For Deano Johnson and the rest of the Cheyenne Mountain boys’ lacrosse team, the 2019 season did not end according to plan.
But with his parents stationed in Germany, Johnson is grateful for the opportunity to play for Cheyenne Mountain his senior year.
For the past two seasons Johnson has lived with family friend and teammate, Cole Mika, to allow him to finish his academic career at Cheyenne Mountain and help the boys’ lacrosse team to back-to-back title game appearances.
“Just having this opportunity is crazy,” Johnson said. “We won last year and made it back to state this year, it’s all I could ask for, really. But I just wish the outcome was different.”
Cheyenne Mountain fell 10-9 to Golden in overtime for the 4A state championship. Johnson had 10 goals this year, including two in the title game. He also finished with a .669 faceoff percentage and was 64 for 91 on faceoff wins through the playoffs.
Johnson said it was a mutual decision between him and his parents to remain at Cheyenne Mountain.
“It’s a tough situation because my parents aren’t here, but Cheyenne Mountain is such a good academic school, and I love playing lacrosse so they decided to make that sacrifice to allow me to graduate from Cheyenne Mountain and get the opportunity to play my last two years of high school with this team,” Johnson said.
Coach Mike Paige said Johnson’s ability to stay was a huge factor in the Indians’ success.
“It’s been a great experience for him,” Paige said. “It’s been great for his education and certainly coming back and playing lacrosse for us was absolutely key.”
Johnson made a key play off the draw to start the second quarter against Golden in the state championship game, winning the faceoff and running down the field for an immediate goal to score in the first 6 seconds of the quarter.
Johnson scored a few minutes into the third quarter before Golden outscored Cheyenne Mountain 4-1 in the remaining time to force overtime.
“This experience has just been exceptional,” Johnson said. “I know every team says they’re all friends, but we really are and a lot of us have been playing on the same team since the seventh grade, some of us even longer, but it’s such a good group of guys and I’m glad we got to play together on the very last game of the season.”