We continue our previews by looking at the ULA Boys D-II South Conference which features American Fork, Copper Hills, Desert Hills, Lehi and Timpview.
American Fork Cavemen2013 Record: 5-7 (2-2)
2013 Playoffs: 5th seed, lost to Fremont in First Round
American Fork only graduated 6 of their varsity players from last season and return their top two scorers from last year, Coulsen Tucker and Jace Miller. Head Coach Tyler Monteath will be looking to get his players excited to make a run to the playoffs and beyond.
Toughest three game stretch: March 18 v. Copper Hills, March 20 @ Waterford, March 24 v. Herriman. Although two of the three are at home, these three games will prove where the Cavemen belong.
Copper Hills Grizzlies2013 Record: 3-12 (0-4 in D-I)
2013 Playoffs: Did Not Qualify
Copper Hills has been moved to D-II after a few rough years in D-I. New head coach Scott Park will rely on returners Sam Taylor, Daxton Sloan and Scott Park Jr. to lead the Grizzlies. Sloan returns this season after sitting out last season with a broken foot injury. Scott Park Jr. is also returning off an injury this season. Both players will be hungry to show everyone they can compete.
Best case scenario: The Grizzlies start off their season with Bingham and Skyline. If they can compete with those two teams, they will carry the momentum they need to grab a high seed in the playoffs and push for at least a Semifinal berth.
Desert Hills Thunder
New team in 2014
Desert Hills enters the league as a re-branded form of the old Red Rocks Lacrosse Club out of St. George. Several Northern teams will head to Southern Utah early in the season to get out of the cold and give the Thunder a run for their money. If the Thunder can survive several 3 game weekends, they will surely be a tough test come playoff time.
Lehi Pioneers2013 Record: 10-7 (2-2)
2013 Playoffs: 4th seed, lost in Quarterfinals to Skyline
The Pioneers only graduated 4 players from the 2013 squad. One of them was their second leading scorer, but Ian Hullinger is back for Lehi and looking to add to his 59 goals and 18 assists from last season. Goalie Caleb Wiedmeier is back between the pipes and will anchor the defense.
Statement game: March 11 @ Herriman. The Pioneers lead the series with Herriman with 2 wins and 1 loss. That lone loss came last year and the Pioneers will be anxious to get a 3-1 lead in the series.
2013 Record: 6-7 (0-4)
2013 Playoffs: 8th seed, lost to Skyline in First Round
The Thunderbirds have a new coaching staff led by head coach Johnny Jackson. The Thunderbirds are a young squad with only 9 upperclassmen. The Thunderbirds have only beaten one Utah County team in the last six seasons and haven’t had a winning record since 2007 when they won the D-II Championship. Jackson will be joined by Brent Miller who will coach the defense as the Timpview looks to rebuild their program and return to their winning ways of years past.
Rivalry game: March 21 @ Timpanogos. This game will feature two programs who are set on getting back into the upper echelon of D-II lacrosse.