Published: May 5, 2014
Palmer boys' lacrosse coach Sequoia Bowan and Rampart girls' lacrosse coach Melissa Rausch have a couple of things in common.
They've both been rebuilding programs that had fallen off recently. And on Monday, they were both rewarded with state playoff berths after putting together winning seasons.
Palmer qualified for the Class 5A state tournament for the first time in recent memory, while the Rams reached the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
"It's been many years," said Bowan, in his third season at the helm.
The ninth-ranked Terrors (11-4) get a first-round game Thursday against league rival No. 8 Rock Canyon (10-5) at Shea Stadium.
Palmer led the Jaguars by two goals with 4:39 to play in late March before watching as Rock Canyon stormed back for the 9-8 win.
But in that game, Palmer was without second-leading scorer Noah Smith (30 goals).
"Noah makes a difference everywhere on the field," Bowan said. "He's a good guy to have out there."
A good gal for Rampart (10-5) is Kelli Warmouth and her 60 goals and 26 assists. Warmouth and the Rams are glad to have reached the postseason, but they're hoping it doesn't end with their first-round game against Ralston Valley (10-5) at Trailblazer Stadium on Wednesday.
"I don't want to say we're just happy to be here .," said Rausch, in her fourth year. "We're certainly ready to win this game; show everyone it wasn't a fluke to get in."
The Rams were one of four Southern League teams to earn a postseason berth, something Sean Harmon, the coach of third-ranked Air Academy, was happy to see.
"Four out of the south (Southern League) is very good," Harmon said, adding that the Palmer girls' team nearly made it five.
The perennial, state-contender Kadets are hoping for another deep run.
"We have a lot of talent and we're playing really well as a team," Harmon said. "But we have some lapses in games where we get careless with the ball, have a poor possession. We don't stay focused; we lose our focus and that's what we've got to eliminate - eliminate the unforced errors and play a full 50 minutes of Air Academy lacrosse. If we do that we'll be a very tough contender."