Liam will be attending the University of Utah to major in Business and hopefully play hockey.

Kai Herron - Kai was a quiet but hard-working athlete who was a joy to coach. Kai never questioned what was asked of him and led by example on the defensive side of the ball. We will miss his composure and hard work on and off the field.  This fall Kai will be attending the University of Utah and majoring in Biomedical Engineering.

Yianni Ziourias - Yianni was a wonderful athlete to coach who was willing to do whatever the coaches needed. A two-way middie that we could count on not only the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, but also on faceoffs. Yianni will be attending the University of Southern California in the fall to study Mechanical Engineering.

That’s it for today!

— Tim Haslam