Miners advance in state playoffs after dominant win over Box Elder
Jack McHenry’s efforts on faceoffs fuel 19-goal game for Park City
Park City High School’s second-seeded boys lacrosse team ended any hopes No. 18 Box Elder had of springing an upset on the Miners in a hurry.
The Miners scored eight goals in the first quarter of Thursday’s playoff game and walked away with a 19-3 win over the Bees. Park City will move on to the quarterfinals to face No. 10 Brighton on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Dozier Field.
“It was nice to walk away with a victory, especially a dominant one like that,” Park City coach Michael Persky said.
Persky credited junior Jack McHenry for fueling his team’s offensive outburst early in the game by winning plenty of faceoffs. The Miners made the most of their time with the ball, and they had the ball more often than not, thanks to McHenry’s efforts. Park City’s fast start began with McHenry winning a faceoff that led to a Miners goal eight seconds into the game.
“Jack McHenry just gives us a huge advantage,” Persky said. “We had a ton of possessions. It’s obviously better to start with a good one. I don’t even remember exactly what happened. He picked it up, somebody shot and scored right away.”
McHenry started taking faceoffs in middle school and has been the go-to player for faceoffs for Park City.
“I started taking faceoffs since probably sixth grade just because we needed someone to do it,” McHenry said. “And I played midfield, so I just was like, ‘Why not do both,’ I guess. And then it just kind of picked up from there and took over as the faceoff guy.”
The junior dedicates hours to hone his skills, and it’s paid off for him and the Miners. McHenry was winning over 70% of his faceoffs heading into Thursday’s game, which places him among the best in the state. On Thursday, McHenry couldn’t stop winning faceoffs, which led to plenty of goals for Park City.
“Just practice, really, that’s what I do,” McHenry said. “Just take reps at home and find a buddy to do it, and just do it once or twice a week.”
It’s not uncommon for teams to have a faceoff specialist who takes the faceoff and then immediately gets off the field. However, McHenry adds much more to the team than just winning faceoffs.
“They call them FOGOs – faceoff, get off,” Persky said. “But Jack actually does a really good job of generating offense off the faceoff.”
“It’s because he sees the field well, and we like him to stay on the field,” he added. “He gives us an extra dimension on offense that most teams don’t have.”
McHenry scored a goal in the fourth quarter to become one of many scorers for the Miners against Box Elder. Junior Chase Beyer led the way with six goals and an assist, while sophomore Brendan Johnson had another seven points on three goals and four assists.
Persky credited his team for its fast start on Thursday. While he added that the Miners still had some areas that needed cleaning up and were a little sloppy, he sees how far his team has come since the beginning of the season.
“The boys on this team, they want to win the state championship,” he said. “We had some really tough games at the beginning of the season that exposed some weaknesses that we had. The boys have been working on identifying those weaknesses and adjusting them and trying to improve upon them. And hopefully, we’re peaking at the right time of the season.”
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