Gavyn Pure is a two-time player of the year, and one of the best lacrosse players in state history. And, according to his coach, he’s not overly concerned with any of that.
Pure, a senior, has helped lead Dawson School to a renaissance of sorts. The Mustangs are 60-12 over the past four seasons; they were 30-34 in four before he arrived in the program.
“He doesn’t like to talk about his accolades at all. He really doesn’t,” said Dawson coach Pete Devlin. “He’s really the ultimate team player. He really does honestly want to do what’s best for the team. Always.”
“What we try and do as a team, and I think what we’ve done as a team, is really play together,” Devlin added. “We focus on trying to move the ball, making that next pass, and it really doesn’t matter who scores, or who has the most points at the end of the game.
“Our main focus is trying to play as one unit, and Gavyn is absolutely the first guy to do that and the leader of that whole system.”
This season, Dawson is 15-1 and is the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A state tournament. Pure has 60 goals and 44 points. Those figures have unofficially made him the state’s all-time leader in goals (242), assists (199) and points (441). (The official boys lacrosse record book doesn’t exist yet.)
He’s a three-time member of the 4A all-state teams, and was the 4A player of the year in 2016 and 2017.
But Pure isn’t only about lacrosse. He’s twice qualified for the state tennis tournament, and twice finished fifth at No. 1 doubles with his partner. This past winter, he was named the Mile High League player of the year after averaging 21.7 points per game.
“There are other things than lacrosse,” Pure said. “I love tennis, I love basketball. Lacrosse just happens to be the one I’ve been playing the longest. I don’t think it should restrict me from playing other sports. My friends play other sports, and I get to play with my friends in those other sports. It’s a lot of fun.
“Lacrosse, for me, is my go time,” Pure continued. “I just get down to it, it’s all business. Tennis and basketball is more like a step back, take a breath of fresh air, and enjoy everything.”
Devlin said he sees benefit of playing multiple sports translate across those sports.
“He sees the court, he sees the field more clearly than everybody else does, much faster than everybody else does, including me,” the coach said. “And he’s able to slow the game down and let it come to him. He sees what’s happening before it happens. It’s also kind of like having a coach on the field.”
Added Pure: “The crossover in basketball, I like to think, is my best move in lacrosse. … You just learn more about yourself the more sports you play.”
This season, Pure has had more major moments on the lacrosse field. Included was a game-winning goal against Denver East with one second left last month.
Dawson had trailed 8-4 heading into the fourth quarter of that game, and went on a 6-1 run in the final frame.
“That was pretty incredible,” Pure said. “We weren’t playing real well. In the first half, we were down, and we were down going into the fourth quarter, and our team just grinded it out. Just grinded. My goal was cool, but I think it was cooler to see the team just grind.”
The game exemplified the drive this year’s Mustangs have. They’ve come oh-so-close to a state championship, losing in the past two state championship games, and falling by a goal in the semifinals during Pure’s freshman year.
“This group of seniors, they’ve had an unbelievable ride with lacrosse,” Devlin said. “There’s definitely some drive with (coming so close to a state title). I think we’ve had a lot of close games over the years, particularly this year. We’ve played in lots of high-pressure situations, and kind of had to fight through adversity.
“I definitely think their experience level helps them moving forward. Everybody’s wanting to get as far as we can, and just give it our best shot.”
Said Pure: “We’re pretty motivated.”
That continues with Dawson’s quarterfinal game against Valor Christian on Friday. The Eagles have topped the Mustangs in the past two state title games.
“It’s our biggest game of the season,” Pure said. “We can’t have that game come soon enough. I know it’s tomorrow, but we’re excited. I’m sure Valor is excited.”