Q&A with Cherry Creek (CO) Head Coach Bryan Perry

Over the years, Cherry Creek has always featured a few tough opponents from different regions around the country. This year, you've got talented squads from New York and Illinois on the schedule. What's the goal with adding those inter-regional games each season?
"We want to compare ourselves to the best teams in the country. Unless you play them, you just don't know. It's nice that we're able to try our hands against some talented and well-coached teams each year."

How do you think Cherry Creek would stack up against top teams like McDonogh, Haverford and Ward Melville?
"We're going to have to really solidify our feeder program. The really strong public schools out there have feeder programs that are directed right at them. They control the message all the way from second grade to ninth grade, so everything is reloaded each year with the same offense and defense. Simply, there's not as much work to do by the time the kids get to high school.

I think we would be in for a fight. We are still a pretty young team, so I'd still see us making some youthful mistakes. I definitely think we can play with them, but next year is when I see us really competing. We beat Loyola-Blakefield a few years ago and we are starting to play teams tougher, but there are still a few steps to go."

Talk about the competition out there this year and who will give you the greatest test in your quest for back-to-back titles?
"We've got a tough one coming up against a talented and well-coached Arapahoe team on April 6. Kent Denver is our biggest rival and it goes back many years. They have a very good, skilled team with athletic players. Anything can happen against them. Fort Collins and Regis Jesuit are also two strong teams that are hungry after coming up short last year. Mullen will be a fight for the league title. They are a well-coached team and have a ton of talent."

Colorado lacrosse really seems to be exploding at all levels and the fans have really been behind the sport. Why do you think that's been the case?
"Now that lacrosse is going across the state, it's rolling. It's a fantastic game for kids to play. It makes them run around and bump into each other, all the things that kids want to do. A lot of sports have limitations to them, like baseball. It's often the case that kids can't play baseball because they don't have good hand-eye coordination. In lacrosse, there are no limits as to who can play. If you learn how to throw and catch, there's always a role for you on the field."

What's different about Colorado lacrosse than anywhere else?
"For a long time, there were only a few teams that were really competing and you would find yourself coaching against just four or five other guys. Now, we have to get ready for a lot of good programs, and with that comes extra scouting. Back east against Wantagh (NY) earlier this season, we saw three different defenses, three different rides and four different offenses. That's the kind of thing we don't see enough of out here, but it's changing. There are a lot more contending teams, so you have to compete even more -- and that helps me become a better coach, too."

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