Steamboat senior Dane Dixson swings for a shot Friday against Eagle Valley. He scored on the play, his fourth goal in the 18-4 season-opening win for the Sailors.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat senior Dane Dixson swings for a shot Friday against Eagle Valley. He scored on the play, his fourth goal in the 18-4 season-opening win for the Sailors.

Steamboat boys lacrosse opens season with win

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Steamboat senior Christian Ramirez fights through a pair of Eagle Valley defenders Friday.

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Steamboat's Mitch McCannon takes a shot Friday against Eagle Valley.

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Senior Penn Lukens makes the hit on an Eagle Valley player Friday. Steamboat Springs Sailors went on to win the game, 18-4. Submitted by: Shannon Lukens

— Sure, the crowd roared with the first goals of the season and when something exceptional happened, like Peyton Trask’s ridiculous 30-yard shot to score as time expired in the third quarter.

The progress of the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse program was summed up in the yawn midgame goals drew. The Sailors are one of the top-ranked teams in the state. They are supposed to be able to handle fledgling programs like Eagle Valley, and on Friday night, while opening its season at home, that’s exactly what Steamboat did, 18-4.

“We lost a lot of seniors last year, and this was our first game of the season, so we definitely wanted to see where we were at,” senior Dane Dixson said. “We want to get back to where we were last year. We’re really excited. Everyone wants to win the state championship this year.”

Steamboat buried the Devils in an avalanche of goals, the majority coming in a second half when the game went from potentially competitive to a snoozer.

That was exactly the kind of game Steamboat was looking for as it opened its season.

It got four goals from Dixson, three each from Ben Wharton and Mike Lekarczyk, and two each from Thomas Tarcha and Andrew Hitchcock.

Those scores came mostly in the flow of the offense, with the Sailors continually working the ball around the goal before eventually connecting with a player cutting through the middle and capable of an easy put-away.

“We didn’t have any trouble putting it in the back of the net,” Dixson said.

The win wasn’t without its teaching points for Steamboat coach Bob Hiester, who said his squad often struggled possessing the ball and occasionally got lured out on defense. Eagle Valley took advantage of those opportunities for its four goals. The score was 6-3 at one point in the second quarter.

Sam Boyd scored a hat trick for the Devils, and Gregg Salaz had the other goal.

“It was a typical first game,” Hiester said. “We were sloppy with the ball, and defensively, we gave up stuff on the inside. We did hit them with steady pressure. That’s the kind of thing we have to have if we’re going to be as successful as we want to be.”

Steamboat turns to the field at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for another home game, this one against visiting Green Mountain. It offers a special opportunity for Dixson. His cousins lines up for the Rams.

“That will be interesting, fun,” he said. “It should be a good, friendly competition.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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