Boys Lacrosse: Smoky Hill on the rise, while perennial power Regis Jesuit reloads

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Smoky Hill’s recent success on the boys lacrosse field is now sustainable.

The Buffaloes have improved by leaps and bounds in the past few seasons under coach Preston Davis and are off to a 6-2 start out of the gate this year, despite a significant reshaping of the roster.

Seventeen seniors graduated, but with the exception of a 16-2 loss to powerhouse Arapahoe, Smoky Hill has been in every game this season. The Buffs have shown the ability to win in the clutch with a pair of 12-11 victories, one over ranked Monarch and the other against  Cherokee Trail in overtime and kept the Hammer traveling trophy with a win over Eaglecrest.

Junior attackman Blake Foerster has been the team’s engine in the early season, as he was tied for the state lead in points (36) and goals scored (29) through eight games. Senior Blake Spencer has piled up 26 goals of his own.

Aurora’s regular lacrosse leader — Regis Jesuit — experienced some turnover from last season’s semifinal team. As usual, however, coach Jim Soran finds his roster stocked with talent.

The Raiders have several players headed to play in college, including University of Denver-bound senior Brian Wegner, plus steady senior Blake Knobloch on the attack and senior Robert Orban on the back line.

There’s also a mix of youth in the fold, as sophomores such as Matt Soran — the team’s early goal leader — and Truett Davis.

Cherokee Trail made a move last season, but coach Rowan Allen’s program was impacted significantly by graduation. Though numbers are up, Allen has 48 freshmen in the program — including six that have had to play early — making this a transition season.

Seniors Sterling Huff, Parker Miller and Jared Rosdal will be important as youngsters such as freshman attackman Cooper Snowbarger adjust to varsity play.

Coach Danny Barocas feels much better about Overland’s prospects this season given he lost just two graduated seniors from last season’s roster.

Senior attackman Ryan Dodd — the team’s leading scorer with 44 goals last season — is back, while brothers Ugo and Kelichi Chukwuka supply toughness and grit at the other levels of the field.

Freshman attackman D’Angelo Rivas is expected to have a significant impact as well.

Grandview suffered through a tough two-win season a year ago and has a new coach in Nate Mueller, who has a roster heavy with juniors and some young talent.

Johnathan Docherty gives Eaglecrest some needed scoring punch.

Gateway (Jeremy Dorr) and Rangeview (Davin Young) are under new direction.

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555

2013 AURORA BOYS LACROSSE KEY DATES, INFORMATION

5A playoff qualifiers determined: May 4; 5A semifinals: May 15 at Englewood H.S.; 5A state championship game: May 18 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High

Aurora players to watch: Kelechi Chukwuka, Overland, sr.; Ugo Chukwuka, Overland, jr.; Jake Conley, Rangeview, soph.; Christian Davis, Gateway, jr.; Truett Davis, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Johnathan Docherty, Eaglecrest, sr.; Ryan Dodd, Overland, sr.; Blake Foerster, Smoky Hill, jr.; Aaron Horvat, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Braxton Host, Grandview, sr.; Sterling Huff, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Blake Knobloch, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Aidan McIntosh, Eaglecrest, sr.; Josh Melton, Grandview, fr.; Parker Miller, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Quinn Moore, Grandview, jr.; Robert Orban, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Brandon Read, Rangeview, sr.; D’Angelo Rivas, Overland, fr.; Jared Rosdal, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Austin Rutledge, Smoky Hill, sr.; Matt Soran, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Blake Spencer, Smoky Hill, sr.; Kolby Spring, Gateway, jr.;Trey Thurmond, Eaglecrest, jr.; Brian Wegner, Regis Jesuit, sr.