Junior LAX team takes state
June 9, 2015
After the Park City Red seventh and eighth grade girls’ lacrosse team won a state championship on Wednesday night, the Park City seventh and eighth grade boys’ squad had a chance to match that feat on Saturday at Juan Diego.
Playing against Juan Diego, Park City jumped out to an early two-goal lead, thanks to some strong play from Aiden Christensen, who finished the game with three goals and two assists.
Once Park City had the lead, the defense set out to make sure Juan Diego wouldn’t take it back.
Though it was a tight battle at times, the Park City boys held on, extending their lead to 8-5 by the end of the game to earn the state title.
Park City Coach Brian Bilzi said the defense played an aggressive, physical game on Saturday.
"The defense played great," he said. "And our goalie, Connor Hollison, was unbelievable. He kept us in it the entire time and held them off."
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Bilzi said Park City knew Juan Diego would try to play fast, so the game plan was to try to slow things down as much as possible.
"We knew they liked to push the ball in transition, so we stopped that," he said. "Our four defensemen — Andrew Pederson, Duncan Catley, Marc Colazzi and Teddy Elbert — had really good games. They were really throwing their weight around. We thought if we could slow the game down, we could win, and we were right."
Offensively, Toby Burke stood out alongside Christensen. Burke also scored three goals in the victory.
Winning the title was extra sweet for the eighth graders on the Park City squad. That group had been plagued by Juan Diego for a couple years.
"That eighth grade group [for Juan Diego] had won two-straight state titles," Bilzi said. "We wanted to stop that. Our eighth graders lost to that Juan Diego team last year, so it was good to finally get one back against them."
Bilzi said he was proud of how hard Park City worked all season long. He said the team had some tough practices, but the boys came through when it mattered most.
"The biggest strength is our hustle," he said. "They work so hard. We work them hard in practice and it shows in games — they play very, very hard."
Bilzi added that it helps his team’s motivation when the Park City High School varsity squad plays at such a high level.
"It sets the tone for the whole town when the flagship team does well," he said. "A lot of our kids have siblings at the varsity level, so they know what it takes to succeed and that motivates them to work hard."
This season, the PCHS boys’ varsity squad got major contributions from freshmen attackers Beau Pederson and JJ Pickard. Bilzi said this year’s eighth graders are talented enough to contribute to the varsity team at a high level next year.
"They’re going to bring a lot of hard work and hustle," he said. "They’ve got some skilled attackers and some defensemen who are probably ready to contribute right away."
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