Spokane, Vancouver, Gig Harbor schools lead seven-team expansion for Washington state high school lacrosse

Gonzaga Prep is among four Spokane high school lacrosse programs to join the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association in 2013. The Inland Empire programs are among a total of seven to begin play in Washington state this spring. Photo Courtesy: Gonzaga Prep

SEATTLE – The high school lacrosse season for boys and girls in Washington state gets underway in early March with the addition of seven new school teams in Spokane, Vancouver and Gig Harbor.

This spring’s expansion marks the first time in the four decades of high school lacrosse in Washington state that seven varsity teams have been added in a single season in boys or girls play.

“The demand for lacrosse participation opportunities in our high schools continues to expand for boys and girls – specifically in Eastern Washington,” said Dave Low, President of the Washington State Chapter of US Lacrosse.

In Spokane, Gonzaga Prep and Lewis & Clark High School, along with combined programs at University-Ferris High Schools, and Mt. Spokane-Mead High Schools will begin Washington state play for the first time in 2013. Gonzaga Prep and University-Ferris have had established teams playing neighboring Idaho high schools throughout the past decade.

With the addition of the Inland Empire schools, a total of eight individual boys and girls Eastern Washington high school teams from Spokane, Wenatchee, Selah and Tri Cities will see prep lacrosse action in the spring.

In the Vancouver area, Camas High School and Union High School will also begin play this spring. The two boys teams join King’s Way High School along with a girl’s team at Evergreen High School to round-out lacrosse play in SW Washington.

Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools, which have fielded a combined boys varsity team since 2010, will elevate its girls junior varsity team to varsity play in 2013 to round-out the new additions.

“As a sport, we are thrilled with the acceptance of lacrosse in Spokane, Camas and Gig Harbor schools,” said Low. “As lacrosse continues its unprecedented growth at the youth and high school levels in Washington state, US Lacrosse is committed to working side-by-side with local schools to help them accommodate their students’ interest in playing the sport on campus,” he said.

Since 2010, US Lacrosse along with the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association and the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association has facilitated the start-up of 23 new high school lacrosse teams (16 boys and seven girls) throughout Washington state, bringing the 2013 season total to 166 individual boys and girls high school teams. At the high school level, lacrosse has expanded at a double-digit average annual growth rate over the past decade with 4,000 student-athletes attending some 200 WIAA schools playing the sport.

In 2013, as a means to more accurately reflect the interest of high school students playing lacrosse for their school sponsored or school club teams, all boys high school teams in Washington state will directly reflect the name of the individual schools of their student-athletes. Girls teams representing multiple high schools will continue to be referenced by their club name.

The complete 2013 Washington State High School schedule for boys and girls lacrosse is available at www.WashingtonHSLAX.com

Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association
Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association play gets underway on Friday, March 8 with two games as Division I state champion Bellevue High School visits Bainbridge High School for a 7:30 p.m. start at Bainbridge Stadium and Newport-Sammamish High School takes on Seattle Prep in a 7 p.m. start at Newport High School.

New in 2013 are schools playing boys lacrosse in Spokane and Vancouver, Washington.

In Spokane, Gonzaga Prep opens at home against Lewis & Clark High School on Wednesday, March 13 in a 7 p.m. start, while Mt. Spokane-Mead opens against Ferris-University on Thursday, March 14 in a 5 p.m. start at Mead High School.

Throughout the past decade, Gonzaga Prep has been a regular in the North Idaho Lacrosse League (NILL) championship tournament making five title-game appearances since beginning play in 2003. The Bullpups have three NILL titles to their credit, most recently in 2011.

The Spokane schools will join the Division II Eastern Washington Conference that includes the Wenatchee High School program. Along with Selah and Richland High Schools, a total of eight high school lacrosse programs are now in place in Eastern Washington.

In Southwestern Washington, Camas and Union High Schools will begin Division II play in 2013. The two will join the Division II Central-South Conference along with Selah and Richland.

Union High School opens against Camas High School also on Wednesday, March 13 in a 5 p.m. start at Pacific Middle School in Vancouver, Wash.

Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association
Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association play gets underway on Monday, March 11 with Mercer Island taking on Garfield in an 8 p.m. start at Mercer Island High School, Overlake facing Forest Ridge in a 5 p.m. start at the Overlake School in Redmond, and Puyallup (Puyallup-Emerald Ridge High Schools) taking on Mukilteo (Kamiak High School) in Mukilteo.

State champion Bainbridge High School opens their 2013 girls varsity season against the Overlake School on Wednesday, March 13 with a 6:30 p.m. start at Bainbridge Stadium.

New in 2013 is a girls varsity program from Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools. Since 2010, the two have combined to field a boys team and in 2012 fielded a combined girls team at the junior varsity level.

The season concludes with the Washington Lacrosse Girls State Championship on Friday, May 17 at the Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish.

The Washington Lacrosse Boys State Championship in Division I and II takes place Saturday, June 1 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.

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. In its fourth decade of play, 166 individual boys and girls high school teams are now 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.

Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association – Varsity

Boys Division I

King East Conference
Eastlake High School
Issaquah High School
Skyline High School
Snohomish High School
Woodinville High School

King West Conference
Bellevue High School
Bothell-Inglemoor High Schools
Lake Washington High School
Mercer Island High School
Sammamish-Newport High Schools

Metro Conference
Bainbridge High School
Bellarmine Preparatory School
Eastside Catholic School
Kamiak High School
Lakeside School

South Sound Conference
Auburn Riverside High School
Curtis High School
Emerald Ridge-Puyallup High School
King’s Way High School
Tahoma High School

Boys Division II

Skagit Conference
Burlington-Edison High School
Friday Harbor High School
Lynden High School
Providence Classical Christian School
Sehome-Ferndale High Schools

Cascade Conference
Everett High School
Meadowdale High School
Monroe High School
Shorecrest High School
Stanwood High School

KingCo Conference
Ballard High School
Garfield High School
Liberty High School
Mt. Si High School
Redmond High School
Roosevelt High School

Metro Conference
Blanchet High School
Highline High School
Kennedy Catholic High School
Nathan Hale High School
Overlake School
Seattle Preparatory Academy
Vashon High School

Olympic Conference
Klahowya Secondary School
North Kitsap High School
Peninsula-Gig Harbor High Schools
Port Angeles High School
South Kitsap High Schools
Stadium High School

Central-South Conference
Camas High School
Richland High School
Selah High School
Union High School

Eastern Conference
Ferris-University High Schools
Gonzaga Preparatory School
Mt. Spokane-Mead High Schools
Lewis & Clark High School
Wenatchee High School

Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association – Varsity

Peninsula Conference
Bellarmine Preparatory School
Curtis High School
Peninsula (Peninsula-Gig Harbor High Schools)
Klahowya Secondary School
North Kitsap High School
Stadium High School

Alki Conference
Bainbridge High School
Ballard High School
Garfield High School
Holy Names Academy
Kennedy Catholic High School
Mercer Island High School
Seattle Preparatory School

Nisqually Conference
Bethel High School
Evergreen High School
Graham-Kapowsin High School
Lake Tapps (Lake Tapps High School)
Puyallup (Rogers-Puyallup High Schools)
Spanaway Lake (Spanaway Lake High School)
Tahoma High School

Snoqualmie Conference
Bellevue High School
Bellevue East (Sammamish, Interlake, Newport High Schools and International School)
Eastside Catholic School
Forest Ridge School
Issaquah High School
Lake Sammamish (Lake Washington, Eastlake, Juanita, Redmond High Schools)
Overlake School

North Sound
Lakeside School
Mukilteo (Kamiak High School)
Nathan Hale High School
Roosevelt High School
Snohomish (Snohomish-Glacier Peak High Schools)
Wenatchee (Wenatchee High School)

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~ Mike McQuaid, Sports Information Director, US Lacrosse – Washington State Chapter

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