Stacked schedule will challenge Steamboat boys lacrosse
Last year, the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team saw great success. However, the Sailors only faced conference opponents.
This spring, they’re taking full advantage of the ability to travel again, taking on some of the top-ranked teams in the state according to the preseason coaches poll. Steamboat will take on No. 1 Cheyenne Mountain, No. 4 Evergreen, No. 5 Eagle Valley, and both teams tied at No. 8, Ponderosa and Air Academy. The Sailors also take on other teams that received votes, including Vail Mountain, Battle Mountain, Aspen and Thompson Valley.
“Those high ranked teams will prepare us for the playoffs pretty well,” said senior captain Kellen Adams.
Steamboat has also received votes, and wins over even half those ranked teams will help the Sailors earn a high ranking and, potentially, a playoff spot.
The season starts Saturday, March 12, with a game against Aspen at 5:30 p.m. at Gardner Field. Then, Steamboat hosts Ponderosa on Tuesday, March 15. The games could be considered high stakes, since a win would help in the rankings, but it’s so early in the season that the Sailors are just looking to see how they compare to other squads.
“(It’ll) test our skills, set a benchmark for ourselves,” said senior captain Shea Pepin. “The biggest goal is to obviously come out on top and get off to a good start, but really it’s to find out what we need to work on.”
Junior Jeffrey Hubler thinks communication and learning schemes will be one thing the Sailors will have to address sooner rather than later. With some underclassmen moving up to varsity, as they do every year, there’s always a period of getting everyone on the same page.
March 12 – vs. Aspen, 5:30 p.m.
March 15 – vs. Ponderosa, 4 p.m.
March 18 – at Battle Mountain, 4 p.m.
March 22 – at Eagle Valley, 4 p.m.
March 25 – vs. Thompson Valley, 5:30 p.m.
March 28 – vs. Battle Mountain, 4 p.m.
March 30 – at Summit, 4 p.m.
April 5 – at Evergreen, 4 p.m.
April 7 – vs. Vail Mountain, 4 p.m.
April 9 – vs. Cheyenne Mountain, 11 a.m.
April 13 – vs. Eagle Valley, 4 p.m.
April 27 – vs. Summit, 4 p.m.
April 30 – at Aspen, 12:30 p.m.
May 3 – at Vail Mountain, 4 p.m.
“We have a lot of guys who haven’t played our system before,” Hubler said. “We have to communicate with each other and trust each other.”
Anything else that needs to be worked on will soon be revealed, but the Sailors already know what they’ll be good at. The group of seniors are reunited after being split up between varsity and junior varsity in prior years and that chemistry and friendship will show on the field, said Pepin.
Seniors Adams and Tommy Meissner will likely be among the top scorers for the team.
The team also returns senior face-off extraordinaire Reeves Kirby. He will play a huge role in helping Steamboat earn and maintain possession.
Even if chemistry may not be at full strength yet, since there have only been a couple weeks of practice, Meissner thinks the team is in great shape, and hopes the Sailors can outrun any opponent.
“We’ve been doing conditioning, and our coach expects us to do that in the off-season,” Meissner said. “(Beating a good team means) tiring them out and keeping our momentum going the whole time.”
If all else fails, Adams knows the Sailors have the ability to out-hustle any team they come across, so long as they put forth the effort.
“That’s what you can control,” Adams said. “Even if they’re a better team, as long as you stay together as a team and win the hustle better, you can win.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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Editor’s note: This story will be updated as new information becomes available.