Junior Boys’ Black Team wins first D1 championship | ParkRecord.com

Junior Boys’ Black Team wins first D1 championship

Submitted by Catherine Greenwald Proving the adage that "defense wins championships," the Park City Juniors (7th/8th grade) Black boys' team grounded the previously undefeated Juan Diego Soaring Eagle to claim the Utah Lacrosse Association's Juniors Divi
The Park City Junior Boys Black Team poses for a picture. The team members are: Top row, L-R Coach Jamie Meyer, Beau Pederson, Will Harrigan, Justin Pickard, Matt Whipple, Cole Lee, Eli Levine, Jack Mintz, Alec Olsen, Matthew O'Brien, Josh Hales, Lance Jenkins, Coach Jerry French and Coach Mike Acee. Middle, L-R Aiden Shaw, Sam Addicot, Connor French and Kyle Walterson. Bottom, L-R John Luebbers, Ryan Smith, Duncan Halsey, Noah Meyer and Will McNamara. Courtesy Park City Youth Lacrosse Organization

On the other side of the field, the potent Park City offense of Beau Pederson (four assists), Matt O’Brien (one goal, one assist), Will Harrigan (two goals, one assist), Will McNamara (one goal, one assist), Ryan "Rhino" Smith (one goal), and Matt Whipple (one goal) controlled the ball, taking more than twice as many shots as the Juan Diego offense. Many of those chances were generated by the tough defense on clears, getting the ball back from Juan Diego on multiple occasions before it had had a chance to cross midfield. Park City’s advantage in possession time was considerably aided by the dominant faceoff play of Justin Pickard (two goals), who notched 10 wins; including the two gained by John Leubbers, Park City started out on offense twice as many times as Juan Diego.

The win was particularly sweet for Park City since it went into the playoffs as the third seed. To get to the final game, Park City had to face Brighton, a strong team that it had lost to twice in the regular season. It proved yet another adage, "third time’s the charm," by avenging those losses with a 14-11 win.

During the rough start to a shortened season due to the late Park City spring break, Park City also lost to Juan Diego 6-3, so the win on Thursday was doubly sweet.

"These kids worked really hard this year," said assistant coach Jamie Meyer. "They started slow but finished strong. I have coached these kids for six or seven years and I am very humbled at how they have improved, and their dedication to becoming better players and better young men."

Head coach Mike Acee added, "Congratulations to the Juan Diego Junior boys for a very good season and a hard-fought championship game. Thank you to assistants Jamie Meyer, Jerry French, the PCYLO board, and all the families involved, for their contributions to our championship run. I’m very proud of our boys."

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