Steamboat boys lacrosse sails into top 10 |

Steamboat boys lacrosse sails into top 10

Luke Graham

— The ascent of the Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team continues.

On Monday, the Sailors made their first appearance in the Denver Post coaches poll. Steamboat (13-1) is ranked No. 10.

"It doesn't mean much, but on the other hand we're getting some recognition for our good play this year," Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said Tuesday. "It can only help us in (playoff) seeding."

The Sailors have been on a tear of late. After a March 13 loss to Rock Canyon — currently No. 9 in the Post poll — Steamboat has reeled off 12 straight wins.

The team has gone 4-1 against Front Range foes and completed its fourth consecutive undefeated season in the Mountain Conference.

But Monday's ranking was a first.

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Hiester said he thinks he has a top 10 team, with a recent scrimmage against Columbine helping to affirm it.

Last week, Steamboat traveled to scrimmage Columbine — a consensus top-five team in the state. Although Steamboat started slow and Columbine controlled the play, Hiester said the Sailors left feeling they belonged in the conversation of top teams in Colorado.

"It shows us what that top-ranked teams look like. They were a really, really good lacrosse team," he said. "But I think we can play at that level. Hopefully, the kids do, too."

Steamboat is off for the rest of the week and returns to action at 6 p.m. Monday in Golden.

Monday is the last day teams can play regular-season games. Hiester said he wanted a game on Monday so his players could get some more playing time in before the playoffs.

"It's that immersion in cold water. It's a wake-up call," Hiester said. "I want us to get spring break out of our systems."

The playoff brackets will be decided Tuesday morning. Steamboat has received the No. 16 seed the past three years, largely on the merit of what the team did in its league.

Hiester said he expects a higher seed this year, potentially in the top 10.

Regardless, Monday's Denver Post poll finally made room for a mountain team. It's just another notch for a burgeoning lacrosse town.

"It's nice to be noticed," Hiester said. "On the other hand, kids can't make too much of it. Things are decided on the playing field, not in the paper."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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