AURORA | City teams and athletes won a combined four team championships and 12 individual events in the final weeks of the 2016 spring prep sports season. Here’s a look at one of Aurora’s state team champions, the Regis Jesuit boys lacrosse team, the Class 5A state champion:
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
REGIS JESUIT: 5A BOYS LACROSSE STATE CHAMPION
Every season, it becomes more and more difficult to win a boys lacrosse state championship in Colorado as the talent increases and the game continues to grow exponentially. Winning the Class 5A state championship trophy has become especially challenging, but coach Jim Soran and his Regis Jesuit program has been able to rise to the top twice in the last three seasons and three times in the last five seasons. The Raiders won their latest 5A state championship on May 20 with an 11-5 victory over Arapahoe at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Though Regis Jesuit had appeared in the last two 5A state finals against Cherry Creek — splitting the two games — Soran’s team likely wasn’t the odds on favorite to win the title at the beginning of the season given that it graduated its entire attack from last season’s runner-up team. Despite all the new faces, the Raiders found enough offense to go with an outstanding defense unit — one that senior Alec Barnes called the “best in the country” on several occasions — to win the title. Regis Jesuit (17-2) lost only one game to a Colorado team and avenged that overtime loss to Cherry Creek with a 7-3 victory in the semifinals to reach the championship game. The Raiders opened with a strong first period against the Warriors — who had upset Mountain Vista in the other semifinal — thanks to senior Mikey Bealer, who scored three goals and punctuated the period by snaring a pass from Arapahoe’s goalie and depositing it into the net. Regis Jesuit never trailed and got three goals from another senior, Joey Chott, who put up back-to-back scores in the fourth period when the Raiders’ lead had shrunk to two goals. Barnes had two goals and two assists, junior long pole Joey Soran contributed two goals and freshman Reed Babcock also got into the scoring column for Regis Jesuit, while Soran, Mac Tezak, Joe Jarman and goalie Braden Host — who made a variety of spectacular saves and came out of the net to push the ball up the field on several occasions — and others held a potent Warriors offense to just five goals and no more than two in a period.
Full Class 5A boys lacrosse state championship game recap, here.
Final Class 5A boys lacrosse state playoff results, here.