Steamboat boys lacrosse coach, players receive top state, conference honors
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs High School head boys lacrosse coach Jay Lattimore led his team to an undefeated season in the Class 4A Western League and a state quarterfinal on its home turf this season.
Lattimore didn’t just have a successful season on the field but also fostered a bond among his players during a tough season of injuries and tragedy, which helped lead to his selection as Western League Coach of the Year.
“We had a special group this year, and it just put it all in perspective with what my job is with these guys,” Lattimore said. “Some things challenged us, but we were able to strengthen our brotherhood. We were really goal oriented and tried to meet with every single player and see what they wanted out of the season, and most of their goals were to go undefeated in conference play and get two home games in playoffs.”
This is the third time this year a Steamboat head coach has received the top league honor, including head volleyball coach Wendy Hall and head boys basketball coach Michael Vandahl. Head cross country and track coach Lisa Renee Tumminello also received the Eric Wolfe Award from the Colorado High School Coaches Association this past fall.
“All those coach of the year awards are voted on by their peers,” Steamboat Springs High School Athletic Director DeWolfe said. “Those coaches are seeing the success the program has had. I think that the culture is reflected within that. You can’t have success without having a positive culture.”
Lattimore, a native from Syracuse, New York, comes from a lacrosse family. He played for Cayuga Community College and Keuka College in New York before falling to injury during his junior year. He stayed with the team as an assistant coach and started looking for opportunities of his own after college.
He landed at Wheat Ridge High School in Denver, where he coached junior varsity for five years. Wheat Ridge won the Class 4A state championship in 2013, the year he moved to Steamboat for his first head coaching job. Steamboat made the final four that year, losing to Air Academy.
“That definitely gave me a lot of confidence,” Lattimore said. “Watching the players I helped develop and win the title and to come to Steamboat and know they were so close. It was a good fit.”
Like most young coaches, DeWolfe said Lattimore was concerned about the Xs and Os of winning. While he had no previous head coaching experienced, DeWolfe had faith in his ability to connect with his players.
Boys first-team all-conference
Boys second-team all-conference
Boys Western League Player of the Year
Boys Western League Coach of the Year
Boys second-team all-state
Boys honorable mention all-state
Girls lacrosse awards
Lucy Shimek, all-American, all-academic, Jackie Pitts Award
That’s where he’s shown the most growth, especially during a year when the Sailors faced injuries to its starting lineup and dealt with the death of senior Kieran Hahn’s father during the opening home game against Glenwood Springs.
“More than anything, he’s been a good friend and a mentor to us. He hasn’t been the strict, harsh head coach that locks everyone down,” senior Kieran Hahn said. “He allowed us to play our brand of lacrosse this year, and he didn’t think of himself as someone who was above us. He thought of himself as someone who was a part of the team.”
The Sailors’ resilience best shined during the weeks following back-to-back losses to Cheyenne Mountain and Air Academy on April 5 and 6. While losing hurt, Lattimore remembers it as a defining moment in the season.
“We were coming off two bad losses, we had a lot of injuries, and we were still fresh from Kieran’s father,” Lattimore said. “Everybody was down, and we kind of had a group meeting and talked about everything. We went on and won eight straight games, which was just a great reminder of what a great group of guys we had.”
Lattimore believes the success of this season is because of the Steamboat lacrosse community, including his assistant coaches Sean Breckin and Kevin Sankey and the parents who put in the long travel hours to support their kids’ dedication to the sport.
The Steamboat program also placed five players on the all-state list, seven to the all-conference list and one as the Western League Player of the Year. He travels down with the team Thursday to coach the Froelicher Toll All-Star Game and has been nominated as a candidate for Coach of the Year in Class 4A.
Kieran Hahn named Player of the Year
Hahn has been a key member of the varsity boys lacrosse team since his sophomore year, earning all-conference honors for three straight years.
Despite being absent for parts of the season due to sports conflict, injury and the death of his father Chris Hahn, Kieran never lost his touch on the field.
As one of the top five scorers on the Sailors’ roster, Kieran amassed 15 goals and four assists on the season.
“He brings a lot to our team,” Lattimore said. “Being very strong on offense and defense, you just notice him all over the field doing a little bit of everything. His will to never give up and to always give it his all — that’s very contagious. Coaches around the league recognize that.”
Kieran struggled to play almost half of the season, which is why he was surprised to receive the honor. After his father’s death, Kieran returned to the field two games later at home.
“Without that support group, I’m not sure if I would’ve been able to play most of the season,” Kieran said. “They were all there for me, and they let me know that, but they didn’t put any extra pressure to get back out there. They let me take my time. They continued playing and got wins, and they let me take my own time to get back.”
The award represents the accumulation of years of playing a key role on the team. Kieran scored the game-winning goal in overtime against Conifer last year to advance the team to the state quarterfinal. That was one of 22 goals that season. That moment forever remains one of Kieran’s favorite memories, but this season put life in perspective.
“I think that what I’ve learned this season is team is more than just wins on paper,” Kieran said. “I’ve gotten a lot closer to so many more people this year than I ever have in years’ past … it’s just important to be there for everyone else, just being there and being kind.”
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