Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse's high expectations comes with experience | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team’s high expectations come with experience

Steamboat Springs senior Macray Dillingham runs through a drill at practice on Friday, March 8, at Kelly Meek Gym at Steamboat Springs High School. (Photo by Leah Vann)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Success breeds numbers, which might be why the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team boasts 20 seniors on its varsity squad.

The Sailors have never had such a high retention, but when you’re guaranteed a playoff berth and a trip to the state quarterfinal every year, it’s hard to quit.

“It's just an overall growth of lacrosse and it being fun,” head coach Jay Lattimore said. “We get a lot of hockey players and skiers. It's a fun sport for a lot of kids in this town to display their athleticism in a fun way, a lot of my guys are scrawny and football is probably a little intimidating to them.”

Steamboat boys lacrosse

March 9: at Vail Mountain, W 11-10
March 19: vs. Glenwood Springs
March 26: vs. Summit
March 30: at Thompson Valley
April 2: vs. Battle Mountain
April 5: at Cheyenne Mountain
April 6: at Air Academy
April 8: at Summit
April 11: vs. Eagle Valley
April 13: vs. Aspen
April 15: at Battle Mountain
April 18: at Eagle Valley
May 3: vs. Vail Mountain

The standards are high because a large number of seniors have been on varsity for the past three years. The Sailors will also play one of the toughest schedules in the state, starting with a conference road game Saturday, March 9, at Vail Mountain.

“We're really looking to win our conference; be a top four team in the state going into the tournament, so we can try to get two home games,” Lattimore said. “First one we had at home last year, then we had to go on the road last year, so that's always tough … But, coming up to Steamboat is hard for a lot of teams to do.”

There’s almost no excuse for the Steamboat team to not make a lengthy playoff run. The players are confident this is the year to do it.

“We’re hoping to win the state championship,” Steamboat senior Logan Mcatee said. “And we have the team to do it. We just have to put our best foot forward.”

The challenge is not being able to see the field yet: the Sailors have been practicing indoors for two weeks. On Friday March 8, the team was the last one with the two gyms reserved for the day. Both the varsity and junior varsity squads split by offense and defense in the two gyms, filling every inch with drills.

“It hurts to run on, and we’re not used to it, and we can’t get a full sprint in,” Sailors senior Macray Dillingham said.

The offense was practicing in Kelly Meek Gymnasium on the hard basketball floor while the defense was on the rolled out turf in the auxiliary gym. It’s the first time in years the lacrosse team hasn’t seen the turf for this long.

“It’s been hard not practicing in the way we play because the gym is a lot smaller,” Mcatee said. “It’s half the size, so it’s a lot harder to figure everything out and get the playing in.”

But the expectations have kept the Sailors in check, especially with the first game on the horizon.

“There’s kind of a lot on the line going into Week 1,” Lattimore said. “It definitely helps get these guys working hard and focusing since they know it's important.”

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email lvann@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports.

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