Former Poway defenseman Bailey McLaughlin has started fall ball with the Colorado Mesa men’s lacrosse team. He will wear no. 10 for the Mavericks. McLaughlin is one of 20 freshman added to the Mavericks’ roster for the 2016/17 academic year. He was a two-time All-Palomar League selection at Poway and helped the Titans win two consecutive CIF championships.
“We are excited about the 2016 class that we brought in this past fall, head coach Vince Smith said by email. We are about three weeks into fall practice and the guys are finally starting to jell and mesh together. The transition to playing at altitude was a challenge for all new student-athletes. This year we had players join us from 8 different states outside of those who were native from Colorado. This process takes time, and they have handled the transition to college athletics and academics fairly well to date. We look forward to watching them continue to improve.”
The Mavericks finished 2016 with a 12-4 record, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship and a no. 12 ranking. The Grand Junction, Colorado campus is a popular destination for San Diego high school players. The 2017 roster also features three upperclassmen who graduated from San Diego high schools: Connor Larrick (Westview), Calen Ketcham (Westview), and Michael Dasch.
“We return 8 of 10 starters off of last years team, so on paper we look solid, adding a number of quality players to improve our depth. With that being said, on paper and on field are always two different ways to look at athletics and we need to be sure we are ready to take care of our own jobs come the spring season, embracing our roles, whatever they end up being, to ensure that we meet our challenges head on and continue to grow our lacrosse program and its continued tradition.”
“The team and staff are excited about the upcoming season we have ahead. We still have a ton of work to do here in the fall before the spring season including scrimmages against BYU (October 7th) and our Alumni (October 22nd),” Smith added. “We have a 16 game spring schedule with hopes of two additional games in the RMAC Tournament and the possibility of qualifying for NCAA play. The guys are excited for our trip to California in February to play NDNU (at Aliso Niguel High School) and Whittier College (Division III). We always are excited to play in Florida during spring break against top notch national competition, which always seems to test us year in and year out. In addition to that we are welcoming a new program to the RMAC this season and that can always create a question mark as to what the new teams look like. The RMAC continues to get stronger every year and we are excited to see what this season holds for our Mavericks.”