For Immediate Release – Utah Elite Lacrosse
The newly formed Utah Elite (UE) lacrosse recently competed at the World Championships at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver Colorado July 10-15. UE placed a team in each of the 4 divisions (U11, U13, U15, and U17) offered at the World Lacrosse Festival. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of the players as the world only comes together once every 4 years to compete on the lacrosse field and the next event is scheduled for 2018 in England. It is safe to say all of the team’s understood this opportunity and played some of the best lacrosse of their lives, especial the U17’s who were crowned World Champions.
Utah Elite was created specifically to play at this tournament by club coaches Mike Isbell (Blackhawks), Brandon Horoba (Blackhawks), Marty Wescott (Advantage), Mike Calvert (Top Guns/Utah Starz) and Jason Matheny (Patriot Starz). UE’s mission was simple: Put Utah lacrosse and Utah lacrosse players on the National map. To do this, UE reached out to several players they had on their radar and all of the club teams in state, asking them to send their top players to the tryouts in February. When the tryouts were over 4 teams had emerged with players from Advantage, Blackhawks, Chaos, NRG, Patriot Starz, Top Gunz, Utah Starz, Venom, Wasatch LC, and they were all ready to take on the world. What was to be a one and done, has turned into something more. After the success of the teams and the enthusiasm displayed by the players, coaches, and parents, Utah Elite is here to stay. With September 1st re-setting all age groups for tournaments the next U11, U13, U15, and U17 teams will look very different, but UE is confident the results will be even stronger as more clubs have pledged to send their top players to the tryouts to be part of next years 3 prestigous tournament schedule.
Utah Elite U17 – Record: 7-0 (#3 Seed) Result: World Champions – Coaches: Todd Faiella (NRG & Park City) Nick Gradinger (NRG & Park City)
“Heading into the tournament the players had one goal in mind, make the world take notice of and talk about Utah lacrosse. The drive and determination displayed by the team throughout the tournament was impressive. Dalon Hampshire and Sean Edwards were phenomenal in goal. On the defensive end Garrett Michaeli, Bo Long, Chase Flinders, and Zak Burbidge were aggressive, physical, and rarely missed a gb. The defensive play set the tone for the entire tournament, especially our ride. Offensively the team played unselfishly and consistently put their teammates in a position to score. For a tournament team that hasn’t played together much the ball movement was nothing short of incredible. Bubba Fairman, Chandler Wescott, and Josh Stout led an attack line that was easily the best seen in Denver outside of the top 3 world teams (USA, Canada, Iroquois Nation). Ezra Scohfield, Tristan Cortney, and Forrest Engle stood out on the offensive end of our midfield. Josh Homer was dominant facing off and secured tons of possessions for the team. Scott Bunker was my MVP of the weekend making plays all over the place with a warrior like mentality. He was a force in the middle of the field and was a significant contributor on offense, defense, and on the man-down unit. During the tournament we beat Six Nations twice and a very talented 3D Select team out of Denver. These kids deserve all the credit for achieving their goal of making a statement about Utah. Speaking for Nick and myself, as coaches we couldn’t have enjoyed working with group more and are proud of their efforts.” – Todd Faiella
Utah Elite U15 – Record: 4-2 (#3 Seed) Result: Lost in 2nd Round of Playoffs – Coaches: Jay Fairman (Blackhawks & Bingham) James Meyer (Blackhawks & Park City) Jeff Brzoska (Blackhawks & Park City)
“The Utah Elite U15 team gelled quickly in pool play earning a #3 seed for the playoffs after a perfect 3-0 record while only allowing 6 goals. After winning their first playoff game, the team ran into ADVNC from NoCal and after taking a 5-3 lead into the half the old saying that “lacrosse is a game of runs” came true. Unable to stay out of the penalty box and running into one of the best FOGO’s at the tournament, ADNVC scored the next 5 goals en route to a 9-6 win and ending UE’s run to match the U17 teams championship. We received outstanding goalie play from Max Sturgill and Jackson Babka. Our defensive charge was led by Chris Belcher, Noah Meyer, and Tate Merrill. Offensively, Andrew Karner, Brock McKiney, Chubba Reese, and Jerrin Cutler all found the back of the net with regular frequency. This was an extraordinary group of kids and I am honored to have the opportunity to coach them. They kept me laughing both on and off the field all tourney long.” – Jay Fairman
“While the loss was tough, the boys played with effort, class and poise. Most importantly, they developed new relationships amongst teammates they normally would never had the chance to play with and became better players throughout the weekend. The future is very bright for Utah Elite and Utah lacrosse.” – James Meyer
Utah Elite U13 – Record: 3-3 (#33 Seed) Result: Lost in 2nd Round of Playoffs – Coaches: Mike Calvert (Top Guns & Alta) Bruce Tucker (Patriot Starz & American Fork)
“The Utah Elite 13’s had a great time in Denver. With an over-all record of 3-3 the boys felt great about where they are at and where they have the potential to go. We were tested early in our pool play with two teams from top areas of the county, Denver Elite and The Factory (CA) but he boys responded with impressive close games. Our defenses was anchored by our goalie Oliver Dalrymple and defenseman Brayden Kenny. Offensively, our team shared the ball well with standout play from Chase Tucker, Zac Thacker, Caleb Wynn and Max McWhorter. This is a talented group and all of the boys had outstanding performances and excelled in the atmosphere at the FIL World Games. As a coach, I really enjoyed the chance to work with such a great group of kids. The future is bright for Utah Lacrosse.” – Mike Calvert
Utah Elite U11 – Record: 0-5 (#25 Seed) Result: Lost in 1st Round of Playoffs – Coaches: Marty Wescott (Advantage & Bountiful) Brandon Horoba (Blackhawks & Brighton)
“The UE U11 team went to Denver with only 3 players having ever left the state of Utah to play lacrosse. What they took away was the experience of a lifetime and memories that will last forever. One of our players after our last game commented “this was the funnest tournament I have ever played in and I don’t want it to end.” We had players from Advantage, Blackhawks, Patriot Starz, Utah Starz and Venom. On the field the team went 0-5, but were very competitive in 3 of the games including losing as the #25 seed to the #8 see in the playoffs in Double OT. In every game these boys kept fighting and never gave up. We were the youngest team in the U11 division with half of the team eligible for a U9 division. The fight and determination these boys showed all weekend was admirable and it was a pleasure for Coach Wescott and myself to be a part of it. I am grateful for the experience that I had to be a part of this team and I am very excited about the momentum that has been built for continuing to keep Utah Elite together. Congrats Boys on your effort and I look forward to watching all off you develop and continue to play. Thank you Parents for your support of this new program. I hope that you enjoyed your experience as much as Coach Wescott and I did.” – Brandon Horoba
Utah Elite have many people and organizations to thank for this amazing opportunity and experience: US Lacrosse (the organizers of the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships), the officials, our opponents, ULA, UHSLL, Adrenaline/GULL, Utah Lacrosse News, Brae at Storm Lacrosse, Geri at Z-Designs, Mike at SunLitho, the entire Utah lacrosse club community, players, parents, coaches, and fans. Utah Elite would also like to congratulate their fellow Utah players that played for the U15 212 Select team that reached the championship game and the U13 Utah Lightening that had a strong showing finishing with a 4-1 record.
Utah Elite is a proud supporter of all things lacrosse, including the new LaxTag’s. Go to www.LaxTag.com for more details. LaxTag’s was created by Utah Elite player Grady Clemmons and his dad.
For Immediate Release – Utah Elite Lacrosse