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(File photo)BOUNTIFUL -- The fastest growing sport in the country will crown its top High School Programs on Saturday at the High School State Championships.
The Utah Lacrosse Association, the Utah Chapter of the national governing body US Lacrosse, will host the high schools state lacrosse championships at Viewmont High School this weekend. In the Division 1, Brighton High School will take on the Park City Miners at 7:00pm on Saturday. In the Boys Division II, Spanish Fork and Timpanogos will play at 1:00pm.
"It is a first showing for many of these teams at the state championships which just adds to the excitement," said Bryan Frates, Boys Program Coordinator for the Utah Lacrosse Association. " We have had an exciting round of play-offs and seen some amazing upsets. These teams have fought hard to play on the main stage this weekend."
The girls divisional games will have match-ups between Lone Peak and Cache Valley in Division II and Riverton and Alta in Division I. The Alta girls, so far undefeated, are looking forward to the most important game of the season. The Hawks are the defending champions and are excited about the prospect of a repeat season.
"We are thrilled about the growth of the sport in Utah," said Lisa Schmidt, Executive Director of the Utah Lacrosse Association. "We have over 40 high schools with affiliated lacrosse teams and are seeing new high school programs each year." Lacrosse player numbers have topped 6,000 in the state of Utah with the youth growing at over 25% this year. Despite these numbers, lacrosse is not a recognized sport by the Utah High School Activities Association and many teams have no access to fields to play on. In some cases, districts have forbidden the teams from displaying their State Championship trophies on school property.
"It is disappointing to see that some schools of our championship teams are unwilling to support their students successes," stated Schmidt. "The ULA is very proud of the sports development here in Utah and is committed to its growth. We hope to continue to build positive relationships with Athletic Directors and principals and gain even more new fans to this incredible sport."
The State Championships are being held at Viewmont High School on their turf field. "They have been incredibly supportive and great to work with," stated Schmidt. The field location was selected by the ULA based on the their support of lacrosse and the fact that they could host both boys and girls this Saturday. The two games use different measurements and it requires two sets of lines which need to be painted with temporary paint. With over 3,000 in attendance this weekend, the Viewmont stadium will no doubt be near capacity as lacrosse lovers all over the state make the trip to watch the four championship games.
The Utah Lacrosse Association, founded in 1994, is a chapter of US Lacrosse and is focused on expanding and supporting the game of lacrosse throughout the state. As the fastest growing sport in Utah, the organization has focused much of its time helping to establish new programs and provide support for existing programs. For more information, visit www.utahlax.org.
Championship Games, May 15th Viewmont High School
Division II Girls 10:00am
Division II Boys 1:00pm
Division I Girls 4:00pm
Division I Boys 7:00pm
Semi Final Game Details
Boys Division II
Spanish Fork v Northridge- was highly contested and the score did not reflect how closely it was played. Spanish Fork is only in their second season as a high school and have been able develop quickly to find themselves in the championship game this year. Timpanogos v Lehi- Timpanogos dominated from the start and didn't look back. Braden Lanham dominated the face-offs and goal scoring and demonstrated why he has been named First Team All State and the state MVP as a midfielder.
Boys Division I
Brighton v Waterford- Waterford surprised many by making it so far in the tournament. As the smallest program, they were well coached and had the drive. However, after beating Juan Diego and the 2 time defending champions, Bountiful, they were no match for Brighton. All American, Jayden Haws, led the Bengals this season as an outstanding attackman. Park City v Jordan- Jordan's Cinderella showing came to an end as they lost to Park City in overtime. Seeding at the number 4 position in their conference, Jordan gave fans an exciting play-off series beating number 1 ranked Alta in the first round. Park City's Griffin Pierkel made the game winning goal on Park City's home field.
Girls Division II
Bountiful v Lone Peak- Lone Peak played a great game against Bountiful beating them overtime 10-8. Bountiful led most of the game but were able to pull away in overtime. Cache Valley v Copper Hills- This game was rough game complete with 3 red cards including one the Copper Hills coach. Corbett, the Midfielder from Copper Hills, played a great game and controlled by ball for her team giving them several chances to catch up with Cache Valley, but CH was just not able to compete with Cache Valley.
Girls Division I
Alta v Park City- Alta added another game to their undefeated season by beating Park City 17-2. Goalie, Dacia Morgan, was able to fend off several shots on goal for Park City, but Alta control of the ball for the majority of the game ensured them a victory. Olympus v Riverton- Payton Evans, Riverton, had several interceptions which led to Riverton dominating the ball most of the game. Olympus was unable to keep up with Riverton's fast paced play losing the game 16-6.