Miners look back on impressive season
Becoming a team was top moment for head coach
It was a tough pill to swallow for the Park City High School boys’ lacrosse team.
After making it through the regular season without falling to any Utah opponent, the Miners saw their year end early in an emotional 8-7 overtime loss in the state semifinals to Juan Diego last week.
It wasn’t the result the players wanted, as they had their eye on the championship trophy, but it didn’t take long for Head Coach James Meyer to realize what a special season they had.
“I will say this is one of those instances where the journey is as important as the destination with our kids,” Park City head coach James Meyer said. “We just had so much fun this year as a group. From a culture perspective, it was really a very positive thing.”
Meyer added it’s tough for the Miners to hang their heads when looking at the long list of accomplishments this year.
The season started with an undefeated road trip to California, in which the Miners cruised to three wins by a combined score of 42-9. They used the momentum gained in the Golden State to go undefeated against in-state opponents through the entirety of the season.
The time they spent undefeated, however, didn’t come without its challenges.
Park City had to face Davis, a team known for its toughness and physicality, not once, but twice this year, skating by on both occasions. The team also narrowly edged out the 2016 Class A state champion in Brighton. And in the middle of all of these tough challenges, it defeated Juan Diego, the eventual 2017 champion, at home in one of the season’s most-anticipated matchups.
It was a season full of exciting moments, but for Meyer, he remembers the times spent before and after the game whistles.
“I looked forward to practice every single day,” Meyer said. “I think most kids did, too. We enjoyed each other’s company. There’s a great respect among the kids.”
There’s a ton of individual talent on the Park City team. Many of them will play at the collegiate level once their prep careers conclude, as Park City is known for boasting some of the top talents in the state year in and year out.
Balancing the egos of talented high school players can be a challenge, but this year, there were no individual agendas for the Miners.
“Last year was a hard year for this team,” Meyer said. “There wasn’t unity. There wasn’t a sense of common purpose. We really had that this year.”
Togetherness is a trait Meyer hopes will extend to future teams. Just like every year, the Miners will lose its top seniors to graduation, such as Vermont commit Jack Mintz, but programs like Park City tend to reload rather than rebuild.
With the Utah High School Lacrosse League midfield MVP Beau Pederson, along with a bevy of underclassmen who gained valuable experience this season, returning next year, the future looks bright for Meyer and company.
“We’ve got some real strength coming up,” Meyer said. “We have a bunch of kids who didn’t get a ton of playing time this year that we think can step right in next year. They see the level of commitment it’s going to take and they’ve waited their time and busted their butts in practice and are going to be ready to go next year.
I’m super excited about the future. I really think that this year’s senior class set the foundation for all good things moving forward for Park City.”
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.