DENVER — Now in their program's third year, the Jefferson Academy lacrosse players remember quite well how it feels to get trounced on a regular basis.
The days of the Jaguars being utterly overmatched on a daily basis appear to be over.
On Friday, the Jaguars won 19-0 on the road against Denver North at All-City Stadium in Denver. The win was the Jaguars' sixth of the season and first Pikes Peak League victory of the spring. Though Friday's game was a cold and windy affair on the road, the Jaguars left for home feeling pretty good about where their program has come since it began varsity play two and a half seasons ago.
"This year especially, our team is looking better than it ever has before," Jaguars junior Ian Eilers said. "The past two years, it's been kind of rough. But this year, I think we can actually do something. I think this game kind of proves it because the past two years, we've been in their position. It feels good to be on the other side."
The Jaguars (6-2, 1-2 Pikes Peak) went 3-11 last season and have already won more games in 2018 than in their first two years combined. Their only losses this season have come against top-ranked Dawson and recently-ranked Windsor, a pair of losses that sandwiched a five-game win streak.
Against Denver North (2-8, 0-4 Pikes Peak), the Jaguars pulled ahead 8-0 after just one quarter and promptly sent a number of their top scorers, including juniors Riley Welsch (17 goals, 14 assists) and Ryan Reffel (18 goals, 8 assists) who lead the team with a combined 57 points, to the bench to spend the remainder of the game cheering for their teammates.
"It was great to see how far these players have come in two years," Jaguars head coach Cory Hughes said. "I thought they handled it well because it was just a few weeks ago that Dawson put us in that same position. To handle that with class and humility, it looks good for us and it makes me proud that we have a good group of young men.
"It was a good team game. We threw guys in there who had never seen the varsity field before and they picked up right where the varsity guys left off. There was no let-down and it was good for us as a team and as a program."
A total of 11 Jaguars players finished Friday's game with at least one goal or one assist. The Jaguars will be on the road again Saturday when they travel to face Kennedy (0-7, 0-2 Metro) at 11 a.m.
Jefferson Academy 19, Denver North 0
At All-City StadiumJefferson Academy (6-1, 1-2) 8425—19Denver North (2-8, 0-4) 0000—0
Goals — Jefferson Academy: I. Mercruio 3, Rodman 3, Cesario 3, Reffel 2, Welsch 2, Guerrero 2, Marquis, L. Mercurio, Wahl, Ellers.
Assists — Jefferson Academy: L. Mercurio 3, Reffel 2, Welsch 2, Marquis 2, Cesario, Kupka.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Jefferson Academy: Reyes (36-0-1), Clay (12-0-0).