PLAYERS TO WATCH
Dylan Haines, Sr., Monarch: A consistent faceoff man for the Coyotes last season, he'll assume that role and likely others as a senior in 2018.
Delaney Pratt, Sr., Centaurus: The Warriors' goals leader with 37 as a junior last season, she returns as a key piece of a balanced attack that also features seniors Campbell Breithaupt and Sarah Casey.
Gavyn Pure, Sr., Dawson: Already the school's all-time goals leader and Colorado's all-time career points leader, Pure is back for one more run with the Mustangs and a spring that he hopes will end in a state championship.
Connor Thornton, Sr., Boulder: Allowing 7.8 goals per game with a .564 save percentage last season, he'll be back to anchor the Panthers in net for his senior season.
Riley Welsch, Jr., Jefferson Academy: He led the Jaguars with 35 goals and 24 assist last season and will be looking to keep the young program moving in the right direction as a junior.
The boys and girls regular seasons will be completed by May 5. The girls Final Four will May 19 at the University of Denver with the state championship game to be played on May 23. Both the boys Class 4A and 5A semifinals will be played at Legacy Stadium on May 16, with the state championship games to be played on May 19 at Mile High.
BOYS TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK
* Holy Family and Twin Peaks will both field teams but play junior varsity-only seasons.
Coach: Nick Voigt (1st year)
Last year: 6-9.
Returning starters: Tim Dolan (Sr., A); Matt Fete (Sr. Mid.); Jack Roser (Sr., A); Beau Sivy (Sr., A); Connor Thornton (Sr., G); Ben Warn (Jr., D); Glen Wojnar (Sr., M).
Others to watch: Peter Duffield (So., LSM); Quinn Egeland (So., D); Drew Sands (Jr., A/M); Zach Tribbet (Jr., FOGO/D/M).
Outlook: Excited for his first season as head coach at Boulder High, Nick Voigt thinks the Panthers will have a talented, hardworking group this season despite lower numbers than usual. BoCoPreps.com All-Region first-teamer Connor Thornton will be back in net and the Panthers return a solid group of seniors on the attack, and Voigt thinks the Panthers will have a chip on their shoulders to improve this spring.
Coach: Peter Devlin (8th Year)
Last year: 17-2. Lost in 4A state championship game.
Returning starters: Aidan Abram (Jr., D); Sage Gardner (Jr., D); Taylor Kamigaki (Jr., A); Jackson Keener (Jr., M); Gavyn Pure (Sr., A); Dawson Santangelo (So., G); Jack Shams (Sr., M); Asher Walker (Sr., M); Hunter Watts (Sr., A).
Others to watch: Hunter Brown (Sr., M); Spencer Sampliner (So., M); Grey Tonelli (Sr., M).
Outlook: Having reached at least the state semifinals in three straight seasons, the Mustangs return 18 varsity players from last year's 4A state runner-up team and will be looking to put together yet another deep playoff run this spring. Key players are back at a number of positions and the Dawson boys will lean on record-setting senior Gavyn Pure and the rest of their veteran leadership to navigate an arduous schedule on their way to what they hope will be a state title-winning campaign.
Coach: Matthew Kelley (3rd year)
Last year: 5-10.
Returning starters: Chase Brucher (So., M); Landon Colvin (So., A); Leo Felt (Sr., DM); Caden Keating, (So., A); Vincent Kershner (Sr., D); Tommy Miller (So., M); Jared Mizner (Jr., A); Ben Parker (Sr., M); Jake Sheerin (Sr., M); Joe Sikora (So., LSM); James Yao (Sr., FO).
Others to watch: Brooks Catlin (Fr., G); Tucker Catlin (So., A); Cole Teegarden (Jr., DM); Jake Zickerman (Jr., DM).
Outlook: The Knights return a core contingent of young players from a 2017 team that played eight freshman, and have added another talented group of freshmen as well as a new cadre of coaches. Though this year's team will be young once again, head coach Matthew Kelley thinks the Knights have the skill, patience and dedication to propel them in an entirely new direction after winning a combined eight games over the past two seasons.
JEFFERSON ACADEMY JAGUARS
Coach: Cory Hughes (3rd season)
Last year: 3-11.
Returning starters: Jacob Cardenas (Jr., LSM); Tyler Phelps (Jr., M); Ryan Reffel (Jr., A); Riley Welsch (Jr., M).
Others to watch: Joe Cesaro (Fr., A); Logan Gottlob (Jr., D); Adam Reyes (So., G); Hunter Rodman (So., A); Alex Vilaisack (So., M).
Outlook: Looking to compete in a strong Pikes Peak League, the Jaguars have a solid returning core and will rely on a young but talented defense to supplement several key additions in net. The Jaguars plan to own the middle of the field with their athleticism, a concept that will be tested immediately when they host two-time 4A runner-up Dawson School in their season opener.
Coach: David Auday (18th year)
Last year: 12-3. Lost is first round of 5A state tournament.
Returning starters: Ty Bradley (Sr., M); Dylan Haines (Sr., F/M); Travis Hitt (Jr., A); Jared Hodell (Sr., M); Griphen Jolly (Jr., A); Eli Korac (Jr., G); Ian Rule (Sr., D); Drew Tauson (Jr., A).
Others to watch: Andrew Alvarado (So., D); Sean Bohling (Sr., M); Robbie Brudzinski (So., M); Nate Haines (Sr., D); Ben Rieken (So., A); John Toomey (Sr., D); Dylan Torres (Jr., M).
Outlook: Head coach David Auday says the Coyotes are the deepest they have ever been at all positions and the goal is to make it back to the Elite 8 while meeting their standards for individual improvement as the season goes on. Already impressed with the team's early chemistry, Auday said the team wants to compete for a conference title and has an outside shot to become the first Monarch team to reach the 5A Final Four.
GIRLS TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK
* Holy Family will field a team but will play a junior varsity only season.
Coach: Todd Breithaupt (3rd year)
Last year: 11-5. Lost in the first round of the state tournament.
Returning starters: Kyra Barnes (Jr., M); Campbell Breithaupt (Sr., A); Kolbi Dietmeier (Jr., M); Catherine Klemp (Jr., D); Ariana O'Brien (Jr., M); Delaney Pratt (Sr., A); Tasha Ragland (Jr., M); Claire Sullivan (Sr., A); Kendall Werkmeister (Sr., D); Avery Westfall (Jr., D).
Others to watch: Dinah Hinson (So., D); Mia Sanchez (Sr., G).
Outlook: Returning plenty of strength in both the attack and midfield, the Warriors' focus will be on a building out the defense as they attempt to improve on last season's 11-5 campaign. Helping to fill in the holes on defense, goalies Mia Sanchez and Reagan Bach look stout between the pipes and returning letter-winners like Catherine Klemp, Kendall Werkmeister and Avery Westfall will look to replace graduated defensive stalwart Mayzie Moore and keep the pressure on opposing offenses.
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