Just like they overwhelmed their opposition on their way to a 4A state championship last season the Wheat Ridge Farmers were overwhelmingly the No. 1 team in Colorado in the preseason boys lacrosse rankings.
Wheat Ridge was No. 1 and three of the four teams that round out the top five were beat by the Farmers en route to their state title last season.
The Farmers beat Air Academy 14-2 to win last year’s state championship, and outscored their four playoff opponents 61-10 in the process.
Air Academy is 4A’s No. 2 team followed by No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain, No. 4 Thompson Valley and No. 5 Valor Christian.
Wheat Ridge at No. 1 was an easily decision for voters. The Farmers return their leading scorer John Roach who had 85 points last season (35 goals and 51 assists).
Also, junior Dima Makarov and his 27 goals from last season will also return.
But the player who will be leaned upon the most next season if Wheat Ridge intends on repeating as champs is Dima’s brother, stud goalie Jensen Makarov.
The older Makarov was 14-4 in net last season, allowing only 77 goals in nearly 800 minutes played.
Wheat Ridge head coach Chris Knott has turned his program into a juggernaut that will hard to be stopped this season.
Two other Jeffco teams that are looking to take a big step forward this season are Golden and Green Mountain.
The Demons (4-12, 2-5 in Foothills league play last season) started off slow last season but won three of four games during one stretch during the second half of their season.
Junior Adam Kreller, junior Matt Conklin and senior Austin Pippen will be a trio of players Golden is counting on being impact players this season.
Green Mountain (5-10, 3-4 in Foothills league play last season) was a team that was better than their final record indicated.
Six of the Rams’ losses came in game were in there in the game until the final minutes. If Green Mountain can close out games better they can potentially be the surprise team in Foothills league play this season.
The Rams have several players who are expected to be breakout players this season including senior Karl Stidham and senior Max Nielsen.