35th year of prep lacrosse underway Friday in Washington state

SEATTLE – Prep lacrosse for some 4,000 student-athletes attending 200 high schools from Spokane to Seattle and Lynden to Camas embarks on its 35th year of play in Washington state this Friday.

Gonzaga Prep is one of four Spokane high school lacrosse teams to begin Washington state play for the 2013 season. The others include Lewis and Clark, Mead-Mt. Spokane and University High. (Photo: Gonzaga Prep)

This spring an unprecedented seven new high school teams will take the lacrosse field for the first time in Washington state. Among them are four boys programs in Spokane along with upstart Camas and Union High Schools in Southwest Washington and a girl’s program representing Peninsula and Gig Harbor High Schools in the south Puget Sound area.

The expansion marks the most significant year of growth for high school lacrosse in Washington state in its four decades of organized play.

Opening-day boys games on Friday, March 8 include defending state champion Bellevue visiting Bainbridge High School in a 7:30 p.m. matchup at Bainbridge Stadium.

Tahoma takes on Woodinville in a 6 p.m. start at Woodinville High School, Peninsula-Gig harbor travels to Kennedy Catholic for a 7 p.m. start at Foster High School in Tukwila and Seattle Prep takes on Sammamish-Newport in a 7:15 p.m. at Bellevue’s Newport High School.

Opening week for boys continues on Saturday with King’s Way opening at Curtis High School in University Place and Issaquah opening at Liberty High School in Renton. Both games get underway at 6 p.m.

Sunday, Richland opens against Idaho opponent Sand Point. The boys contest kicks off at Hanford High School at 1 p.m.

Spokane schools begin play on Tuesday, March 12 as Mead-Mt. Spokane and Idaho’s Sandpoint square off in a 5 p.m. start at Mt. Spokane High School. Gonzaga Prep, which has played prep lacrosse in Spokane since 2003, opens at home against Lewis and Clark, in a 7 p.m. start on the Bullpups’ home field.

Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association play gets underway in Week 2 of the prep lacrosse season with three varsity games scheduled for Monday, March 11.

Among them are a Forest Ridge, Overlake matchup at 3:30 p.m. at the Overlake School in Redmond. Mukilteo (Kamiak HS) visits Puyallup (Puyallup and Emerald Ridge High Schools) in a 7 p.m. start at Sumner’s Sunset Stadium and Garfield visits Mercer Island in an 8 p.m. start at Islander Stadium on Mercer Island.

Girls State champion Bainbridge High School opens on Wednesday, March 13 as the Spartans take on the Overlake School. Game time at Bainbridge Stadium is 6:30 p.m.

The 13-week high school lacrosse season in the Evergreen State concludes with the Washington Lacrosse Girls State Championships on Friday, May 17 and the Washington Lacrosse Boys State Championships on Saturday, June. 1.

Washington State High School Lacrosse (Week 1)

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013

Boys Varsity Div. I
Tahoma at Woodinville (Woodinville HS – Woodinville / 6 p.m.)
Seattle Prep at Sammamish-Newport (Newport HS – Bellevue / 7:15 p.m.)
Bellevue at Bainbridge (Bainbridge HS – Bainbridge Isl. / 7:30 p.m.)

Boys Varsity Div. II
Peninsula-Gig Harbor at Kennedy (Foster HS – Tukwila / 7 p.m.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 2013

Boys Varsity Div. I
King’s Way at Curtis (Curtis HS – Univ. Place / 6 p.m.)
Issaquah at Liberty (Liberty HS – Renton / 6 p.m.)

SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013

Boys Varsity Div. II
Sand Point (Idaho) at Richland (Hanford HS – Hanford / 1 p.m.)

LAX SHORTS
• A total of seven high school lacrosse teams now play in the Eastern Washington communities of Spokane (Gonzaga Prep, University High, Lewis and Clark High School), Mead (Mead-Mt. Spokane High Schools), Wenatchee (Wenatchee High School), Richland (Richland High School) and Selah (Selah High School).

• Four high school lacrosse teams are playing in the Vancouver, Wash. area including King’s Way Christian School, Camas High School, Union High School and Evergreen High School.

• With 4,000 student-athletes attending over 200 high schools in Washington state, lacrosse ranks among the top of the bottom-third of WIAA-sanctioned sports. Golf ranks just ahead of lacrosse with 5,908 student-athletes participating and softball is next with 7,462. Track and Field ranks first with over 23,000 boys and girls participating.

• Twenty-one high school state activities associations like the WIAA now sanction high school lacrosse in the U.S. The WIAA in Washington state does not sanction lacrosse.

• High school lacrosse in Washington state is mostly a self-funded sport and does not fully rely on individual school or school district funding. Operational funding for high school teams is generated from student-athletes, their families and local community booster groups.

• Throughout the past decade over 100 student-athletes from WIAA schools in Washington state have gone on to play men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse at the NCAA Div. I, Div. II and Div. III levels with many earning scholarships. Another 100 have gone on to play for their college club teams.

• Several National Lacrosse League players with the Washington Stealth in Everett are coaching high school teams in Washington state. Among them are head coaches Lewis Ratcliff (Eastside Catholic School), Chris O’Dougherty (Eastlake High School) and Drew Snider (Nathan Hale High School). The Stealth’s Brett Hickey is an assistant at Skyline High School.

• Three active Washington state high school lacrosse coaches are among the 22-members of the Washington Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Among them are Sue Haviland (Overlake School), Tami Tommila (Bainbridge High School) and Rob Hawley (Klahowya Secondary School).

• For the first time, boy’s high school lacrosse team names will directly reflect the high schools from which they draw students. The change was put into place by the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association to more accurately represent the team connections with their local high schools.

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, 4,000 student athletes attending over 200 schools across the state play high school lacrosse. 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 at www.Facebook.com/uslacrossewashington 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.

www.WashingtonHSLAX.com

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

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