Corner Canyon boys and girls lacrosse teams among top in stateMay 08, 2023 08:59AM ● By Catherine Garrett
The Corner Canyon High boys lacrosse team have won the past two 6A state titles. This spring, they both reached a No. 1 ranking in the state. (Photo courtesy CCHS lacrosse)
The Corner Canyon High lacrosse programs have been among the top teams in the state in recent years and this season is no exception. Also, the two-time defending boys state 6A champions—led by University of Utah signees Blake Franckowiak and Jacob Osborn, both First Team All-Staters—graduated several talented players from a season ago, the Chargers are still ranked on top. The girls squad also boasts one of the state’s top players in senior captain First Team All-State player Allison Reading and are currently ranked second in the state.
“The guys are anxious to kind of prove themselves,” said head coach Aaron Ika, who is in his third year. “They’ve heard what’s been said about us not being as good. These kids are more than capable of carrying legacy on.”
Senior attacker Blake Franckowiak and senior midfielder Jacob Osborn, both University of Utah signees, return with senior attacker Jairus Checketts and senior midfielders Dawson Andersen and Porter Wells, who will play collegiately for Southern Virginia, are leading the offense this spring. Defensively, seniors Lincoln Hanks and future St. Joseph’s University player Jack Baird, who were All-State players last spring, along with junior goalie Mitchell Phippen are key to shoring up the back line.
Senior defender Zach Harden, who transferred from California and has signed with Michigan State, leads some key newcomers for Corner Canyon which also include senior long stick middle Ben Brand, who will play for Utah Valley University, along with senior Sam Broman, juniors Landon Fleming and Kisen Muramoto, sophomore Easton Daynes and freshman Rhett King.
“We knew we had monsters defensively so we now have offensive players stepping up with a good mix of returners and others getting some opportunities,” said Ika, particularly noting Anderson as a “Swiss army knife” who will play offense this season.
Also on the CCHS squad this season are seniors Carlos Becerra, Landon Bethers, Gio Hollingsworth, Brayden Mohamed, Trevor Ogden and Riley Stokes; juniors Lewis Anderson, Jack Dalley, Nick Erasmus, Ashton Free, Braden Larson, Weston Mapes, Conner Welling, Luke West and Conner Zaharis; sophomores Kaden Ballman, Alec Barnes, Damon Barnes, Seth Carlsen, Lincoln Crittendon, Carson Hall, Cason Hiatt, AJ Leggett, Perry Lunstad, Maximus Mckenna, Paxton Newell, Tanner Oldroyd, Miles Parkinson, William Perry, Will Russell, Brock Sorenson, Max Taylor, Cole Wentworth and Michael Wheatley; and freshmen Tanner Adamson, Cole Bonham, Ashton Brown, Cameron Crayk, Quince Crittenden, Luke Fisher, Austin Larson and Asher Macpherson.
Ika is being assisted on the coaching staff this season by Bryan Quick, Dave Michaeli, Garrett Michaeli, Jeff King, John Holmes and Tyson Poole.
At press time, the top-ranked Chargers were 8-2 with wins over Davis 14-3 March 10, Alta 12-2 March 14, Mountain Ridge 17-2 March 17, Green Canyon 16-1 March 23 and Lone Peak 9-5 March 30, Riverton 18-2, Westlake 19-10 and Lone Peak again 17-7. Its losses were at the hands of Cherry Creek, Colorado 14-5 March 25 and Olympus 14-7 April 14, breaking a streak of 43 straight wins against Utah opponents.
“We gave had a good start to what we knew was going to be a tough schedule,” Ika said. “We have had some great performances and some experiences that have given us an opportunity to learn so far this year. I am excited to see how we respond to our first in-state loss since the 2019 season. I expect our guys to rise to the occasion and make the next play when given the chance.”
Corner Canyon will also face region opponents Skyridge, American Fork and Pleasant Grove before a nonregion matchup with Park City May 11 to end the regular season.
So far this season, Franckowiak has scored 23 goals and 19 assists while Osborn’s 11 goals and seven assists are second offensively. Phippen has recorded 49 saves in the cage.
Reading is joined by many experienced returners from last year’s state quarterfinals squad, who lost to 6A’s eventual champions in Mountain Ridge on the field for the Chargers this spring.
Reading, who committed to play for UMass Lowell next season, moved to midfielder and has been joined in the middle by senior captains Kenzie Zimmerman, a Second-Team All-State defender, and Hannah Berente, senior attacker Malarie Story and senior defender Sadi Peacock, who is also a captain this year.
Head coach Matt Kenning, who is in his fourth year at CCHS, said his players used the offseason to get stronger and “prepare for a faster, more intense level of play.” “This team is as athletic as any I have ever seen and we want to use that to our advantage,” he said.
Kenning said he is also leaning on sophomores Cat Faucette and Sophie Jacobs for offensive contributions for the team.
Also on the CCHS squad are attackers Eden Linford, Ashlynn Pepper, Abbey Richardson and Mia Wells; midfielder Marissa Parker; defenders Mia Ambrose, Breanne Cruz, Sessilee Halverson, Kamryn Stuart, Saige Talbot and Niya West; and goalie Janneke Remick.
Kenning will be assisted on the coaching staff by Eliza Jrogensen, Peighton Kimble, Alyssa Brown and Sydney Ludeman.
“This has been quite the season to remember so far,” Kenning said. “We are approaching the halfway point of our season and have only been able to play five of our 17 games due to the weather. It has impacted our practice time as well. Fortunately, we have used the extra indoor time to review film and learn from our successes and failures of our first five games.”
Corner Canyon began the season with an 18-4 loss to Olympus March 14 before winning eight straight games against Bear River 7-5, Bingham 14-8, Westlake 20-1, Skyridge 10-5, American Fork 20-1, Pleasant Grove 10-8, Westlake 14-3 and Skyline 20-4.
“We are trying to play clean, play as a team and have fun,” Kenning said. “We are getting better by the day. We are playing cleaner with each successive game.”
The Chargers will also face Lone Peak, American Fork and Alta to wrap up regular season play.
“We are well positioned to finish the last half of the season strong and make a deep playoff run,” Kenning said. “I am super excited to see how these next few weeks play out. We will have a lot of games crammed into a short period but it will be really fun and a season to remember.”
Faucette leads the team with 21 goals while Reading’s eight assists is tops on the squad while she has also netted 13 goals. Remmick has 37 saves in the cage to lead defensively.
“We should be a favorite to win our region and one of the favorites in 6A with our toughest competition in Lone Peak, but there always seems to be a team that will surprise you,” Kenning said. “We will see soon enough.” λ