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All-league, all-state honors for Aspen High School Skiers

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

Record-setting season; record number of postseason awards.

The Aspen High School boys lacrosse team reaped the benefits of the best season in school history by collecting a bevy of postseason awards this year.

Three Skiers were named to the All-Mountain League First Team for 2013. Three more Skiers were named to the all-conference second team.

And two from the Aspen roster were named all-state honorable mention in voting by the state’s lacrosse coaches.

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“The players did all the work. They deserve the recognition,” said Aspen head coach Mike Goerne, who was voted the Mountain League coach of the year by his fellow coaches.

“I wasn’t expecting that. But it is always good to be recognized by your peers,” said Goerne, who led the Skiers to an all-time best 12-4 record and a trip to the state quarterfinals.

Aspen sophomores Nicky Cottrell and John Heaphey were voted all-state honorable mention, according to Goerne. Both also were voted first-team all-conference this season by the Mountain League coaches.

“John was our leading scorer out of the midfield with 25 goals,” Goerne said. That’s the most goals ever scored by an Aspen middie in one season.

With four assists, Heaphey banked 29 total points for the league-champion Skiers.

“He has the hardest shot on the team,” Goerne said. “He’s a double threat. He can shoot right and left. And he’s an exceptional dodger.”

The Aspen coach called Cottrell a “takeaway artist.”

“Nicky was one of the cornerstones of the defense,” Goerne said. “He understands individual and team defense.”

Aspen sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald also was voted first-team all-conference this season.

“He broke two school records,” Goerne said. Fitzgerald scored 39 goals, the most in a single season at Aspen High School. He also had 15 assists.

The total of 54 points is an Aspen school record, Goerne said. The previous record was held by Beau Rider (52).

“Ryan is tenacious out there. He goes hard all the time. He’s a very smart player … quick, agile,” Goerne said.

Tyler Tick, Harry Ferguson and Daniel Schwartz were voted to the all-conference second team, representing the Skiers.

“Tyler is an incredible finisher,” Goernc said. “He’s great at catching passes in front in traffic. He’s able to catch and finish.”

He said Tick is the initiator of the Skiers man-up offense.

“He has an exceptional lacrosse IQ,” Goerne said.

Ferguson is another part of the Aspen offense that potted a school-record 186 goals this season.

Ferguson totaled 48 points with an equal split of goals and assists — 24 each.

“He’s another big initiator for us,” Goerge said. “His driving and dumping is excellent”

Ferguson was voted a team captain this year by his teammates.

Goerne said Schwartz was a physical and emotional leader for the Aspen defense.

“He’s a great athlete,” Goerne said of Schwartz, who ran track as a junior but returned to lacrosse for the 2013 record-setting season.

“He has exceptional footwork and lateral movement. He shut down the fastest attackers,” Goerne said. “He came back out, and he became a huge part of this team. He’s a leader … with great enthusiasm.”

After winning the first conference title and then winning the first-ever state playoff game in Aspen, Goerne said the Skiers are excited about next season.

“We’re looking forward to next year,” the 2013 conference coach of the year said.

dstrode@aspentimes.com


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