LOUISVILLE — Already his school's all-time leader in goals and points, Monarch senior Chad Kreuzer is barreling down the final stretch of a prep lacrosse career that could end up as one of the highest-scoring in Colorado history.

But the Monarch boys are so locked in as a team right now, Kreuzer isn't even thinking about his career scoring numbers. Even if he is, and is just being coy, Monarch's scoring machine sure isn't interested in talking about it.

"I haven't really been keeping up to date on that," Kreuzer said. "I'm just taking it one game, one five-minute period, at a time to try to do whatever I can at that time to get our team a win. It's all about doing everything the best I could and when I look back on it all, I'll be able to say that I did. That's what we're all doing."

Kreuzer, the reigning BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year, all-state player and All-American, currently has 166 career goals with at least six games left. All he and the Coyotes are interested in is reaching the state semifinals.

The Coyotes (8-2, 6-1 Front Range League) are currently ranked fifth in Class 5A by the CHSAANow.com poll. They dropped as low as seventh after losing their season opener to Arapahoe. After that first game, the Coyotes reeled off eight straight wins before falling to No. 8 Columbine 13-9 on Wednesday, and are battling for the Front Range League crown.


At the end of a season in which Kreuzer believes Monarch to be among Colorado's best teams and that the state's top teams are evenly-matched, as evidenced by No. 2 Mountain Vista beating No. 1 Cherry Creek on Tuesday, the all-around midfielder views this year's Coyotes as the type of veteran group that is capable of a deep playoff run.

"Our leadership really comes into play this year," Kreuzer said. "We have five captains who are all four-year varsity guys who have learned a lot from the past. Our captains are all really separated out, position-wise and we're really working towards building something special across the board."

As for the Coyotes reaching the Final Four, they felt it was supposed to happen last year. Regis Jesuit halted their playoff run in the quarterfinals.

But senior goaltender Andrew Winans stated clearly that he is not alone in feeling as though that loss only motivated the Coyotes to get the job done in 2016.

"I was talking with coach earlier and this year, I think we have more team chemistry than I've ever seen in all my four years at Monarch," Winans said. "You can see it in the way we play as a team. I think after our loss to Regis last year in the playoffs, that really brought us together and left us pretty hungry to come back and go farther.

"Our first goal is to win our league and that's very reachable for us right now. We definitely wanted to go to that Final Four last year and that's where we hope to be headed this year."

Last year was a big year for Monarch lacrosse. If the Coyotes can keep up their torrid pace, this year could be bigger.

"Good teams have good players but great teams have great teammates," Coyotes head coach David Auday said. "We have great teammates and we really care about each other. We've built relationships that will last for a lifetime and when you have that going for you, good things are going to happen."

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi