August 28, 2009

This article appears in the August issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Zip It: Park City, Utah 84098

by Andy Krauss | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Snow-filled lacrosse days are nothing new at Park City (Utah) High School.

Think your hometown warrants "Zip It" consideration. Click here for nomination directions.

© Vicki Gaebe

At the age of 13, Carson Dutkanych dreams that he will one day enroll at Syracuse University and wear the famous No. 22 for the Orange.

Dutkanych doesn’t live anywhere near upstate New York. He hasn’t grown up on Long Island and certainly doesn’t have any kind of Baltimore twang in his voice.

He has lived his whole life in Park City, Utah, and he’s absolutely crazy about lacrosse.

Ten years ago, it may have been difficult to find too many lacrosse nuts from this town, known primarily for its world class skiing and resorts.

When ski season ends in the spring, kids need to find an activity that can keep them in shape on the dry land. For many years, that activity was baseball, but they eventually began looking for a faster-paced alternative.

Carson’s father Ted remembers playing baseball with his older son, Dillon, seven or eight years ago, when they discovered a lacrosse practice going on at the same time. Dillon, now 17, was immediately intrigued and was fitted for his set of pads not much later.

In 1995, Park City High School began fielding boys’ and girls’ teams. Five years later, the Park City Lacrosse Organization, which gives opportunities to the area’s youth, took off.

In 2008, over 250 boys and girls were involved with Park City’s youth leagues, while 85 boys and girls made up the high school’s rosters.

Park City received a shot in the arm in 2008, when the University of Utah’s club coach, Rich Levi, moved to Park City. He serves as the city’s youth program director and junior varsity coach for the high school team. Levi was an attackman on two Brown teams (1991 and ‘92) that reached the NCAA quarterfinals. For an area that has few Division I men’s teams close to it, his experience brings great credibility.

“The key to Park City’s lacrosse expansion has been the word of mouth,” said Ted. “This is a small community. World travels fast.”

By 2004, lacrosse had become so popular in Park City that the town felt it was time to host its own extravaganza. Thus, the Park City Ski Town Shoot Out was born. In June, over 50 teams participated, representing both genders and four different age groups, including adults.

Ted knows exactly why Park City is such a popular destination for lacrosse teams to get their summer fix.

“We have beautiful mountains and field locations. People come here to have a good time in an atmosphere that isn’t cut throat. When kids aren’t playing, they are hanging out at the ski areas or the Olympic park. It’s just ideal.”

Be forewarned. If you’re headed to Park City anytime soon for a weekend of skiing and schmoozing in the lodge, be sure to pack your lacrosse stick as well.

Quick Sticks

Zip Code: 84098
Destination: Park City, Utah
Location: 32 miles east of downtown Salt Lake City
Elevation: 7,000 feet
Population: 7,731
US Lacrosse Members: 248
Claim to Fame: In addition to being the headquarters of the U.S. ski team, Park City also is the site of Sundance Film Festival, the country’s largest independent film festival.

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