34th Washington prep lacrosse season underway Friday

Ballard High School's Julia Hanson takes aim on the first day spring lacrosse practice, Monday at Ballard High School. Hanson and the Beavers open 2012 girls varsity play Wednesday, March 12 in a 5:30 p.m. start at Seattle's Ballard High School. Photo Courtesy: Ballard High School Athletics

SEATTLE – Prep lacrosse gets underway for the 34th season in Washington state this weekend with boys state finalist Bainbridge taking on Lake Washington on Friday and rival Mercer Island, the 2011 state champion, on Saturday.

The Spartans, which have won six straight season openers dating to 2006 including a 15-8 win over the Kangs in 2011, are poised for another strong opening.  But their real test will come on Saturday as state champion Mercer Island visits Bainbridge stadium.

Boys varsity play in Spokane gets underway on Saturday with Gonzaga Prep traveling to Moscow, Idaho to take on the Logos School.

On the west side, Bainbridge is skippered by coach Jack Visco, now in his 11th season at the Spartans’ helm.  Looking to rebound from a heartbreaking loss to Mercer Island in the 2011 boys state championship game, the Sparts bring a young but potent squad to the field to make another run at the post season and perhaps a 12th overall state crown.

Led by juniors Jacob Knostman (18 goals, 18 assists, 24 ground balls in 2011) at attack, Sean Maier at midfield and sophomore goalkeeper Reynolds Yarborough, who stopped 75 percent of shots on goal in three 2011 games, the Spartans hope to match their 17-win season of a year ago.

Lake Washington, under former Bainbridge coach Dejon Hush, hopes to finish the season above.500 in 2012.  In 2011, the Kangs finished  9-9-0 after dropping an opening round playoff appearance to Kings Way.  Senior attackman Cody Bernstein (32 goals, 6 assists, 23 ground balls in 2011) leads the Lake Washington offense in 2012.

Friday’s Bainbridge, Lake Washington game gets underway at 7:30 p.m. while Saturday’s Bainbridge, Mercer Island game gets under way at 7 p.m.  Both take place at Bainbridge High School Stadium.

Girls varsity play gets underway Monday
Girls varsity play gets underway on Monday, March 12 as Bellevue travels to Bethel, North Kitsap visits Spanaway Lake, Issaquah takes on Eastside Catholic and Overlake visits Mercer Island.  Girls state champion Bainbridge opens against Issaquah on Wednesday, March 14 at Bainbridge Stadium.

A number of changes are in place for the 2012 season with seven new boys and girls high school teams among the 157 now available to students attending nearly 200 high schools in the state.    In boys play, Division II varsity has realigned into six regional conferences.  While in girls play, the two traditional varsity divisions have consolidated into one varsity league with five divisions.

New boys teams are located in Burien (Kennedy Catholic High School), Edmonds (Meadowdale High School / Lynnwood High School) and Monroe (Monroe High School). In their first games Kennedy hosts Highline and Monroe travels to Everett (Tuesday, March 13).

New girls varsity teams are located in Spanaway (Bethel High School / Spanaway Lake High School), Graham (Graham-Kapowsin High School), Tacoma (Bellarmine Prep) and Puyallup (Puyallup High School / Rogers High School).

In their first games Bethel hosts Bellevue (Monday, March 12), Graham-Kapowsin hosts Eastside Catholic (Wednesday, March 14), Puyallup hosts Curtis (Wednesday, March 14), Bellarmine Prep hosts Lake Taps (Thursday, March 15).

Girls JV teams playing in their first season include Gig Harbor (Gig Harbor High School / Peninsula High School) and Vashon Island (Vashon Island High School).

The spring season for school teams throughout western Washington and the Spokane, Wenatchee, Tri Cities and Yakima areas in eastern Washington concludes with the girls state championships Saturday, May 19 at The Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish and the boys state championships, Saturday, May 26 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.

Complete boys and girls high school varsity and junior varsity schedules are available at www.WashingtonHSLAX.com


Games for Friday, March 9

Boys Division I
Lake Washington at Bainbridge (Bainbridge Stadium / 7:30 p.m.)


Games for Saturday, March 10

Boys Division I
Mercer Island at Bainbridge (Bainbridge Stadium / 7 p.m.)


Boys Division II
Gig Harbor at Liberty (Liberty High School / 1 p.m.)


Spokane Boys Varsity
Gonzaga Prep at Logos School (Moscow, Id. / 6 p.m.)


Games for About High School Lacrosse in Washington State
Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the US and in Washington state has experienced double-digit annual growth throughout the past decade. With a 34-year local history, 157 individual boys and girls high school teams are available to students attending nearly 200 WIAA schools across eastern and western Washington.   Governed by the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association and the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association, the sport is played during the spring season and capped by annual boys and girls state championships in late May.  To learn more about lacrosse in Washington or to receive daily high school results visit www.WashingtonHSLAX.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @WashingtonHSLAX. To learn more about the history, traditions and values of lacrosse, college opportunities available to students and the 21 US states now sanctioning high school lacrosse visit USLacrosse.org.


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