AURORA | For the second straight season, the Cherokee Trail boys lacrosse team will be seeing purple and gold in the postseason.
The Cougars beat Boulder in 2011 in the first round of their inaugural state playoff appearance and they’ll be pitted against the same color scheme this season when they play host to No. 22 Littleton.
Cherokee Trail (12-3) was seeded 11th again among 24 qualifiers — which also included Regis Jesuit and Smoky Hill from Aurora — in the bracket released Tuesday by the Colorado High School Activities Association. Coach Rowan Allen’s Cougars are set to welcome the Lions (9-6) to Legacy Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.
Defending state champion Regis Jesuit, which has made the final in two straight seasons and made at least the semifinals in four straight years, received one of the top eight seeds that bring with it a first-round bye. Coach Jim Soran’s Raiders have had a rough stretch since hitting the toughest part of their schedule, going 1-4 in their final five contests on the heels of an 11-game winning streak.
All four losses for Regis Jesuit (10-5), however, came against top-eight seeds — No. 1 Arapahoe (15-0), No. 2 Cherry Creek (12-3), No. 3 Kent Denver (13-2) and No. 5 Mullen (10-5) — and three of the four, save an 8-3 loss to Cherry Creek, were one-goal games. The Raiders’ other loss also came to the other team seeded in front of it, a 9-8 defeat to No. 4 Columbine (12-3) in the season opener.
When the first round is complete, the Raiders will play host to the 6th highest remaining seed. If all favored teams win in the opening round, Regis Jesuit would meet Cherokee Trail in the round of 16, which must be completed by May 9.
Smoky Hill (7-8) made it to the lacrosse playoffs for the first time since 2008 and will be on the road for the first round, taking on No. 12 Wheat Ridge (9-6) at 3 p.m. Saturday at Trailblazer Stadium in Lakewood. The Buffaloes will make just their fourth postseason appearance in 12 seasons, having also qualified in 2008 (when they went 1-1), 2007 and 2005 — both first-round exits.
No. 7 Rock Canyon (12-3) and No. 8 Monarch (12-3) round out the top eight teams receiving first-round byes.
The round of 16 must be completed by May 9, while quarterfinals are scheduled for May 12, semifinals for May 16 and the championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555
2012 BOYS LACROSSE PLAYOFFS
FIRST ROUND (to be completed by May 5)
No. 24 Highlands Ranch (7-8) at No. 9 Castle View (12-3)
No. 23 Evergreen (11-3) at No. 10 Fort Collins (10-5)
No. 22 Littleton (9-6) at NO. 11 CHEROKEE TRAIL (12-3), 7 p.m., May 4, Legacy Stadium
N0. 21 SMOKY HILL (7-8) at No. 12 Wheat Ridge (9-6), 3 p.m., May 5, Trailblazer Stadium
No. 20 ThunderRidge (10-5) at No. 13 Mountain Vista (9-6)
No. 19 Denver East (19-6) at No. 14 Steamboat Springs (14-1)
No. 18 Heritage (9-6) at No. 15 Colorado Academy (8-7)
No. 17 Air Academy (9-6) at No. 16 Cheyenne Mountain (13-2), 7 p.m., May 4, Cheyenne Mountain H.S.
SECOND ROUND (highest seed above plays 1 on down, completed by May 9)
16th highest seed at No. 1 Arapahoe (15-0)
9th highest seed at No. 8 Monarch (12-3)
12th highest seed at No. 5 Mullen (10-5)
13th highest seed at No. 4 Columbine (12-3)
14th highest seed at No. 3 Kent Denver (13-2)
11th highest seed at NO. 6 REGIS JESUIT (10-5)
10th highest seed at No. 7 Rock Canyon (12-3)
15th highest seed at No. 2 Cherry Creek (12-3)
Quarterfinals, May 12; semifinals, May 16; championship game, May 19