The ULA Boys D-I Conference features the Bingham Miners, Davis Darts, newcomer Herriman Mustangs, defending champion Juan Diego Soaring Eagle, Judge Bulldogs, Park City Miners, Riverton Silverwolves and newcomers Skyline Eagles and 2013 D-II champion Waterford Ravens.
Bingham Miners2013 Record: 3-16 (1-3)
2013 Playoffs: 8th seed, lost to Lone Peak in First Round
The Miners are ready for the new season after a tough 2013 campaign. While head coach Marshall Kay acknowledges that every player is important in the system, he expects Scott Bronson, Kason Eggers, Jake Sanez, Dalin Bentley and Josh Croall to be standout players. The 2013 team had 7 sophomores on the squad so Kay feels his team has a lot of experience heading into the season.
Joining Kay on the sidelines is 2013 Assistant Coach of the Year Ben Adams and Jay Fairman who adds an extra dimension to the team.
Toughest three game stretch: March 14 v. Centennial (NV), March 15 v. Tigard (OR), March 15 v. Rocky Mountain (ID). The Miners will be tested at the Boise Invitational in mid-March against some quality opponents.
Davis Darts2013 Record: 11-6 (3-1)
2013 Playoffs: 3rd seed, lost to Olympus in First Round
The Darts had a great 2013 season but were upset in the first round of the playoffs which has left a bad taste in their mouth coming into 2014. Look for LSM Parker Rose and defender Parker Hardy to have standout seasons for the Darts.
“Rose can be a game changer while in the game, he had a couple of injuries last year that effected how much he was on the field,” said head coach Trevor Yocom. “Another is Parker Hardy who moved from Defensive middy to D-pole. Parker has tremendous range, high lax IQ and we expect great things from him.”
The Darts are inserting Spencer Scoval between the pipes after spending last season as a backup.
The Darts graduated several key players including 2013 Second Team All-State Attackman Dillon Yocom who was a huge part of the Darts offense.
Davis has also had some coaching changes with John Hukka taking over the defense. He is from Virginia and will add a new dynamic to the Darts.
Toughest three game stretch: April 21 v. Park City, April 29 @ Juan Diego, May 1 v. Lone Peak. The Darts saved the best for last when they take on one of the favorites coming into the season in Park City and the two teams from last seasons D-I championship game, Juan Diego and Lone Peak.[gravityform id="278" title="true" description="true" ajax="true"]
Herriman Mustangs2013 Record: 15-2 (4-0) in D-II
2013 Playoffs: 1st seed, lost to Syracuse in Semifinals
Herriman has proved they can play in D-II and were moved up to D-I to test their abilities. The Mustangs return three 2013 All-State players in midfielder Ben Richard, attackman Chantz Roberts and defender Nicholas Williams. Herriman will miss the services of All-State Goalie Wyatt Katsos, but Senior goalie Austin Blood will hope to fill Katsos shoes.
The Mustangs start their season on March 11 with a game against Lehi that could be tricky if the Mustangs aren’t prepared for a tough Lehi squad.
Juan Diego Soaring Eagle2013 Record: 19-1 (5-0)
2013 Playoffs: 2013 D-I Champion
Juan Diego graduated 2013 All-American Luke Graney as well as Tommy Maddox and Nick Grogg. The Soaring Eagle also got a new head coach in John Holmes after former coach Pat Lambert went accepted a Principal job at St. Josephs in Ogden. However, despite several key players graduating, Juan Diego is just as dangerous this season. Look for attackman Matt Graney and defensemen Carter Mannix to lead their groups in search of something that has never happened in Utah lacrosse: a back-to-back-to-back champion.
The Soaring Eagle are also heading to the Boise Invitational where they will play Mountain View (ID), Grenada (CA) and Bishop Kelly (ID) in three consecutive days.
Judge Bulldogs2013 Record: 7-7 (1-2)
2013 Playoffs: 5th seed, lost to Pleasant Grove in First Round
After a mediocre season by Judges standards, the Bulldogs will hope to rebound this season. The Bulldogs return Bradon Pelly who was a 2013 Second Team All-State defender and 2013 Second Team All-State midfielder Gabe Rechsteiner.
Rivalry game: March 17 @ Juan Diego. The Bulldogs and Soaring Eagle will once again battle on St. Patrick’s Day. This years version will be part of a doubleheader with Utah who takes on Arizona the same day.
Park City Miners2013 Record: 8-7 (2-1)
2013 Playoffs: 4th seed, lost to Spanish Fork in First Round
Park City comes into the 2014 season as one of the favorites to win the ULA D-I Championship. They have one of the best coaching staffs in the state and a roster full of great players. Look for Carson Dutkanych, Christian Pompoco and Kolton Atkinson to take on leadership roles this season.
“We have Carson back in our lineup. Carson’s dedication to excellence will simply force everyone to raise the level of their games,” said head coach Andy Langendorf. “I love the fact Carson is proud to be a Miner and has not let his personal success overshadow the teams goals.”
Park City will be tested early with a game on March 4 against Corner Canyon.
2013 Record: 4-11 (0-4)
2013 Playoffs: 6th seed, lost to Alta in First Round
Riverton will be led by Matt Poe and Alex Dooley in search of a top seed in the playoffs. New head coach Joe Darnell will hope to have the Silverwolves in shape early as they take on American Fork, Lone Peak and Jordan in just a four day span.
Skyline Eagles2013 Record: 14-5 (5-1) in D-II
2013 Playoffs: 1st seed, lost to Waterford in Semifinals
Skyline finished last season with a one goal loss to Waterford in the Semi-final game. Skyline will look to returning seniors Ian Kadish, Chris Williams and Isaac Robbins to build on their 2013 success as they move back to D1 for the 2014 season.
Ian Kadish and Chris Williams are both All-State and All-Conference players that will help a deep Eagle mid-field cause havoc for opposing defenses.
“We have a really deep and really talented Junior class that is anchored by Harrison Martin and Bert Merrill on attack, Nate Wade and Meyer Mooney on Defense, and Ezra Schofield who does a little bit of everything and is very dynamic between the restraining lines,” said head coach Dan Schmidt. “For us to be successdul this year we will need solid performances out of all of them day in and day out.”
Look for this team to be fundamentally sound and tough to stop offensively. They should be able to put up big numbers. The Eagles are not only looking to make an impact on the field, but also in the community.
“This year at the ULA convention I had the opportunity to learn from and speak with Tim Flynn the USA U-19 Head Coach and Mt. Lakes Head Coach,” said Schmidt. “He spoke about the importance of developing community, culture, and character in your players and some of the things he has done at Mt. Lakes to implement that. I took a lot away from that session and I’m excited to begin a new chapter in Skyline lacrosse centered around those key ideals.”
Skyline’s biggest challenge will come when they host Park City on March 20th, travel to Herriman on March 27th and finish up at home against Juan Diego on April 8th. The must preform well against Park City in order to set the tone going into the tough stretch.
Waterford Ravens2013 Record: 15-4 (5-1) in D-II
2013 Playoffs: 2013 D-II Champion
After a 2013 State Championship, Waterford has moved to compete with the best teams in D-I.
“Moving back to D-I with a 24 man roster is a challenge, most of the teams will have experienced rosters twice our size,” said head coach Dave Brattin.
Waterford returns captain and All-State attackman Matthew West as well as captain and All-State Middie Luke Pyper. The Ravens will look to these two to propel their team through this season.
“We have a great group of kids, a great staff and outstanding support from our parents and school, lots to look forward to,” said Brattin.
Waterford has two of their toughest games right at the end of the season as they host Park City on April 28th and travel to Herriman on May 1st. The Ravens will also welcome back Craig Morris to the staff.