Steamboat boys lacrosse wins 29th straight conference game |

Steamboat boys lacrosse wins 29th straight conference game

Luke Graham

Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Christian Ramirez shoots and scores in the second half of Wednesday night's lacrosse game against Glenwood Springs at Gardner Field. The Sailors won, 16-0, for their 29th straight conference win.
John F. Russell

— What happened at Gardner Field on Wednesday wasn't at all surprising.

The Steamboat Springs High School boys lacrosse team did what it has done for three years against overwhelmed Mountain Conference foes. The Sailors continued their quest for three years of undefeated play in the conference, running away with a 16-0 win. 

But standing in the way of perfection, another automatic playoff bid and clear supremacy is a pesky 11-1 Battle Mountain team. 

The winner of a 5 p.m. game Friday in Battle Mountain will be crowned conference champion, which only Steamboat has staked claim to in the conference's two years of existence.

"Like I've said all along, we've got this great big target on our chest right now, particularly with" Battle Mountain, said Steamboat coach Bob Hiester, who saw 15 seniors play their last regular season home game Wednesday. "Beating us would make their season and get them into the playoffs."

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Wednesday's game unfolded how the matchup on paper suggested it would. Steamboat (8-6 overall, 8-0 in conference play) imposed its will early and often. 

With three Grant McCannon goals and one each from John Wharton and Kai Rogers, the Sailors jumped out to a 5-0 lead. 

Jackson Coe and Wharton bookended goals around another pair from Rogers to make it 9-0 at halftime. 

"It was nice to come back from spring break and play a team where we could get our legs and confidence back," McCannon said. "We want to be winning before heading into the playoffs."

Sam Robards added a goal early in the third, and McCannon's fourth of the game made it 11-0 and set the clock running. 

Coe added another, Ben Wharton scored two, Rogers added another and Christian Ramirez closed it out for the result. 

"We're gaining," said Glenwood coach Rick Stevens, whose team fell to 4-11 overall and in conference play. "The issue with a lot of the teams in the Western Slope is the culture isn't fully understood of what lacrosse is. It's not about banging heads. It's about finesse, team play and what you saw with Steamboat (on Wednesday) — great offense and great defense."

Now those 15 seniors and Steamboat have the opportunity to do what few have. The Sailors have won 29 straight conference games and have never suffered a defeat in the league.

"So few athletes get that chance to be where we are," Hiester said. "It's a neat experience."

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

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