Lightning get lacrosse lesson from Steamboat Springs

Grand Valley’s Taylor Watkins scores a goal Friday during the Lightning’s 10-4 loss to Steamboat Springs at Canyon View Park. Grand Valley, in its first year as a CHSAA sanctioned sport, is staying competitive as the team learns fundamentals as it goes this season.

Experience won Friday.

The Grand Valley Lightning boys lacrosse team has athletic ability, speed and enthusiasm.

Steamboat Springs gave the Lightning a lesson in fundamentals and skills, scoring the game’s first six goals en route to a 10-4 victory at Canyon View Park.

“It just seemed like their basics (were better),” Lighting junior midfielder Taylor Watkins said.

Despite being a young team, Steamboat showed balance and depth in all aspects of the game.

“They had stronger man play at every position,” Watkins said.

Steamboat Springs coach Bob Heister said his team’s eight years playing Colorado High School Activities Association-sanctioned lacrosse helped.

“Just playing at that level for a couple of years will help,” he said, referring to the Lightning.

The Sailors (5-0, 5-0 Mountain Conference) showed their experience from the outset.

“I think we were intimidated (and) a little scared,” Lightning coach Dave Zebronsky said.

Steamboat attempted the first seven shots of the game as Grand Valley struggled to get the ball out of its own end. By the time it did, the Sailor led 2-0 with less than five minutes gone.

“They play more competitively, more intense,” Watkins said.

Trailing 6-0 and appearing timid and out of sync on offense, the Lightning made the adjustments at halftime.

The Lightning outshot the Sailors in the second half but only had four goals to show for it.

“Our offense controlled it more,” said Watkins, who scored the Lightning’s second goal.. “We put shot on the net; they just weren’t going in.”

Despite never leading by less than five goals in the second half, Heister said he was never secure with the lead.

“I told (Zebronksy) I was never comfortable,” Heister said, tipping his cap to the Lightning’s intensity.

“They never got down on themselves,” Zebronsky said. “Our spirit stayed high, our hustle was good.”

After playing six years in the Foothills Conference, based on the Front Range, Heister said the Western Slope conference, although new, will get better.

“This is going to be a good conference,” he said. “The big thing is, it’s more of a level playing field (competitively).”

The Lightning’s next game is next Friday, at Steamboat Springs.


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