Young Miners preparing for home slate | ParkRecord.com

Young Miners preparing for home slate

PCHS boys’ lacrosse team competing against best

Park Citys Beau Pederson flies through the air to get a shot past a Brighton goalie during a game two seasons ago. Pederson, a junior, is one of the teams leaders this season.

As the saying goes, "there's no place like home," but the Park City High School boys' lacrosse team hasn't experienced that feeling this season.

The Miners have gotten off to an impressive 7-3 start to 2017, including a 4-0 record against top in-state opponents, such as Logan and Fremont. The team's strong start is even more impressive when factoring in all the games have been played away from the confines of Park City High School's home field.

"The start of the season has been a big challenge for us," PCHS Head Coach James Meyer said. "Our schedule is such that all of our early games were away. That's just a challenge."

Park City is likely to compete for a Utah High School Lacrosse League Class A state championship this season, Meyer said. In an effort to prepare the players for anything thrown their way, he and the rest of the coaching staff signed on to participate in contests outside of Utah.

The team played against California powerhouse Marin Catholic, Portland Jesuit from Oregon, Coronado of Nevada and Mountain View of Idaho. Each high school is a top talent in their respective states.

Park City won just one of those games — a 6-4 win over Marin Catholic — with the other three being close losses. Meyer said the experience gained from them is invaluable.

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"Playing teams that are at a really high level helps you, win or lose," Meyer said. "It raises everyone's game, is the concept behind it. We'll see down the road whether that's helped us or not."

The recent games against strong competitors are especially helpful for Park City's younger players.

"We're very young," Meyer said. "We start a number of freshmen and sophomores, who are very nice players and have high IQs, but they're young."

The young guns have been lucky enough to have a couple older Miners pave the way and lead the team. One of them is junior Beau Pederson, who is committed to play lacrosse at Princeton. Pederson is a do-it-all type of player, which comes in handy for Meyer when he's creating the plans for each game.

"He's an exceptional player," Meyer said. "His willingness to do anything for the team has been wonderful for us. He faces off. He plays attack. He plays midfield. He does everything for us."

Defensively, Josh Hales has been the go-to guy when Park City is looking for a stop.

"[Hales] takes the other team's best offensive player every game," Meyer said. "We just sort of put him on an island and say, 'Josh, you need to take this kid out of the game.' To this point, he's been very successful at that."

After road contests against Bingham and Olympus on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the Miners will play in Park City for the rest of the season. The home slate will kick off with a matchup with Juan Diego, widely viewed as the second-best team in the state behind the Miners.

"Juan Diego is an exceptional team and has been for years," Meyer said. "They do a lot of things very, very well. If we can limit some of their scores and find a way around their very talented defense, we might be okay. But it's going to be a huge challenge for us."

Friday's contest between Park City and Juan Diego is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. at Dozier Field.