Sailors draw rematch with Windsor
Steamboat Springs — Before it started practice, before it began working on the plan, the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team had a meeting.
They met Monday, and they went through all of the excuses, from the team not having enough rest to long road trips.
Then, coach Jay Lattimore said, they got rid of them.
Last week was a bad week for the Sailors, who lost twice and, in the process, fell from potentially winning its conference to finishing fourth.
The season was strong enough to get the team into the playoffs, however, and now Steamboat has a second chance, a second season, and the squad is determined to come away from it with no excuses.
The Sailors drew the No. 9 seed in the 16-team state tournament and begin play at 4 p.m. today with a game at No. 8 Windsor.
“The boys are confident,” Lattimore said. “We’ve had a little more difficult season, but now it’s a new season. If we play hard for 48 minutes, we’ll get to keep playing.”
Steamboat will have to be a bit better in the playoffs than it was in that regular season, when it lost 10-6 on March 28 playing on the road against Windsor.
That game came just about 18 hours after another for the Sailors, and Lattimore said that was part of the problem when the Wizards, 10-5, used a big second half to open things up.
That shouldn’t be an issue this time, and rested legs won’t be the only thing Steamboat brings this time that it didn’t have in March.
This time the Sailors will have one of their best players back in the fold. Senior Mitch McCannon missed the vast majority of the regular season with a broken foot, but began playing again midway through last month and led the team with three goals in its regular season finale.
“We’ve made a lot of progress since the middle of the season when we played Windsor,” Lattimore said.
Steamboat will be attempting to win a playoff game for the fourth consecutive season. It’s made it to the state semi-finals each of the past two years. If it’s to continue that streak, it will have to avenge more than one loss.
If Steamboat wins, it likely will face Aspen, the No. 1 overall seed which beat the Sailors 15-8 in April.
First, however, is Windsor, and he and his team are heading into it with rested legs, one new player and a lot of confidence.
“This is the playoffs. It’s no time for excuses,” Lattimore said. “We need to go out, play good, hard lacrosse and match the other team’s intensity.”
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