Kings Lacrosse class of 2027 for the win at NLF Championship
By Shaun Kernahan; courtesy photos
For much of its history, the sport of lacrosse has been dominated by the east coast. In fact, there are so few high-quality western lacrosse teams, the University of Denver team competes in the Big East collegiately.
When Kings Lacrosse ’27 (made up of kids from Castle Pines, Castle Rock, and Highlands Ranch who will be a part of the 2027 high school graduating class) made the finals of the National Lacrosse Federation (NLF) National Championship game, it made news across the world of lacrosse. Then, when the team won the national championship, it was evidence that lacrosse had officially arrived in the west.
The team is coached by former Notre Dame lacrosse player and current director of Raptors Lacrosse, Ray Cross. Just making it to the NLF tournament took work. The NLF highlights its six founding member teams, and has an additional eight affiliate members. A team getting an invite to NLF Club National Championships outside of these 14 teams is a win in its own right.
Once the team arrived in Amherst, Massachusetts for the July 16 tournament weekend, they took a look at their bracket and saw they were facing not only one of the original team members of the NLF, but also the number one team in the country – Team 91 from Long Island, New York. How did the Kings fare? They rolled and won by a score of 10-3.
The rest of the tournament they won by a goal here, two goals there, until they became the first team from the west to reach the NLF championship game. Then they went out and won it – capping off a 22-0 summer season.
Coach Cross credits the team’s great chemistry as a large part of their success and is happy to say Castle Pines is being held up as proof that lacrosse is no longer just for the east coast.