Utah Blackhawks go to Vegas | ParkRecord.com

Utah Blackhawks go to Vegas

Submitted by Jeff Brzoska The Utah Blackhawks Lacrosse Club went south Dec. 6-8 for the annual LXM Las Vegas tournament for its last scheduled tournament of 2013. The Blackhawks had four teams in the mix, competing in the high school and middle school d

The Blackhawks High School 2016 Team, coached by Walker Bateman (Olympus) and Ryan Walton (Corner Canyon) played in the High School "A" Division. The team of all sophomores had the strongest showing on the weekend for the Blackhawks’ organization, advancing to the championship game while going 4-2. The 2016s had three games on Saturday, going 2-1 in pool play after beating the Seattle Starz 7-3. They lost to the No. 1 seed 3D Select NorCal 2016 5-2 in which the team lost its leading scorer for the tournament to a concussion. Another Blackhawk team found a way to rally around another fallen teammate and knocked off Bunch B Strong 2016/17 in its final game of the day.

On playoff Sunday the team started the day taking down the No. 2 seed Factory Lacrosse, then defeated Seattle Starz 2016 7-4 to move on to the championship game. In the championship the Blackhawks fell to what did not look like the same Bunch B Strong 2016/17 team that they faced the previous day, 7-4. Overall, it is safe to say that there will be some very pleased high school coaches in Utah and in Park City this spring as many players on this team had what could be described as "their coming-out parties" this weekend. Park City’s Tobin Greenwald and Griffin Seifert were strong defensively and rarely left the field for their team and fellow Miner Zac O’Neal was major contributor on both ends of the field running middle.

The Blackhawks High School Elite was coached by just about everybody this weekend as their usual leader Steve Dunn (former Alta Youth) did not make the trip due to recent surgery. The team was not only short "their rock" in coach Dunn but several key players did not make the trip or were committed to play for other teams at this event, but Park City’s Chad Merrick was there, and had the usual strong performance that we have all come to expect in Miners country. Even though their record may not have reflected it, the battered and short-handed team played hard and fought from opening whistle to final buzzer in every game they played. After a long drive on Friday the team met locals Zip It Elite and came up short losing 5-4.

On Saturday the team seemed to find their game after beating the always tough OC Kings Elite A 6-5. In the next game the squad lost 14-4 as they saw a lot of familiar Utah Blackhawk and Park City Miner faces (Carson Dutkanych, Christian Pompoco, Noah Pranschke, and Chase Christensen) across the substitution box when they played Bunch Believe 2014/15. The final game of the day pitted the crew against No. 1 seed and eventual Elite Division champion RC Starz Elite Silver. The game was competitive the majority of the way, tied at three at the half, before RC flexed their might and put the Blackhawks away.

Sunday morning came with another matchup with the team they saw 14 hours earlier, but the game was not as close as the previous, as RC Starz Elite Silver beat the depleted Blackhawks 10-2 and ended the weekend for the team. The team was scheduled for a challenge game against the Colorado Wild Elite, but both teams decided they had enough lacrosse and did not want to risk further injuries, so it was canceled.

The Utah Blackhawks family would like to thank the event organizers at Adrenaline for another great tournament. They would also like to congratulate their competition and players that gave everything they had, players’ parents (the best in club lacrosse) and coaches that give so much of their time to this organization.

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