After spending three years off the bench, Coach Carl Mattei has returned to lead the Rocky Mountain Raiders program in Aurora, CO. The Raiders were young in 2015, but they have a bright future.
“This is the first year with Rocky Mountain Raiders, but I ran the Mile High Magic from 1998-2011,” Mattei explained. “I took off three years to follow my son who was playing collegiate lacrosse at Mercer, but I decided it was time to get back in this year.”
The Rocky Mountain Raiders will make their final appearance in 2015 at the La Jolla Tournament of Champions. The All Star Girls Report event, which will feature many of the region’s top travel teams, will be played on Sept. 26 at the La Jolla Country Day School.
The La Jolla event will cap what has been a successful year for the Raiders.
“We have a lot of very talented players, but we’re very young,” Mattei said. “I think the kids learned a lot this summer. They saw what it takes to compete at an elite level. Because we’re so young, I’m really excited about what we’re going to be able to do in the next few years.”
Leading the way for the Raiders in La Jolla will be Taekenya Cleveland (2016, 6-1, G) and Ezekia Johnson (2016, 6-0, F). Cleveland is currently ranked as the No. 292 recruit in the Class of 2016 by the All Star Girls Report.
“Taekenya is a multi-purpose guard who has been getting a lot of attention from the colleges,” Mattei said. “She can really do it all, whether you need her to hit the outside shot or post up inside. Ezekia is a lanky slasher who is an athletic four player. She didn’t really focus on basketball until her sophomore year, so she has a good upside.”
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