The North Conference finishes out our D-II previews. Box Elder, Logan, Mountain Crest, Pocatello and Sky View are all ready to kick off the season in search of a championship trophy.
Box Elder Bees
2013 Record: 4-11 (3-2)
2013 Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
After a tough 2013 season, the Bees are back and ready to be a top team in D-II. Midfielder Jarrett Shakespear, defender Justin Price and attackmen Zach Bolten and Breckin Gunter will look to lead the charge. Returning goalie Mitch Anderson will anchor a strong defense.
The difference between this years team and last years team according to Head Coach Mike Sutton: “Experience, last year we had mostly inexperienced players starting for us. This year all of those kids are wiser and matured. We are much improved over last year’s team. We have several return players from missions that will inject their knowledge into these younger kids.”
Toughest 3 game stretch: Aprill 11 @ Sky View, April 15 @ Mountain Crest, April 22 @ Northridge. Although there is some time between games, this stretch will really test they Bees as they travel to take on two conference opponents and a tough Northridge squad.
Logan Grizzlies2013 Record: 3-10 (2-3)
2013 Playoffs: 7th seed, lost in First Round to Syracuse
The Grizzlies will be hungry to get back to an elite team after not having a winning season since 2010. Attackman Mason Ringle, defender Nick Curry and midfielder Hunter Horsely will hope to make their mark. Also look for Zac Christoffersen and Clay Smith to break into the scene for the Grizzlies. Logan will be best suited in the attack end of the field with Ringle and Christofferson being joined by Ben Stoddard who have been working together in the off-season.
Head Coach Doug Ringle is looking forward to the season as a whole, but especially the games against fellow Cache Valley teams Mountain Crest and Sky View.
“Losing both of those games last year hurt and the boys are hungry to get some revenge,” said Ringle.
The Grizzlies have also brought on Clay Christoffersen to help coach in addition to Keaton Cluff and Tannen Campbell, making it the largest coaching staff in Logan lacrosse history.
Best case scenario: The Grizzlies find their form early against a tough Palo Verde squad in Las Vegas and play to their potential, earning a great seed in the playoffs and making a Quarterfinal run.
Mountain Crest Mustangs2013 Record: 10-5 (5-0)
2013 Playoffs: 2nd seed, lost in Quarterfinals to Waterford
The Mustangs had a great 2013 season but fell in the playoffs to eventual champion Waterford. Mountain Crest graduated 12 seniors including 2013 First Team All-State Midfielder Taylon Niederhauser and 2013 Second Team All-State Attackman Troy Netzley.
Toughest 3 game stretch: April 15 v. Box Elder, April 18 v. Logan, April 23 @ Sky View. Although 2 games are at home, the Mustangs will have to be on their ‘A’ game to come away with 3 wins in this stretch.
2013 Record: 3-10 (1-4)
2013 Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
Pocatello only graduated four seniors, so they should have experience on their side as they navigate a challenging North Conference. Leading scorers Dalton Lammers and Morgan Henderson will be back to lead the team in the 2014 season.
Best case scenario: Pocatello wins enough games to get into the playoffs where they face a tough top seeded team and gain valuable experience for the 2015 season.
Sky View Bobcats2013 Record: 11-7 (4-1)
2013 Playoffs: 3rd seed, lost in Quarterfinals to Syracuse
Sky View is one of the early season favorites in D-II with several highly talented players returning to the team. The defensive unit, Tanner Duryea, Jordan Isrealsen, Drake Oldham and goalie Phil Cannell all played varsity last year for the Bobcats. Bryant Cannell will lead the offense and will be joined by Brock Halling, John Dunn and Ben Watteyne. Look for Liam Ormond, who has taken ownership of the LSM role, to burst onto the scene for Sky View.
“Captains for our team take their leadership position very seriously and they are; Club President – Drake Oldham, Defense Captain – Tanner Duryea, Midfield Captain – Bryant Cannell, and Attack Captain – Brock Halling,” said Head Coach Troy Oldham. “They were chosen for their on-the-field ability and their commitment to serve the team. All are great leaders and the team respects that they will put the team before themselves. All are committed to creating a positive lacrosse culture for the team.”
The Bobcats have also had some coaching changes.
“Aaron Quiggle is returning in 2014, and after having a significant impact on our defense in 2013, will take over as Offensive Coordinator in 2014,” said Oldham. “We also pick up a new Defensive coach with Morris Poole, and we are excited to have his input this year. He and Arron both played for BYU in early 2000’s during their runs on the national championships (2002-Aaron Quiggle-First Team All American and 2003-Morris Poole-Honorable Mention). We also have two new offense coaches joining us this year. Our club president from 2013, Kurt Jewkes will be helping us with our Middies and a new east-coast transplant Dakota Wright (2013 Lacrosse Rutland High – Rutland, VT) will be working with our attacks and defensive middies.”
Rivarly games: April 23 v. Mountain Crest, April 26 @ Logan. Look for Sky View to win these games against their Cache Valley colleagues.