This is the second article discussing MCLA teams I hope make a comeback. Last week was UNLV and this week I will focus on Weber State lacrosse.
Utah is one of the fastest growing lacrosse states in the country. The University of Utah is the western most and only PAC-12 school with an NCAA Division I lacrosse team and have been off to a solid first couple of years. Their MCLA team won the DII Championship in their first year. BYU, Utah Valley, and Utah State are some of the best teams in the league now. Southern Utah just played their first season, and Utah Tech is looking like a very good team going into their first season. There is also a pretty good NCAA DII team in Westminster. However, the only NCAA DI school without a team, varsity or club, is Weber State.
The team was first started in 2015 by Kyle Gorrell, who took a very untraditional route get things started. He graduated from and played at Lone Peak HS in Highland, Utah, in 2005 before going on to play at Utah State. There, he started in six games posting 86 saves and a 59.7% save percentage. The following year he stepped away from school to serve a two-year LDS Church mission in Puerto Rico. When he came back, he enrolled at Utah Valley however took a break from playing on the team. He then stepped away from school again to serve in the National Guard in Kosovo, before once again returning to Utah to attend Weber State.
Before arriving at Weber State, he had already made the decision to start the team and got Peter Stevenson to be the head coach. In the fall of 2015, they played their first game against Utah State and by the spring they were able to play Utah along with Utah Valley. Despite having a successful first season they were unable to gain official membership into the MCLA and RMLC.
The following school year (2016-17), the Weber State lacrosse program continued to grow in numbers with James Carter, Chase Reed, and Jarron Woodson all coming on as coaches. Craig Potter took over as president with Gornell still playing, and they gained official admittance to the MCLA to play in the RMLC DII. They may have lost all six games, however starting a team from nothing and playing an MCLA schedule within a year is a big achievement of its own.
During the 2018 season they were only able to play one game despite having four scheduled, and in 2019 they lost membership in the league. Even after they stopped being an official MCLA team, they continued to play against local men’s league teams and looked to have solid numbers. Their last social media post was fall of 2019. I do know exactly what happened to the team, but one can assume it was a combination of low numbers and problems stemming from COVID-19. I was unable to find any signs that there currently is a team. There is a chance people still play pick up on or around campus, all I know is that they no longer officially compete in the MCLA.
There is definitely hope for the team however. When the team was started other schools showed support from them and we’ve seen other coaches and players actively rooting for them to come back. The women’s team on campus is doing well and currently competes in the RMWLL division of the WCLA DII showing it is possible to have a lacrosse team on campus.
If anyone has more info on the team feel free to share with us, and if anyone wants to restart the team wants help or advice please reach out to us.