Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
John Leyba / THE DENVER POST
LAFAYETTE — The list of things Dawson’s Gavyn Pure has yet to accomplish has dwindled so drastically over the past three seasons that even with a full season left to play, he has already claimed a spot among Colorado’s all-time great prep lacrosse players.
In his career, the attackman has 179 goals, 155 assists and 337 total points. So he’s already his school’s all-time goals leader as well as Colorado’s all-time career points leader, a distinction previously held by 2016 Monarch graduate Chad Kreuzer. By the end of his senior season, Pure could become the first Colorado player to reach 400 career points and needs 47 goals to tie Wilkins Dismuke for most career goals in state history.
That’s quite a list for the 2017 All-American.
But despite everything he has accomplished, and despite coming close several times, Pure still has not won a state championship with the Mustangs. Don’t think for a second that hasn’t been nagging at him the entire time he has been stacking individual career accolades faster than just about any Colorado player to come before him.
“That is the most important thing, and that has been the most important thing for me the last three years too,” Pure said. “Unfortunately, we’ve come up a little bit short. I don’t care what my teammates and I have to do to get us over that hump and come out on top this year, I will it do whatever it takes for sure. It’s a no-brainer. That has been my goal since I stepped onto the field at Dawson and I’ve been waiting for it for a long time.”
Winners of three straight Pikes Peak League titles, the Mustangs have reached at least the Class 4A state semifinals in each of Pure’s three seasons with the program. In both 2016 and 2017, the Mustangs finished state runners-up to Valor Christian.
Coming off a basketball season in which he led the Mustangs with 21.7 points a game, Pure heads a group of 18 returning varsity players that includes six players who were either First Team or honorable mention on last season’s BoCoPreps.com All-Region Team. That talent is also spread all over the Mustangs’ lineup, from Pure and Hunter Watts up front to Jack Shams in the midfield to Aidan Abram and Sage Gardner on defense. Sophomore goaltender Dawson Santangelo also returns after a strong freshman season.
“I think we’re all really looking forward to this season,” Pure said. “Especially for guys like Jack and Hunter and myself, it’s our last year and we just want to go out with a bang. We’re going to do everything in our power to get back to that championship game, and we know coach (Peter) Devlin will do everything he can to get us back ready and better than ever.”
To prepare themselves for the upcoming campaign, the Mustangs have scrimmaged Monarch and regional powerhouse Regis Jesuit in the preseason. After evaluating his team as its weaknesses were exposed against such talented early-season competition, Devlin has already allowed himself to feel cautiously optimistic about this year’s Mustangs’ potential. That, however, does not mean he isn’t fully invested in identifying whatever key improvement may be possible there that could lead to a potential breakthrough and a state title for the Mustangs in 2018.
“I think we definitely have a lot of work to do right now so we’re still in the early stages of putting everything in,” Devlin said. “We have several new players on the team so those guys are starting to learn how we do things. But our returning guys are picking up right where they left off, and pretty much all of them are bigger, stronger and faster than they were last year. So that gives us a good shot at being successful.
“It’s easy for a coach at this early stage of the game to become impatient with where we are because we were really firing on all cylinders going into the playoffs last year. But we have to keep things in perspective and keep working, and stay focused on the things that have led to our success over the past few years.”