Corner Canyon boys lacrosse defend state title in dominating fashionJun 30, 2022 09:11PM ● By Catherine Garrett
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
The Corner Canyon High boys lacrosse team continued its dominance through the state for the second year in a row—going a combined 39-0 over the past two seasons against Utah squads—in bringing home its second consecutive state title. On May 27, the Chargers beat American Fork 15-10 at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman to win the 6A title this season.
“There was a completely different feel this year,” said head coach Aaron Ika. “Last year, our boys were all about making a name for themselves and this year, we were focused on playing a schedule that could showcase their talent.”
In the championship against the Cavemen, senior Mason Quick, senior Jon King, junior Jacob Osborn and senior Blaze DeGracie all scored three goals to lead the offensive attack for the top-seeded squad. Corner Canyon scored four goals in the first three minutes of play, including two by King, and then continued a blistering pace through the first 12 minutes, going up 9-1 by the end of the first quarter and then 10-3 at the break. American Fork challenged the rest of the way and the Chargers held on for its third win against the Cavemen this season.
Corner Canyon had a bye to begin the 6A tournament before defeating Pleasant Grove 22-3 in the second round, Westlake 22-6 in the quarterfinals and Weber 24-3 in the semis.
“We all felt the pressure as coaches to win again with the high expectations we had for ourselves, but also the way we were playing,” Ika said. “After the final game, some of the boys actually expressed relief of getting the target off their back and having to fight through that pressure.”
The Chargers’ dominance over opponents this year was evident in outscoring opponents 357 to 107 with its three closest matchups against Colorado and California teams. Its lone loss in its 19-1 season came at the hands of Corona del Mar (California) 12-11 in double overtime in early April.
“Our guys never got down and they just took things one play and game at a time,” Ika said. “They really embraced the three pillars of our culture in doing their job, being all in, and having a ‘we, not me’ mindset.”
Corner Canyon’s junior varsity team went undefeated through 14 games this year, with a margin of victory of at least 10 goals while the second JV squad finishing with a winning record after beginning the year 0-3, showing “awesome improvement,” according to Ika.
Corner Canyon’s varsity squad was led by five All-Americans—three on the offensive side and two defenders. Quick, who was named Mr. Utah Lacrosse, scored 80 goals and recorded 45 assists with King adding 91 goals and 31 assists and DeGracie had 44 goals and 34 assists while seniors Ayden Santi, who was also named an Academic All-American, and senior Trace White starred defensively.
First Team All-Region players included DeGracie, King, Quick, Santi and White along with seniors Benjamin Dickson, Mason Esplin and Blake Franckowiak; and juniors Osborn and Jack Baird. Those named to the All-Region Second Team were seniors Jackson Archibald, Dylan Carlsen, Justin Egan and Anthony Mackay; and junior Lincoln Hanks.
Ika said several of his players—Archibald (Whittier College), Carlsen (Westminster), Brody Cutrer (Morning Side—for football), DeGracie (U.S. Air Force), Dickson (Lake Erie), Egan (West), Esplin (Piedmont), Franckowiak (Utah), King (Penn State), Mackay (Westminster), Matthew Mallory (Colorado State), Quick (Utah) and Santi (Amherst) will help join other former Chargers in the collegiate ranks.
“I’m excited to see where these guys go,” Ika said. “It’s really cool to see our guys carry on the legacy for CCHS lacrosse.”
With such large margins of victory throughout the season, Ika was able to give several underclassmen plenty of playing time. “Some of our varsity starters didn’t play the second half in a lot of our games this year so we were able to have an eye towards the future,” he said. “We feel we have the right guys to step up and step into the open spots left by our seniors. The sky’s the limit for this next group as well.”
Also on the 2022 championship team were seniors Stratton Baugh, Ethan Hill, Mikko Laitinen and Connor Maxwell; juniors Dawson Andersen, Jairus Checketts and Porter Wells; and sophomore Mitchell Phippen.
Ika was assisted on the coaching staff by Walker Bateman, Jeff Brzoska, Tallyn Goldman, Bray Hallman, John Holmes, Jeff King, Dave Michaeli, Garrett Michaeli, Parker Tolman and Hayden Webb.