Nike/US Lacrosse West Region Report
by Todd Karpovich | LaxMagazine.com
Players to watch
Jack Beall and Clayton Frank, King's Way
Cole Johnson, Bellevue (Wash.)
Jack Ortlieb, Cornoa del Mar (Calif.)
Games to watch
Issaquah (Wash.) vs. Palo Verde (Nev.) – March 23,
Northwest Invitational at Mercer Island
Cherry Creek (Colo.) at St. Paul's (Md.) – March
St. Ignatius (Calif.) at De La Salle (Calif.) –
1. La Costa Canyon (Calif.), 3-0
The Mavericks opened the season with a 7-3 victory over St. Margaret's Episcopal. La Costa Canyon held St. Margaret's scoreless in the first half. The Mavericks, who are shooting for their sixth San Diego championship, also beat a tough Cathedral Catholic team 7-5 and surged past Fallbrook 15-5.
2. Arapahoe (Colo.), 3-0
The Warriors opened league play with a 14-6 victory over Heritage and then knocked off Brighton and Smoky Hill by an average of almost 10 goals. Arapahoe is looking for its fourth state title in six years.
3. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), 5-0
The Wildcats have raced out to five consecutive victories in impressive style. St. Ignatius knocked off No. 6 Torrey Pines 12-7, avenging its only loss last season. Junior Jake Long led the way in the win with six goals.
4. Corona del Mar (Calif.), 4-0
The Sea Kings continued their early-season dominance with a 15-2 victory over Sage Hill. Jack Ortlieb led the way with five goals and Casey Mix added three. In its four games this season, Corona del Mar outscored opponents 60-13.
5. Cherry Creek (Colo.), 1-0
The Bruins cruised past Rock Canyon 12-2 in their first regular season game. Cherry Creek has an eight-day layoff before taking on Wheat Ridge. A trip to Maryland against MIAA powers St. Paul's and Severn is scheduled for the end of the month. The Bruins defeated St. Paul's last season.
6. Torrey Pines (Calif.), 2-1
The Falcons opened the season with back-to-back wins over Carlsbad and Jserra Catholic, 13-4 and 13-3 respectively. However, Torrey Pines fell to No. 3 St. Ignatius, 12-7. The Falcons have another big match-up against undefeated Poway (4-0) this week.
7. Palos Verdes (Calif.), 4-0
The Sea Kings are off to a strong start with four straight victories to open the season. Palos Verdes has averaged 17.3 goals per game and allowed a total of 14.
8. Bellevue (Wash.), 3-0
The Wolverines picked up a huge victory to open the season, 14-6 over Bainbridge Island. Cole Johnson led the way with six goals for Bellevue. The Wolverines followed that game with victories over Woodinville and Emerald Ridge-Puyallup, outscoring them 37-6.
9. Issaquah (Wash.), 2-0
The defending state champions made quick work of Liberty with a 15-1 victory to open the season. Issaquah was equally impressive in its next game by beating Bellarmine Prep, 17-1. The Eagles have tough non-conference game this week against Nevada powers Henderson Red and Palo Verde.
10. Brophy Prep (Ariz.), 6-0
The Broncos continued their surge to open the season and cracked this week's top-10 with victories over Salpointe Catholic and Horizon. Brophy Prep has put together a tough non-conference schedule near the end of the month with games against Denver East (Colo.), West Linn (Ore.), Bellarmine Prep (Wash.), Lincoln (Ore.), Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.) and St. Ignatius (Calif.).
News and Notes
Panthers Up and Running
Palo Verde (Nev.) opened the season with six consecutive victories before a dropping a tight game to Utah power Alta. The Panthers have all the talent to defend their state title.
Palo Verde returns its entire defense from last season, including Johns Hopkins-bound junior Jeremy Huber and Noah Wolthausen (Wagner). Sophomore defenseman Josh Lovejoy has been a consistent force on defense. Long stick midfielder Riley Christensen has established himself as one of the region's best players in that role.
"We have a solid returning core from last years state champion squad," coach Gary Campo said. "Senior goalie Remington Ickes keeps improving everyday and is a solid keeper and tremendous leader."
The Panthers also returned their entire attack, but Alec Grant's switch to middie has been a slow adjustment for the younger attackmen, Campo said. However, Isaac Young continues to be one of the team's most potent scorers.
"I really thought our midfield unit would take a while to gel, as we lost five seniors from last years team, but BYU-bound Cole Bryan has been a rock as has sophomore Chase Bradshaw, who has more than made up for our graduated middies. The glue to our midfield however has been converted All -State attackmen Alec Grant, who is out with a broken foot suffered just last week but will return April 1. This has given some younger players the chance to see some quality time on the field early on such as freshmen Justin Huber and Tanner Prince."
Because Las Vegas has just a small number of teams, Palo Verde have become road warriors to take some of the West Coast's top teams. This is the fifth year the Panthers will play at the Northwest Invitational in Washington.
"We have enjoyed a great deal of success on the field there, but more importantly we have grown as a team each and every year we travel out of state and it has certainly paid dividends for us here in Las Vegas," Campo said. "This year alone we play the state champions from, Idaho, Utah, Washington and Oregon as well as the runners up in Idaho and Oregon. We also have scrimmaged the best teams in Arizona and tournament contests against teams from Canada."
Mountain View Rolling
Mountain View (Idaho) has reeled off six consecutive victories to open the season, including an impressive 9-5 win over Utah power Alta. Coach Alain Rodrigue is widely known in lacrosse circles for his ability to build programs and Mountain View appears to be his latest successful project.
"I have been coaching lacrosse in the Treasure Valley [Lacrosse League] for more than 10 years now at three different programs that I have turned from ashes to success," Rodrigue said. "And this is likely the most balanced and deepest team I have ever had the pleasure to coach. Mountain View has never had any consistency from a coaching standpoint. This is my fourth year working to establish a winning culture. We also have a very talented and motivated team and tremendous support from a great parent board."
The Maverick's strong depth and balance is the result of structured off-season work. To capture a crown in Idaho, Mountain View will have to knock off defending state champion Timberline, which has been the dominant program in the Treasure Valley. To get ready for league play, Rodrigue has put together a tough non-conference schedule against teams from Washington State, Oregon and Utah.
"We matched up well last year with out of state teams and thus far this year, we are off to a great start," He said. "It's always exciting to see how you measure up to programs outside of your conference."
Check back to LaxMagazine.com every other Wednesday throughout the high school season for updates to the Nike/US Lacrosse Regional Boys' Top 10 rankings and the Nike/US Lacrosse National Boys' Top 25.