We continue with Looking Ahead series with a look at Colorado 2017 boys’ lacrosse season. Which teams expect to compete for a state championship game and the underclassmen who could make it a special season.
Teams to watch
Arapahoe (Centennial), 15-4, Class 5A state runner-up
The Warriors were one win away from winning it all last season, falling to Regis Jesuit (Aurora) in the championship game. But five of their Top 6 leading scorers were all underclassmen, including junior Chase Douglas who earned Class 5A Second Team All-State honors after leading the team with 32 assists and scoring 20 goals. A pair of sophomores, Ryan Carlson (27 goals) and Riley Moynihan (23 goals) were second and third respectively in scoring.
Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village), 14-4, Class 5A state semifinalist
The Bruins return junior Asher Nolting who had more than 28 goals and 12 assists last season and earned Class 5A First Team All-State honors. Nolting was one of just three juniors to earn First Team All-State honors. Cherry Creek returns juniors Nate Miller and JT Simonton who were All-State Honorable Mention selections. They also return sophomore Henry Savage who scored more than 22 goals last season.
Dawson School (Lafayette), 17-2, Class 4A runner-up
The Mustangs return the Class 4A Player of the Year in Gavyn Pure, who as a sophomore, led the team with 128 points, 71 goals and 57 assists. Pure led the state in scoring last year and could become Colorado’s all-time leading scorer. Two seniors who were second and third on the team in scoring graduated, but a pair of sophomores were equally potent. Hunter Watts was fourth on the team with 43 goals and Jack Shams was fifth with 23. Defensively, junior Kyle Sudol returns after leading the team with 272 face off wins and 182 ground balls. Shams was second on the team with 102.
Mountain Vista (Highlands Ranch), 16-2, Class 5A state semifinalist
The Golden Eagles had a rollercoaster season in 2016. The year started with the passing of their head coach, Jake Herman. Jamie Munro stepped into the lead role and the team rallied to reach the state semifinals before falling to Arapahoe (Aurora). The 2017 season could be their year with five of their top scorers returning. Led by Colin Munro’s 54 goals along with Jake Govett’s 36 and Jake Frane’s 27, the Golden Eagles have plenty of firepower returning.
Regis Jesuit (Aurora), 17-2, Class 5A State Champion
The Raiders are among the elite programs in Colorado and are never counted out of contention for a title run. Regis’ top four scorers were all seniors, leaving sophomore Nick Ringhofer as the returning leader. Ringhofer had 16 assists and 11 goals in 16 games. Freshman Reed Babcock scored 14 goals, good for fifth on the team. Junior defenseman Joey Soran, who earned Class 5A All-State First Team honors also returns.
Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch), 15-4, Class 4A State Champion
The Eagles are well positioned to repeat in 2017 with their six leading scorers all returning. Valor was led by freshman Lance Tillman who had 69 points on 40 assists and 29 goals. Junior Grayson Goodyear was second on the team with 49 points (25 assists, 24 goals). Goodyear needs just 43 assists to reach 200 for his career. The Eagles had two underclassmen on the Class 4A All-State First Team: junior midfielder Gianni Orlando and freshman midfielder Eric Pacheco. Orlando was third on the team with 46 points on 28 goals and 18 assists. Pacheco had 130 ground balls, which was 89 more than the second player on the team.
Underclassmen to Watch
This is not a recruiting list of top players, instead is meant to reflect players who led or were among the team’s top scorers from last season and return in 2017.
Chase Douglas, Arapahoe (Aurora), attack, 2017
Douglas was second on the team with 52 points last season and led the team with 32 assists. The Air Force commit was a Class 5A Second Team All-State selection last season.
August Johnson, Cheyenne Mountain (Colorado Springs), midfield, 2018
The sophomore was named to the Class 4A All-State first team after leading the Indians with 53 goals. He was second on the team with 60 ground balls. In addition to his All-State selection, Johnson earned First Team All-Area honors.
Colin Munro, Mountain Vista (Highlands Ranch), attack/midfield, 2017
Munro helped Mountain Vista to a 16-2 record and a state semifinal appearance. The North Carolina commit is 96 points away from tying the best known point total in Colorado history – set in 2016 by Monarch’s Chad Kreuzer. Munro had 84 points last season and was one of just three juniors to earn First Team All-State honors.
Asher Nolting, Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village), attack, 2017
Nolting was a Class 5A First Team All-State selection last season after leading the team with more than 28 goals. The Air Force commit also had more than 15 ground balls last year.
Gavyn Pure, Dawson School (Lafayette), attack, 2018
Pure had an impressive 2016 season – leading Colorado with 123 points on 66 goals and 57 assists. In just two seasons, the attackman has 230 points, which puts him in position to become the best known scorer in Colorado history. He needs 82 goals and 88 assists to reach 200 in each category. Pure was chosen as the Class 4A Player of the Year by the CHSAA.
Joey Soran, Regis Jesuit, defense, 2017
The defenseman was one of just three underclassmen to earn Class 5A All-State honors last season. The Penn State commit anchored a defense that posted two shutouts and only allowed one team to score more than eight goals all season.
Lance Tillman, Valor Christian, attack, 2019
Tillman led the Eagles in points last season and earned Class 4A Second Team All-State honors last season. He was just one of three freshman to earn either First or Second team honors last year.