Rams impress during regular season, lose early in state boys lacrosse playoffs
Aug 01, 2018 12h15
By Jana Klopsch
Highland lacrosse player Zac Tobler gets away from a Jordan player in a game this past season. (Photo courtesy Rob Tobler)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
If the regular season were any indication, observers may have thought the Highland boys lacrosse team would have made a deep run in the Division A state tournament. Instead, the Rams suffered a 10-4 defeat to Juan Diego in the first round of the playoffs, ending their season with a 12-5 record.
The early playoff defeat didn’t diminish what Highland accomplished the rest of the season. The Rams enjoyed great success, picking up victories in their first six games. Highland also won its final five regular season games heading into the state tournament. In between the two bookend stretches, the Rams had some ups and downs.
Following their early season winning streak in which they won the last three by an average of 15 goals, the Rams suffered three consecutive losses.
Scoring usually wasn’t a problem for Highland. The Rams reached double digits in nine of their regular season contests. Twelve players found the back of the net this season, while 11 players recorded assists. The offensive star of the season was Sam Whisenant. The attacker wowed spectators with an eye-popping 55 goals. For good measure, he chipped in a team-high 26 assists for a total of 81 points. His efforts and output garnered him Honorable Mention All-State honors.
Senior Gage Varanakis was the second-leading goal scorer for Highland. He contributed 27 goals on the season. Luke Traughber was second on the squad in points. He tallied 26 goals and dished out 13 assists. Other standouts on the offensive end were Zac Tobler, who had 16 goals and six assists, and Fernando Navarro, who had 16 goals and seven assists. Stephen Grant also made his presence felt on the field. He got off 39 shots this past season, 23 of which were on goal. He had 12 goals on the year.
Goalie Lincoln Robison saw most of the action in the net. Just a sophomore this past season, Robison had 142 saves on the season for a percentage of nearly 53 percent. Connor Lewis was a big help to Robison on defense. The defender received Honorable Mention All-State status. He made life tough on opposing offensive players and caused 19 turnovers.
Highland will again field a club squad next spring. The Rams will then transition to a full-fledged Utah High School Activities Association sanctioned team for the 2019-20 school year.