Coming off of two consecutive trips to the MCLA National Tournament and two top 10 national rankings, the 2009 Fort Lewis Skyhawk’s, currently ranked #12 Nationally in the MCLA DII, have been busy preparing to take the field, looking to build upon their recent success. A task that will not be easy considering the accomplishments over the last two years, and with the departure of several key players, including last years leading scorer, and 1st team All American attackman Chad Murphy. Also gone from last years team due to graduation is middie Tom Ross, Captain Danny Lowery, defenseman Kevin Burns and Mid/D Brian Christopherson. Lucky for the Skyhawks they still return many of their core starters from last year including Senior captain Pat McGrath (face off/ mid, 2006, 2007, 2008 All American), Captain Dan Riecks (moving from defense to attack/Mid, 2007 and 2008 All American), Matt Lindsley (Mid/Attack, 2008 All American), Jon Bock (D), Matt Cawley (D, 2008 All American), Andy Grenhart (M) Kellen Seitz (M) and Adam Allen (M).
The Fort has been fortunate to bring in a good core of freshman players to contribute this year, including Kevin Harkey (A/M, Seattle, WA), Matt Dacey (M/D, Sudbury, MA), Chad Barensten (LSM/D, Smokey Hill, CO), Mike Kelley (D, Denver, CO), Josh DeGuzman (M, Austin, TX), Stephen Boenning (M, Aspen, CO), and Peter Mulholland (A, Dallas, TX). Stepping between the pipes for FLC will be an experienced net minder Sean Claussen (Regis Jesuit, Denver, CO), who was a red shirt for the Hawks in 2008.
Back once again to coach this “Band of Brothers” will be John Robinette, assisted by Pat McCauley (3rd year, FLC 2002) and joined by FLC alum Bob Berding (1st year, FLC 2001). Coach Robinette has posted a 27-11 record the last two seasons at the helm, his first two back since taking a hiatus in 2002 to start youth and high school lacrosse in Durango.
The Fort Lax team will have their work cut out for them right from the start with a spring break trip to California that will have them play 3 games in 4 days. First up will be the University of San Diego on March 9, a strong DI team from the newly formed Southwest Lacrosse Conference. A quick trip north and FLC will take on a pair of out of conference DII foes, Long Beach State, and last years WCLL DII Champs Biola. FLC returns to Durango and opens up their home schedule with a pair of games against Colorado School of Mines and Utah State University on March 20 and 22. Then back on the road to Salt Lake City for an anticipated rematch with the 2008 RMLC and MCLA Champions, Westminster College. The Skyhawks lost 14-7 at home to the Griffins last year, and lost by one goal, 12-11, in the RMLC DII Finals. The next day it does not get any easier as the Fort will pay a visit to a very good DI University of Utah team. Northern Arizona will visit Durango on Friday April 10 for a friendly divisional rivalry game, and then the Hawks will turn around and travel to Gunnison the next day to take on Western State College. MCLA DII Ranked #23 Metro State and #15 Utah Valley will face off against the Fort on FLC’s field April 17 and 18 respectively. Fort Lewis will wrap up the regular season with a trip to Greeley to take on the UNC Bears, and Regis University in Denver.