3 TO KNOW
Kristian Lupa, Sr., Boulder: One of the best defenders in the area a year ago, he’s part of a Panthers group that returns its entire defense.
Davis Whitaker, Sr., Monarch: The top returning scorer for a team that lost plenty of firepower to graduation, he’ll be key in helping the Coyotes remain a playoff regular.
Clapton Marquis, Sr., Alexander Dawson: Led the Mustangs in scoring a year ago and figures to have another big year as the Mustangs move into Class 4A.
— State playoffs begin May 7. State championship games for 4A and 5A slated for May 18 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
ALEXANDER DAWSON MUSTANGS
Coach: Pete Devlin (third year).
Last year: 7-8.
Returning starters: Clapton Marquis (Sr., A), Chase Brown (So., A), Eli Negrelli (Jr., A), Steven Connelly (Sr., D), Robbie Keown (Sr., D), Scott Rutherford (Sr., D), Alex Williams (Sr., LSM), Michael Paquette (Jr., M), Ross Barron (Sr., M), Matthias Ringelmann (Sr., M).
Others to watch: Tyler Lummis (Sr., M), Buck Thompson (Sr., G), Alec Sheeder (Sr., LSM).
Outlook: The Mustangs return 10 starters, including several who have done so for two years already. Along with a move to the newly-created Class 4A for smaller lacrosse schools, the Mustangs are expecting no less than their first playoff trip since 2007 and maybe more.
Coach: Matt Fox (second year).
Last year: 5-10.
Returning starters: Leete Skinner (Jr., LSM), Logan Bock (Sr., D) Kristian Lupa (Sr., D), Vito Leccese (Jr., D), Michael Simboski (Sr., M), Evan Carlin (Sr., A), Ian Oden (Jr., A), Brandon Jacobs (Jr., M).
Outlook: After being hired just a few weeks before the season started a year ago, Fox is understandably feeling more ready this spring. It also helps having his entire defense return intact along with eight starters overall as the Panthers look to return to the postseason and surprise doubters.
Coach: Michael Flood (third year).
Last year: 5-10.
Returning starters: Dalton Herrin (Sr., G), Sean LaVine (Jr., D), Luke Miller (So., D), Kipp Planchard (Jr., D), Will Kinnard (Sr., M), Wesley Carothers (Sr., M), Austin Davie (Sr., A), Chris Robinson (Sr., A).
Others to watch: Alex Brussell (Jr., M), Blake Josenhans (Jr., M), Matt Wantz (Jr., M), Charlie Beckman (Jr., A), Bobby Johnson (Jr., A).
Outlook: The Knights are champing at the bit to begin the season after a rare postseason miss a year ago. Eight returning starters return and a large group of juniors, however should have the Knights once again contending for a postseason berth in Flood’s third season.
Coach: David Auday (12th year).
Last year: 13-4, lost to Arapahoe in the state quarterfinals.
Returning starters: Connor Johnson (So., GK), Dane Muller (Sr., D), Red Miller (Sr., D), Davis Whitaker (Sr., A).
Others to watch: Phil Bubernak (So., M), Max Wiesner (So., M), Alec Wright (Sr., M), Connor Eakes (Sr., M), Jack Martin (Sr., D).
Outlook: The Coyotes are looking to prove their program is built to last after graduating five of the top six scorers from last year’s impressive run. The Coyotes might be young, but they’re talented and figure to be a Front Range League contender once again.
1 TO KNOW
Sarah Brown, Jr., Centaurus: A student at Boulder, Brown is already committed to play for the new University of Colorado squad that will begin play next spring.
— State playoffs begin May 8. State championship game is slated for May 22.
Coach: Genny Horning (seventh year).
Last year: 13-5, lost to Cherry Creek in the state semifinals.
Returning starters: Sarah Brown (Jr., M), Katie Coleman (Sr., D), Sarah Cousins (Sr., D), Olivia Holmes (Jr., M), Avery McGiboney (Sr., A), Quinn Trudel (So., D), Elizabeth Wallace (So., D), Kayli Weiss (Jr., G), Katherine Burns (So., A), Sarah Myres (So., A).
Others to watch: Lindsay Drapkin (Jr., D), Audrey Brown (Fr., A), Andrea Kim (Fr., A/M), Tessa Hannigan (Fr., A).
Outlook: The Warriors are still young, but experienced, with 10 starters returning. Gone is four-year star Emma Lazaroff, who is playing at Duke. But the Warriors have more athleticism overall than in past seasons and should still compete among the state’s upper echelon.