ARVADA — Mike Thumim returned for a second stint at the helm of Golden’s boys lacrosse team a year ago with a clear-cut agenda.
“One of the things I was excited about coming back to Golden was to get us back to where we used to be,” Thumim said Wednesday after the Demons, ranked No. 6 in the latest CHSAANow.com Class 4A boys lacrosse poll, defeated Ralston Valley 7-4 at the North Area Athletic Complex. “We are working on it.”
In the first go-around with the Demons, Thumim guided Golden to five conference titles over 10 years. Golden became the first Jeffco team to advance to the state semifinals in 2005 when there was just one classification for boys lacrosse.
The Demons have advanced to the 4A state tournament in back-to-back seasons, but were ousted in the first round in 2017 and second round in 2016.
“I talk about that to these guys a lot,” Thumim said of the Demons’ success more than a decade ago. “It’s a mentally really and a learning that you have to take it to the next level. The landscape of lacrosse has chanced. Everyone has players and everyone is good.”
Ralston Valley, in its second year with a varsity program, is a good example how the talent is more spread out now than a decade ago. The Mustangs (1-5 record) hung with Golden (6-3) for the first half. Ralston Valley actually had a 3-2 lead late in the second quarter after a goal from sophomore Ben Takata.
“We were getting a ton of looks. We had so many shots,” Thumim said. “It was just a matter of finding the cage and finding the end result. I knew eventually it would fall.”
The Demons got clicking offensively with five straight goals from five different players from late in the second quarter until early in the fourth quarter, taking a commanding 7-3 lead.
Junior Joe Brock, who finished with three goals for the Demons, led the way. Freshman Kirschner, juniors Brady desGarennes, Broderick Calley and Brock, along with senior Jake Niss poured in the five unanswered goals.
“Instead of us getting mad at each other and at each other’s throats we definitely came together as a team,” Brock said dealing with Ralston Valley playing a solid first half.
Golden senior Isaac Wetch picked up the victory in next for the Demons.
Ralston Valley started four freshman Wednesday at the NAAC. Coach Nick Lewis has taken over the helm of the Mustangs who finished with a 1-14 record in their inaugural season.
“We are making progress,” Lewis said. “I think we took a little step back from the Chatfield game that went to four overtimes. We are battling. We are taking steps forward everyday.”
Ralston Valley got goals a pair of goals from freshman Jack Hestera in the loss. Sophomores Walker Brickle and Takata scored the other two goals for Ralston Valley. Freshman Calvin Doucette played a strong game in net for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs have their 5A Front Range League opener Wednesday, April 11, at NAAC against Rocky Mountain. Ralston Valley is still looking for its first league win after going 0-6 last year.
Golden also opens up its conference play next Wednesday too. The Demons are on the road against Clear Creek to start 4A Foothills play.
“I told these guys that we can’t overlook anybody within the conference,” Thumim said. “The conference schedule is tough, but the good thing is we have the ability to put up another banner in the gym.”
The Demons finished second to Conifer in the league last season. Evergreen (7-0) is off to a strong start and Thumim expects Littleton (1-2) to be in the mix too.
“It’s teamwork and practice,” Brock said of how the Demons will return to their glory days. “If we continue to climb that rough road that we started out on we’ll be great come playoffs.”