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Lacrosse: Monarch armed and ready for full 2022 season

Coyotes looking for deeper run into Class 5A postseason

GREENWOOD VILLAGE — Monarch’s Graysen Jolly ...
Daily Camera file photo
Graysen Jolly absorbs a check from a Cherry Creek defender during their Class 5A quarterfinal game on June 17, 2021.

The Monarch boys lacrosse team made the most out of a shortened 2021 season, getting head coach David Auday his 200th career win while also reaching the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament. They came within a single goal of going a step further than that.

Senior Sam Riecken thinks the Coyotes are capable of more in 2022.

“Team goals, well it’s pretty much nothing less than (a state championship),” the decorated Yale commit said recently. “That’s the expectation.”

There’s good reason for such lofty ambitions. Though MoHi has never walked away with a state title, there’s always a chance for a run when you get to cast a wide net to build a roster. As such, Monarch is typically strong from attack to cage, and this 2022 team feels no different.

“So far, the early reviews are looking pretty good,” Auday said after his team began the season with a win over Heritage followed by an encouraging performance in a loss against Cherry Creek. “When you’ve got strength in the cage, strength in the long-pole positions, strength in the midifeld and strength in the attacking area, well you’re looking pretty good.

“And we’re just trying to galvanize it by going on this trip (to Florida) and bringing that chemistry.”

The trip Auday is alluding to is a two-game jaunt through the Sunshine State for spring break — a trip that hasn’t happened the past two seasons for obvious reasons. The fun and games are a welcome reward for a team that strives to get better each practice and at every opportunity during the offseason.

Monarch’s senior class is small in numbers (just five near-graduates) but fierce in competitiveness. Riecken is right in the middle of the equation, as his face-off win percentage from last season would tell you. Auday said Riecken “just does it all. He never goes off the field. He’s a two-year captain and he’s just a beast.”

Liam Hensler is one of Auday’s breakout candidates, and Liam McKewan, Jackson Horton and Drake Peavy round out that list of seniors who have garnered praise from their coach.

“I think we’re just really well-rounded, and we have some seniors who are just outstanding players,” Auday said.

Monarch’s now-graduated senior attack group helped the Coyotes amass 156 goals in a 9-3 season last year. With a 17-goal output in the win against Heritage, Monarch already showed there’s still a lot of life and creativity in the attack even though a newer group is emerging.

While Hensler is the veteran of the attack, Griff Weber, Derek Duplechin and Graysen Jolly comprise MoHi’s newest goal-seeking bunch.

“Derek Duplechin, Griff Weber and Graysen Jolly can be the next Braeden Wimer, Andrew Frey and Kevin McMahon,” Auday said. “You know, jump in and have 30 goals and 20 or 30 assists. And they know. They’re embracing their roles being go-to guys.”

Added Riecken: “One of the biggest things is that, last year we kinda had one really big go-to guy on offense and losing him meant that everyone now has to step up. Everyone has to bring it and fill that role collectively instead of having one guy do it all … everyone plays a small part in the big picture of things.”

Point me to the postseason
Boys playoff brackets for each classification (24 teams each) will be formed using a seeding formula that combines the coaches poll, Maxpreps ranking and RPI. The tournaments will begin May 10 with the finals set for May 23 at DU.
Girls playoffs will still be determined by RPI, with the 4A bracket comprised of 20 teams and the 5A bracket 16. They will follow the same timeline, but the state championships will be played May 20 also at DU.

Cream of the crop: 2021 all-region teams
Boys First Team (Name, 2020-21 class, school )
Andrew Frey, Sr., Monarch; Jack Cromwell, Jr., Fairview; Liam Conners, Fr., Erie; Max Burhop, So., Boulder; Liam O’Brien, Sr., Fairview; Braeden Wimer, Sr., Monarch; Jack Booth, Sr., Erie; Joe Cesario, Sr., Jefferson Academy; Hayden Sock, Sr., Erie; Harrison Pfeiffer, Sr., Fairview; Hudson Bush, Sr., Fairview; Max Warn, Jr., Erie; Sam Riecken, Jr., Monarch; Brooks Catlin, Sr., Fairview.

Boys honorable mention
Patrick Aber, Jr., Fairview; Leo Barringer, Jr., Boulder; Adam Bristow, Sr., Erie; Finn Carpenter, So., Dawson; Nick Horrocks, Sr., Fairview; Connor McCullick, Jr., Boulder; Kevin McMahon, Sr., Monarch; Charlie O’Brien, Fr., Erie; Colin Selters, So., Erie; Evan Shanks, Jr., Jefferson Academy; Dewey Schreiner, Jr., Boulder; Corby Tecu, Jr., Erie; Holden Walker, So., Dawson; Jack Wirth, Sr., Fairview; Pierce Zickerman, So., Monarch.

Girls first team
Camille Johnson, So., Fairview; Julia Hodell, Fr., Holy Family; Brooke Dietmeier, Sr., Fairview; Annabelle Biggar, So., Dawson; Ava Welty, Jr., Fairview; Reece Lavigne, Fr., Dawson; Thayer Hubbard, Sr., Fairview.

Girls honorable mention
Isabela Bloomquist, Sr., Fairview; Sidney Edmonds, Jr., Holy Family; Sophia Gebhardt, Jr., Dawson; Allie Hartman, So., Fairview.