LONGMONT — Lacrosse has taken hold and continues to grow at the high school level in Colorado.
One way the sport's increased popularity has manifested has been in the state producing more and more collegiate players with each passing year. Even now at the University of Denver, which houses Colorado's premier collegiate men's lacrosse program, nearly a dozen players from in-state high schools are listed on the 2019 roster.
Local junior defenseman Aidan Abram will soon be counted among those in-state recruits to play at DU, as he has been offered a non-scholarship spot on the Pioneers' roster and signed with the school during Wednesday's national signing day.
"I mean, it's just awesome to have an opportunity like that," Abram said. "Especially since lacrosse is still growing in Colorado, it's great because I get a chance to shine some light on the area. They have second-to-none coaching, which is awesome. Growing up, all of us wanted to play at the next level but it really wasn't a reality until junior year when we started getting talked to and we realized we could hang with some of those East Coast teams."
At the next level, Abram will represent a trio of local schools from the BoCoPreps.com area. He is a Silver Creek student but because there wasn't a boys lacrosse program in the St. Vrain Valley School District until recently, Abram spent his first three prep seasons at Dawson School in nearby Lafayette. Now that Erie High has added the St. Vrain's first boys lacrosse program for the upcoming spring, Abram will play his senior season with the Tigers.
Abram said he initially considered some East Coast schools and was also looking at the University of Utah and the University of Michigan. But he couldn't pass up an opportunity to join Colorado's flagship program.
"Oh, man. It's what every Colorado lacrosse kid hopes for," Dawson boys lacrosse coach Peter Devlin said. "Bill Tierney is one of the best coaches ever, and he'll definitely be on the Mount Rushmore of lacrosse coaches. To be able to play in front of the Colorado crowd on one of the top teams in the country is a dream come true.
"He's definitely earned every bit of it. He's one of the hardest-working kids I've had the opportunity to coach."
Abram will be joining a DU program that in 2015 became the first team from outside the Eastern Time Zone to win a NCAA national championship and has reached the Final Four in four of the past six seasons. Under Tierney, he'll receive guidance from a coach that has won the national Championship six times and is a member of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Abram isn't the only local player who will continue his career at the collegiate level next season. His defensive teammate at Dawson, Sage Gardner, has already signed with the University of Tampa and Boulder's Ben Warn, who is also a Silver Creek student, signed with Roanoke College on Wednesday.
Broomfield's Bruce Mayemura (Whittier), Erie's Tyler Gardner (Eastern), Legacy's Griphen Jolly (Colorado Mesa) and Mead's Zach Tribbet (CSU-Pueblo) also signed national letters of intent on Wednesday.