Steamboat lacrosse looks to win playoff game

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Boys lacrosse schedule

Today: 4 p.m. vs. Telluride

Saturday: 12:30 p.m. at Mountain Vista

Tuesday: 4 p.m. vs. Eagle Valley

March 18: 4 p.m. at Durango in Grand Junction

March 19: 11 a.m. at Aspen

March 22: 4 p.m. at Summit

March 26: 2 p.m. vs. Rock Canyon

April 1: 4 p.m. vs. Grand Junction

April 2: 11 a.m. vs. Fruita

April 4: 5:30 p.m. at Grandview

April 8: 7 p.m. at Air Academy

April 9: 11 a.m. at Valor Christian

April 15: 4:30 p.m. at Littleton

April 27: 4 p.m. vs. Glenwood Springs

April 29: 4 p.m. at Battle Mountain

— At this point, it wouldn’t serve anyone on the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team to just set their goal at making the state playoffs.

The Sailors have been there and done that, advancing to the state playoffs the past two years before suffering narrow defeats.

“It’s still stair steps,” Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said. “We have to play 15 games to get to that point. But, yeah, we want to advance.”

As it has the past two years, Steamboat should have the best team in its conference on paper. The Sailors again will be huge favorites in the Mountain Conference, and with a schedule loaded with quality Front Range teams, Steamboat will have a better idea of where it stands across the state.

“A lot of the games we’re going to be playing are nonleague games,” senior Tanner Anderson said. “I think our goal is to do well in those. We’re at that point now.”

In addition to Anderson, Steamboat returns a bevy of experienced and athletic players.

Anderson is joined on defense by four-year letterman John Burrow. Erik Owen, Lance Ostrom and Patrick Weston return, as well, in addition to goalie David Lea, who split time last year.

There also are strong signs that the junior and sophomore classes who didn’t see much varsity time last year should be able to fill in.

“I think we’re fairly experienced, and I think we’re athletic,” Hiester said. “Those two things are going to help us.”

The biggest help will be the schedule. Steamboat plays bigger schools in Grandview, Air Academy, Littleton and Valor Christian this season, and wins or close games could improve playoff seeding.  

“We’ll see better teams during the regular season, so we’ll know what to look forward to in the playoffs,” Burrow said.

In conference play, Steamboat remains the beast. The Sailors have won the conference in its two years of existence and have won 21 straight conference games.

For Hiester, though, those numbers don’t mean much but a bigger bull’s-eye on his team — a team he thinks has the ability to do something no Steamboat team ever has: Win that elusive playoff game.

“We have a target on us, even more so than last year,” he said. “Every team out there is going to try and knock us off. That gives us more incentive to keep improving our game.”

The lacrosse team begins its season at 4 p.m. today at home against Telluride.

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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