Lacrosse continues to grow by leaps and bounds in Colorado and it simultaneously improves at the prep level in Aurora.
The 2015 boys lacrosse season in the city proved more competitive than ever as a whole, even though only two teams qualified for the Class 5A postseason.
Regis Jesuit remained the town’s lacrosse elite and though they fell short in their bid for a second straight Class 5A state championship, a host of Raiders earned their way onto the 2015 Aurora Sentinel All-City Boys Lacrosse Team, which is picked by the Sentinel in conjunction with the balloting of city coaches.
Players from a Grandview team that moved close to the top tier in the state with a junior-dominated group and individuals from Cherokee Trail and Smoky Hill round out Aurora’s top unit.
Coach Jim Soran’s Regis Jesuit team won the 2014 5A state title and had the firepower to pull off a repeat with double-digit college signees. The Raiders ran into a roadblock in Cherry Creek, which beat them once in the regular season and again on May 15 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High with the state championship at stake.
Four Regis Jesuit seniors received All-American honors from Colorado coaches — attackmen Ben Bechter and Matt Soran, defender Adam Kratt and goalie Brett Quartuccio — and each played key roles in the team’s success.
Bechter (Hobart College) and Soran (Drexel) combined for 71 goals and 26 assists as two dangerous pieces of the Raiders’ diverse attack, which also received sizeable contributions from seniors Chet Dunstan (33 goals, 8 assists) and Chase Konkel (16 goals, 7 assists), both first team All-State selections as well.
On the defensive end, Regis Jesuit had a cohesive unit that excelled because of its familiarity and finished the season allowing the fourth-fewest goals in the entire state in 5A (101 in 19 games).
Seniors Kratt (an Air Force signee) and Conor Shea, winner of the Doc Stabler award — annually given to a player that demonstrates excellence in the classroom, leadership on his team and in the community and excellent on the field of play — while sophomore LSM Joey Soran played at a first team All-State level.
Backing them all up was Quartuccio — who is headed to Delaware along with Konkel — an extraordinary shot-stopper in the goal who saved 60 percent of the shots on goal.
Junior Zach Bodeau did a more than admirable job stepping into the main faceoff role that opened when standout Alec Barnes suffered an injury that put him out for most of the season. Bodeau was one of eight Regis Jesuit players to earn All-South Suburban League first team honors and he was selected for the annual Froelicher-Toll All-State Game along with many of his teammates.
Grandview’s remarkable first season under new coach Patrick Chapla saw the Wolves stand toe-to-toe with many of the state’s best teams and not back down.
A 12-win season that ended with a close playoff loss at Kent Denver was spurred by the play of a significant junior class, which included Cooper Snowbarger on attack and Ryland Clay in the midfield.
Snowbarger transferred from rival Cherokee Trail and made a huge impact. With great size, knowledge of the game that enhanced his ability to score goals from a wide variety of angles, Snowbarger racked up 40 goals to finish second on the team. Add that to 31 assists and he finished second in the Centennial League in points with 71 and received second team All-State accolades.
The feisty Clay earned honorable mention all-state status for the Wolves with a season that included 13 goals and seven assists, while he also finished second on the team in groundballs.
Overland’s D’Angelo Rivas stepped up the physicality of his game in his junior season and it helped him become an even more valuable contributor to a Trailblazers’ team that lacked depth.
Rivas got to 62 goals this season — 21 more than last season — and matched his 2014 total of 40 assists. Rivas’ 102 total points put him atop the Centennial League and tied him for third in the state regardless of classification and helped him land second team All-State honors.
Senior Austin Peper provided some thump to the Smoky Hill defense, as he used his 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame to deter offensive players from coming in front of the Buffs’ net. Peper earned second team All-State honors and selection for the Froehlicher-Toll All-State Game as well.
With the departure of Snowbarger and Keenan Moffitt (Arapahoe), Cherokee Trail needed to lean on senior midfielder Deryk Delahanty more than ever before and he delivered big time in 2015.
Delahanty racked up 32 goals — more than double his total from 2014 — and five assists for the Cougars.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2015 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-CITY BOYS LACROSSE TEAM
FIRST TEAM — Attack: Ben Bechter, Regis Jesuit, sr.; D’Angelo Rivas, Overland, jr.; Cooper Snowbarger, Grandview, jr.; Matt Soran, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Midfield: Ryland Clay, Grandview, jr.; Deryk Delahanty, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Chet Dunstan, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Chase Konkel, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Defense: Adam Kratt, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Austin Peper, Smoky Hill, sr.; Conor Shea, Regis Jesuit, sr.; LSM: Joey Soran, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Faceoff: Zach Bodeau, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Goalie: Brett Quartuccio, Regis Jesuit, sr.
SECOND TEAM — Attack: Truett Davis, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Josh Kelly, Cherokee Trail, jr.; Josh Melton, Grandview, jr.; Isaac Towner, Eaglecrest, jr.; Midfield: Garrett Goulding, Grandview, jr.; Bryce Lang, Rangeview, jr.; Parker Loyd, Eaglecrest, jr.; Simon Quan, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Defense: Keaton Carney, Grandview, jr.; Logan McCord, Cherokee Trail, jr.; Mike Wegner, Regis Jesuit, sr.; LSM: Joe Jarman, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Faceoff: Dalton Frasier, Grandview, soph.; Goalie: Evan Adams, Smoky Hill, sr.
HONORABLE MENTION — Richard Au, Overland, sr. (G); Ashton Berryman, Cherokee Trail, jr. (G); Quentin Birch, Regis Jesuit, soph. (M); Hayden Blubaugh, Smoky Hill, soph. (M); Cole Boland, Regis Jesuit, jr. (M); Ryan Brown, Regis Jesuit (SSDM), jr.; Andrew Brune, Regis Jesuit, sr. (M); Thein Chau, Rangeview, sr. (M); Joey Chott, Regis Jesuit, jr. (A); Chi Chukwuka, Overland, sr. (A); Zach Collins, Overland, soph. (A); Ben Davis, Gateway, jr. (M); Chandler Ebertowski, Eaglecrest, sr. (M); Christian Fritz, Gateway, sr. (A); Josh Hanible, Gateway, jr. (M); Justin Jenkins, Rangeview, sr. (M); Sam Kelly, Cherokee Trail, soph. (D); Dominick Knight, Rangeview, soph. (D); Dylan Lander, Grandview, sr. (LSM); Mathew Lane, Rangeview, jr. (D); Jordan Livingston, Rangeview, soph. (D/LSM); Jeremiah Macintyre, Rangeview, sr. (FO); Levi McKenzie, Rangeview, jr. (G); Colby Moore, Grandview, fr. (D); Jordan Oliver, Eaglecrest, jr. (M); Rakish Oliver, Rangeview, sr. (M); Caleb Parros, Cherokee Trail, soph. (M); Javier Perez, Rangeview, jr. (D); Dandre Phillips (SSDM), Rangeview, jr. (M); Marshall Proxmire, Rangeview, fr. (A); Parker Reid, Grandview, sr. (G); Bobby Reifsnider, Regis Jesuit, sr. (M); Kadin Rivas, Overland, sr. (M); Cameron Rivera (SSDM), Rangeview, sr. (M); Rease Rodgers, Eaglecrest, jr. (D); Liam Sandt, Rangeview, jr. (LSM); Kameron Schultheis, Cherokee Trail, jr. (M); Perry Schwinger, Eaglecrest, sr. (LSM); Matt Sciba, Grandview, jr. (M); Quinn Stokes, Grandview, jr. (D); Mac Tezak, Regis Jesuit, soph. (D); Jesse Tizon, Rangeview, soph. (A); Adam Trujillo, Grandview, soph. (M); Mackenzie Tynan (SSDM), Regis Jesuit, sr.; Chris Vice, Cherokee Trail, jr. (F/O); Sam Voparil, Rangeview, sr. (M); Ben Warren, Grandview, jr. (A); Robert Woods, Smoky Hill, soph. (F/O)