Alta Hawks (8-5, UHSLL Quarterfinals)
In 2014 Alta split much of its team with the new Corner Canyon High School. This proved to be a major challenge for the Hawks. However, despite the challenge, Alta showed that they were still a strong young squad. The Hawks put forth eight solid wins, which included a seven-game winning streak. Three of those games were shutouts over Spanish Fork, Jordan and Timpanogos. Alta’s season came to a close in the quarterfinal round of playoffs with a loss to Olympus, whom they had defeated previously in the season.
The Hawks lost some major players who graduated this past season. Several excellent players will surely be missed, including Conner Pyle on attack and midfielders Chase Oviatt and Matt Hunter, as well as Sam Pugh on defense. That being said, Alta has plenty of other young talent ready for the 2015 season, including stellar keeper Dakota Crimson.
Alta’s opening game is against the Lone Peak Knights. In last season’s contest between the two teams, the Hawks came out on top with a 13-11 win.
Brighton Bengals (18-1 – UHSLL Champions)
The Bengals had an overall near-perfect season, winning eighteen games and losing just one to Wheat Ridge High School in Colorado by just one point. Brighton went on to win their next fifteen games, including a 12-10 win in the championship game against the Corner Canyon Chargers.
Brighton graduated eleven seniors last year, four of which were named to the all-star team: Brody Bolerjack on defense, and midfielders Luke Fairman, Ryan Fogarty and Ashton Schmidt.
“I think this years team is more together in terms of bond than we were a year ago at this time,” said Brighton head coach Brandon Horoba. “That is not to say that last years team didn’t come together but this years team seems to be a few steps ahead in that department. We are going to have to struggle through some mistakes with young players and in some of the big conference games we will have to limit those mistakes.”
Despite losing so much talent, the Bengals come back with another strong lineup that includes attackman Bailey Pope, defender Bryson Taylor and plenty more young talent.
“Nathan Kenney and Bryson Taylor are both in their 2nd year as full time starters on our defense and should be leaders for us on that end of the field,” said Horoba. “Both are very talented close defensemen and both are going to be asked to lead on the defensive end of the field.”
Brighton starts out their season with a trip to Nevada and one to Colorado. After their trips, their season starts out tough and gets progressively harder with their last four games against Alta, Corner Canyon, Olympus and Park City.
Corner Canyon Chargers (14-2 – UHSLL Runner-up)
The Chargers, in their inaugural season, proved that they are already leaders. On their first try Corner Canyon made it to the UHSLL championship game, losing by just two points to a powerful Bengal squad. The Chargers had just two losses during the regular season, once to the eventual state champs, the Brighton Bengals and their other to Springside Chestnut Hill in Pennsylvania.
The Chargers will continue to have a strong team, despite losing several key seniors last year, like Casey Rose on attack and Kade Arbon in goal. For the 2015 season, the Chargers are equipped with players like Garret Bullett, Garrett Michaeli, Zack Franckowiak and Brighton transfer Quinton Mathie, among many others.
“Our senior class is dedicated to making this a memorable season, but we see a lot of underclassman rising to the level of play day in and day out,” said assistant coach Ryan Walton.
Corner Canyon has quite a season to look forward to. Not only will they have a chance to go up against the best teams in the state, they will also play against schools in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Nevada.
East Leopards (12-7 ULA D-II Quarterfinals)
The Leopards ended their regular season with twice as many wins as they had losses. This was the best record the team has ever had and one of a few winning seasons. East made it to the quarterfinals of D-II playoffs, beating Logan and losing to eventual champions, Sky View.
Jake Parkin, Eric Coombs, Joey Anderson, Liam Stenberg, and Christian Fletcher will lead the Leopards this season.
“These players will make the biggest difference for our team,” said East head coach Ryan Cantwell. “I know these guys have worked hard this off-season to be ready for 2015. Kort Johnson, our senior goalie, had a great season last year. He will have another awesome season and be one of the best goalies in the state. Seth McConkie is very shifty and gets our offense going while Tyson Hold is one of our leaders on defense. He is very athletic and works extremely hard. Mikey Vetter is our face-off guru. He makes a huge difference on either side of the ball.”
East plays a balanced schedule with their rival Highland setup for a Saturday, April 25 showdown.
Highland Rams (5-11 ULA D-II First Round)
The Rams of Highland faced tough odds last season en route to a zero-goal loss in the first round of the playoffs to Sky View.
Chase Duncan and Carter Robinson will lead the team on offense while the Romney twins, Jacob and Nick will captain the team.
“The Romney twins are mature, cerebral players with great character,” said Highland head coach Neil Blaney. “Their individual skill sets have vastly improved – expect them to quarterback from the midfield and X, respectively.”
Highland could start off the season strong with wins over West and Westlake. If they fall in either of those games, it could be along season for the Rams. Highland will finish the season with five straight away games.
Jordan Beetdiggers (6-10, UHSLL Quarterfinals)
The Beetdiggers looked strong in the start of the 2014 season but went on an 8 game losing streak in the middle of the season. The deficit was too deep to overcome before bowing out of the playoffs to Bountiful.
Fin Morrison, Jace Babka, Chandler Jeppson and Kode Bode are back and ready to lead the Beetdiggers.
“These kids come to practice and work hard, setting a great example to the younger players,” said Jordan head coach Ryan Watts. “They all have great lacrosse instincts that will help lead our team. Jack Babka, he is a great goalie that comes from a family with a strong background of athletes.”
Tough stretch: Mid April, three games in five days on the road. At Olympus, at Waterford and at Bonneville.
Juan Diego Soaring Eagle (13-8, ULA D-I Semifinals)
The Soaring Eagle went into the playoffs last season as the No. 1 seed but fell to a red-hot Herriman team.
Bo Long will anchor the defense with youngster Ryan Baker. Look for Alec Meyer will do what he does best, score goals. Austin Roberts and Tristan Courtney will look to dominate the middle of the field. Brendan Roberts and Sean Edwards will once again be stalwarts in the cage.
Highlights on the Juan Diego schedule include a trip to the Boise Invitational and hosting Palo Verde and Coronado.
Olympus Titans (10-9, UHSLL Semifinals)
A coaching change is the big news for the Titans this past off-season. Walker Bateman is now an assistant at Alta and former Bountiful head coach Marty Wescott has taken charge.
Walker Murphy, a four year varsity player, will look to make his mark in his Senior season. Josh Homer, who is one of the best FOS will hope to win possession for the Titans. Olympus is stacked with talent all around and should be setup for a great season.
“Last year’s Oly team was young and they return a lot of experience,” said Wescott. “We add young players like Jake Dunn and Gage Fisher into the mix that gives us a bit of depth.”
Olympus is also heading to the Boise Invitational where they will be tested by playing four games in three days.
Park City Miners (12-5, ULA D-I Champions)
The Miners are at the top of the heap when it comes to returning talent in 2015. After a great 2014 season that ended in a Championship, Park City will have a target on their backs, but their roster has the strength to overcome all.
Jackson Burton, who some say is the best FOS, is primed and ready to compete. Kolton Atkinson, Cole Flinders, Chase Flinders and more are ready to put their experience to work and win big games.
Park City begins play tonight when they take on the Nevada State Champion, Centennial at the Best of the West tournament. The Miners have one of the toughest schedules in the state.
Skyline Eagles (11-3, ULA D-I Quarterfinals)
Perhaps the least hyped team coming into 2015, the Skyline Eagles have what it takes to make a deep run into the playoffs.
“We expect big things out of Nate Wade, Ezra Schofield and Lane Kadish,” said Skyline head coach Dan Schmidt. “All three have been starters since they stepped on campus. All three will need to improve on last years break out seasons. Nate has always drawn the other teams top attacker and as good as he is on ball he is even better playing off ball defense.”
Rivalry game: March 30 @ Olympus.
Waterford Ravens (9-4, ULA D-I Quarterfinals)
Where will this Ravens squad fall in the history books of great Waterford teams? Only time will tell but I do know one thing, Waterford will be disciplined and take care of the ball.
James Eardley, Cavin Huntsman and Jacob Mika have been strong for the Ravens in the past and will look to lead the team this year.
The Ravens have a favorable schedule that should bode well for the young team. Look for a great matchup with the Windsor Wizards (CO) in late March.
2015 Boys Preview: East Conference
2015 Boys Preview: West Conference
2015 Boys Preview: South Conference
2015 Boys Preview: North Conference
2015 Girls D-I Preview: South Conference
2015 Girls D-I Preview: North Conference