Photo by John F. Russell
Steamboat Springs lacrosse players Gus Worden, left, and Jasper Gantick will be the first two Steamboat Springs athletes to go on to play college lacrosse.
Steamboat Springs Gus Worden and Jasper Gantick have been key components to the lacrosse movement in Steamboat Springs during the past few years.
The two departing Steamboat Springs High School seniors have seen the local game evolve from basic levels to one in which Steamboat rapidly is becoming respected as a hub of Colorado lacrosse development.
Now, the duo might be making the biggest statement yet.
Worden and Gantick are two of the first Steamboat Springs athletes to go to college to play lacrosse.
Worden will play at Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. Gantick is playing at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y.
"I've wanted to play lacrosse in college since seventh grade," Worden said. "I knew I could if I kept working at it."
The two are coming off highly successful senior campaigns. They were a big part of helping Steamboat go 13-0 in the Mountain Conference and advance to the state playoffs for the first time in school history. Worden led the team with 24 goals and 72 points on the season. Gantick was a fixture on defense and played in the all-state game.
Adrian College is a Division III school that just recently started its lacrosse program. Although it's still in its infancy, Adrian College has been successful in the early going, something that attracted Worden.
Although he looked at colleges in Ohio and North Carolina, Adrian College seemed like the right fit.
"I think the changes will be pretty big, because even in Division III, they have good athletes," he said. "The speed will definitely change."
Gantick took a similar approach.
The teens sent out recruiting tapes, and Gantick said he quickly decided he wanted to go to a junior college in hopes of catching on with a Division I or II school a couple of years down the road.
"I think we've shown we can play with some of these kids that are going Division I," Gantick said. "I'm not too worried about it. I watched some of (Monroe's) practices this year and really felt like I could be out there."
Worden heads to Michigan in mid-August, while Gantick doesn't have to be in New York until the middle of September.
Until then, the two will work and play for the Steamboat men's summer team.