Mustangs win lacrosse state championship
Jul 03, 2019 02:46PM
● By Greg James
Mustang boys grabbed their second state lacrosse title with a 12-10 victory over Pleasant Grove. (Photo courtesy of Herriman boys lacrosse)
By Greg James | [email protected]
As Utah high school lacrosse teams prepare to step into a new world next season, Herriman hangs on to its past while celebrating its present. The Mustang boys team won another state championship this spring.
“I feel good about the season,” first-year Mustang boys lacrosse head coach Wyatt Katsos said. “I am a Herriman alumnus myself, and I have been chasing something like this since this all began. It is nice to see it and pass that legacy along to the younger kids that might have watched me play.”
The Mustang boys team defeated Pleasant Grove 12-10 to hoist the championship trophy. They also won a class B championship trophy in 2017.
“It boiled down to passion,” Katsos said. “When we walked onto the field, I knew we were going to win flat out. We jumped out early to a lead. We were able to win the mental battle. PG (Pleasant Grove) is a very physical team, and they have some talent. We played well as a team.”
Katsos admits his team is not the most skilled team in the state, but the players and coaches are successful due to their hard work and commitment.
“It is very much a team effort all the way up to the coaching staff,” he said.
Pleasant Grove won the opening faceoff and had an initial attempt, but Herriman rebounded and took control of the match. After an ongoing attack, sophomore Jack Crawford scored, then Hunter Brundage scored again to put the Mustangs up two goals early. They led 6-1 at the end of the first period.
“The senior leadership for this team really helped us,” Katsos said. “We have a lot of very young players. They helped keep us in the right place.”
In goal, the Mustangs benefited from the play of Gage Gann. He had a 52 percent save percentage and only allowed 6.9 goals per game.
“Playing goalie is a big mental battle every game,” Katsos said. “You need to have a short memory and communicate well with your team. Gage is a very good leader and has a lot to learn. He is a stellar player.”
Dylan Checketts was named First Team All-State. His 274 face-off wins was tops in the state. He also scored seven goals and had 101 ground balls (forced turnovers). He is trying to attend college and major in aerospace engineering.
“We have kids that really want to put in the work to play collegiate lacrosse,” Katsos said.
Jack Crawford and Garret Gann were named as Honorable Mention All-State players.
In 2019–2020 lacrosse becomes the 11th sanctioned sport by the Utah High School Activities Association.
“With the new school (Mountain Ridge), some of this team will get split up, but it will give that young talent a chance to play and grow,” Katsos said. “Sanctioning with the high schools has been a long time coming. I expect the schools to support their programs more, with moving away from a parent governing board to a state-run program.”
Team selection for boys lacrosse will be held next spring.