Lightning set to take the field for lacrosse

For the Grand Valley Lightning lacrosse team, it is time to put down the books and pick up the sticks.

After three weeks of studying playbooks, learning plays and training in on-the-field strategy, the Lightning will get its first quiz at 4 this afternoon against Aspen High School at Mesa State College’s Walker Field.

“We have spent a lot of time on really trying to learn situations this year,” Lightning head coach Dave Zabronsky said. “Last year we basically learned how to play catch, and this year a lot of guys were ready to take the next step and starting learning more about strategy of the game.”

Willie Stevens has been a part of the Grand Valley lacrosse program for three years and said the team’s focus has shifted to becoming smarter lacrosse players and working on developing instincts.

“This year we are spending more time in our notebooks reading over fundamental stuff and trying to drill it into our heads,” Stevens said. “You can feel that it is for real this year.”

The Lightning’s game against Aspen will be its first Colorado High School Activities Association contest and was moved from Canyon View Park to Walker Field, which will provide a big-game atmosphere. Zabronsky said playing at the college is a great way to begin the high school program.

“I hope we get a lot of fans to fill those seats,” Zabronsky said. “This is a great venue for lacrosse with its fencing and layout.”

The Lightning plays one other game at Walker Field this season, April 10 against Battle Mountain. The rest of the team’s home games are at Canyon View Park.

Aspen (1-1) defeated Battle Mountain to open its season but lost to Summitt 9-4 on Tuesday.
“Aspen is our rival and the (club) games we have had against them are always pretty intense,” Stevens said. “We are all really excited.”

Zabronsky expects his team to be tightly wound early in the game.

“I think if we can hold our nerves for the first few minutes and get into the game, we should be able to relax and play our game,” Zabronsky said. “We want to go all out but keep our passes short and not try anything fancy.”

After playing the Skiers, Grand Valley travels Saturday to Glenwood Springs. The Lightning plays a home and away schedule with the other seven teams in the Mountain League.

“We are rusty and still have a lot of work to do, but this crew has a lot of character and they hustle,” Zabronsky said. “So just by the virtue of hustle and hard work, we will do OK.”


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