Prep lacrosse preview: New high school teams in Kennewick, Gig Harbor, Seattle on tap for 2014
SEATTLE – New prep lacrosse programs in Kennewick, Gig Harbor and three Seattle high schools lead the way as boys and girls student-athletes begin lacrosse play across Washington state in mid March.
With new boys clubs at Kennewick’s Southridge High School and Gig Harbor’s Peninsula High School along with new varsity squads at O’Dea High School and the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences and a new girls club of student-athletes from West Seattle, Highline and other SW King County high schools, a total of 93 varsity-level prep teams take to lacrosse fields across the state this spring.
Combined with the addition of Providence Classical Christian, a private Lynnwood school with enrollment of just 201 fielding a team for the first time since 2012 and Seattle’s Franklin High School, which has elevated from a JV schedule, along with the prep teams in Spokane, Vancouver and Gig Harbor that began play last year, a total of 14 new boys and girls teams have been added in the past two year.
Beginning with the first boys games in mid March, Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association officials have implemented a number of changes that are expected to minimize travel and improve the competitive experience for student-athletes along with help to preserve traditional rivalries between schools as the sport continues to grow in popularity in state high schools.
“Lacrosse participation is nearing the point where we have the ability to move divisional configurations away from ‘level of play’ alignments and toward conventional alignments based on school enrollment that exists with other high school sports,” said Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association president Peter White.
The boys high school season gets underway on Friday, March 14 with seven matchups including Mount Si at Sehome-Bellingham (7 p.m. at Bellingham’s Civic Stadium), Sherwood (Ore.) at Lake Washington (7 p.m. at Kirkland Lacrosse Center), Bainbridge at Bellevue (8 p.m. at Bellevue HS), Forest Grove (Ore.) at Camas (8 p.m. at Doc Harris Stadium), Lakeside at Mercer Island (8 p.m. at Mercer Island HS), and Snohomish at Woodinville (8 p.m. at Woodinville HS).
The state’s newest prep programs open their 2014 campaign as MLL Denver Outlaws standout and Irish alum Drew Snider launches O’Dea into its inaugural campaign with an opening-day matchup against Skyline High School on Friday, March 14 in an 8 p.m. start at Skyline High School in Sammamish.
On Tuesday, March 18 Peninsula High School opens its boy’s season against rival Gig Harbor High School on Tuesday, March 18 in a 7 p.m. start at Peninsula High School and Southridge High School travels to Hermiston (Ore.). Southridge later begins its Washington state schedule with a match-up against King’s Way on Friday, March 2 in a 6 p.m. start at the King’s Way Christian School in Vancouver.
On Wednesday, March 19, Seattle Academy opens with a match-up against the Irish in a 5 p.m. start at Upper Genesee Park in Seattle.
Providence begins play against Lynden High School on Wednesday, March 26 in a 7 p.m. start at Lynnwood High School, while Franklin opens on Monday, March 24 with a matchup against the West Seattle High School JV squad in a 5 p.m. start at Franklin High School in Seattle. The Quakers open varsity play against O’Dea, Wednesday, April 10 in a 5 p.m. start also at Franklin High School.
Division I defending state boys champion Bellevue High School opens its 2014 campaign against Bainbridge High School on Friday, March 14 in an 8 p.m. start at Bellevue High School.
The Wolverines’ 19-game schedule includes a spring-break trip into Virginia for matchups against St. Stephen-St. Agnes on Tues., April 8, Langley on Wed., April 9 and Dominion on Thurs., April 10. In a rematch of last year’s Washington Lacrosse Boys Division I State Championship, Bellevue takes on rival Mercer Island, Friday, May 9 in an 8 p.m. start at Mercer Island High School.
State runner-up Mercer Island opens its 2014 season against the Lakeside School, also on Friday, March 14 in an 8 p.m. start at Islander Stadium on Mercer Island. The Islanders’ 20-game schedule includes a spring-break trip into Connecticut where it will face-off against Joel Barlow, Wed., March 9, Xavier, Fri., April 11 and Wilton on Sat., April 12.
Mercer Island rounds-out their 2014 schedule in its traditional “Island War” with Bainbridge High School on Saturday, April 19 at Bainbridge Stadium and in a rematch of last year’s Washington Lacrosse Boys Division I State Championship, the Islanders meet Bellevue on, Friday, May 9 in an 8 p.m. home start.
In girls play, defending state champion Lakeside opens its season on Monday, March 10 when it faces Issaquah in a 5:30 p.m. start at the Lakeside School in Seattle. Other opening-day games for the girls include Graham-Kapowsin at Curtis in a 7:30 p.m. start at Curtis High School in University Place while Seattle Prep opens on the road at Bellevue East in an 8:30 p.m. start at Interlake High School in Bellevue.
State runner-up Lake Sammamish Lacrosse Club opens its 2014 campaign in a matchup with Gig Harbor on Tuesday, March 11 in a 5 p.m. start at Marymoor Park.
The new West Seattle girls program comprised of student-athletes from West Seattle, Burien and Tukwila schools, on Thursday, March 13 against Seattle Prep in a 3:30 p.m. start at Seattle’s Montlake Playground.
Here’s a breakdown of the new boy’s lacrosse alignments beginning first with the state’s newest additions.
2014 Boys Lacrosse Preview
Division II, Central-South Conference
Southridge High School joins the Central-South Conference in Division II play for its first year of play. The school club was formed following the increased interest in lacrosse among student-athletes from across the Tri Cities that previously played for the Richland High School team. Richland, a 2013 state semi-finalist is now made up of student-athletes from Pasco, Hanford, and Chianawa student-athletes, while Southridge, now includes student-athletes from Kamiakin and Kennewick High Schools. The two join Selah High School in Eastern Washington and King’s Way in Vancouver. The move by King’s Way into the Division II Central-South sets up a natural rivalry with Camas and Union High Schools in the neighboring Camas and Washougal communities. One of the great conference line-ups in the state, the Central-South is ripe with rivalry. With newly formed Southridge and Richland doing battle royale in the Tri Cities and Camas, Union and King’s Way going at it in Southwest Washington, this one’s a toss-up. But don’t count out a feisty Selah High School squad to muck up the prediction.
Division II, SPSL/Narrows Conference
Peninsula High School joins the SPSL/Narrows Conference in Division II play. The school club was formed following the increased interest in lacrosse among student-athletes which had played from a combined club from Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools. Peninsula joins Klahowya Secondary School, which advanced to the second round of the 2013 state tournament, the combined Sequim-Port Angeles High School team, South Kitsap and North Kitsap High Schools and Vashon Island High School. Expect Klahowya and Sequim-Port Angeles to do battle on the peninsula for conference honors.
Division II, Metro Conference
New varsity programs at O’Dea High School and Seattle Academy, which is comprised of student-athletes from Seattle Academy and University Prep are aligned in the Division II Metro Conference along with the varsity program at The Overlake School, which reached the 2013 state quarter-finals, Franklin, which played a JV schedule in 2013 and is now a combination of Franklin and Garfield student-athletes, and Nathan Hale, last year’s Division II state champion. Rivalries abound in the Metro Conference this season. With Nathan Hale going head-to-head against many former teammates at the Seattle Academy and the Overlake School always fielding competitive squads there will be Metro excitement in May. But in the end, expect coach Drew Snider and upstart O’Dea to find the luck of the Irish and contend for the conference title.
Division II, WESCO/NW Conference
Providence Classical Christian School, a private Lynnwood school with an enrolment of just 201, rejoins the WESCO/NW Conference in Division II play after not fielding a team since 2012. The Highlanders are matched with school clubs at Burlington-Edison, Lynden and Stanwood High Schools. Lynden and Stanwood both advanced to the second round of the 2013 state tournament. All are mixed with Shorecrest. a first- round state tournament entrant last spring and the Meadowdale and Monroe High School clubs. With plenty of good matchups in the WESCO/NW and Providence back in the mix as a hearty opponent, this is shaping up to be one of the fun conferences to watch in 2013. But as May rolls around, look for first year coach Nathan Wirtz and Meadowdale to take Lynden, which returns plenty of talent, to the mat for the title.
Other Boy’s Division II conference configurations include high school teams in Spokane and the Seattle Eastside.
Division II, Eastern Conference
In Eastern Washington, the Division II Eastern Conference includes varsity program at Spokane’s Gonzaga Prep, a 2013 first-round state qualifier, along with clubs made up of Lewis and Clark, Mead-Mt. Spokane, and University-Central Valley student-athletes, along with the Wenatchee High School club. Shaping up to be a great Inland Empire rivalry, the Spokane high schools with another year of Washington state play under there belt, are expected to battle all the way to Riverfront Park. But in the end, look for coach Chris Shogan’s G-Prep Bullpups to challenge Wenatchee for the Eastern title.
A number of boys high school teams will move into more competitive Division I play in 2014. Here’s a breakdown of the new Boy’s Division I alignments.
Division I, SPSL/Narrows Conference
In the South Sound, Stadium and Gig Harbor High School clubs move up to the SPSL/Narrows Division I Conference joining the Bellarmine Prep varsity team, and clubs at Auburn-Riverside, a state quarter-finalist, Curtis, which earned an opening-round berth in last year’s state tournament, the combined Emerald Ridge-Puyallup High School squad and Tahoma High School. Bellarmine along with Tahoma should make things interesting. But the Lucchesi brothers – Michael and Joey, who have both committed to NCAA Division II Tampa in Florida, will make all the difference for Auburn-Riverside to pull away in the end.
Division I, WESCO/NW Conference
In the North Sound, Everett High School and the combined Sehome-Bellingham High School clubs move up to the new WESCO/NW Division I Conference along with clubs at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo and combined Snohomish-Glacier Peak High Schools. Look for the Chris Cote-coached Snohomish-Glacier Peak squad and Kamiak to go neck-and-neck to the conference finish.
Division I, Metro Conference
In the greater Seattle area, varsity programs at Bishop Blanchet and Seattle Prep along with Kennedy Catholic in Burien move into the Metro Division I Conference joining 2013 state quarter-finalist Bainbridge High School, and 2013 state semi-finalist Eastside Catholic. Stacked with talent, look for Eastside Catholic and first-year Crusaders coach Luke Christiansen to challenge Jack Visco’s Spartans for the conference title.
Division I, KingCo Conference
Roosevelt High School and Ballard High School, Newport High School, a combined squad of Newport, Sammamish and Interlake student-athletes, along with Mount Si High School all move into the KingCo Division I Conference. The four join two-time defending state champion Bellevue High School, a combined Bothell-Inglemoor High School squad that earned an opening-round berth in last spring’s state tournament, Eastlake High School, Issaquah High School, both quarter-finalists in last year’s state tournament, Lake Washington High School, 2013 state runner-up Mercer Island High School, Skyline High School, which advanced to the opening-round of state play in 2013, and Woodinville High School. Liberty High School in the Issaquah School District will represent the KingCo Conference in Division II play. Perhaps one of the strongest conferences in state play, look for Issaquah and state Hall of Fame coach Brandon Fortier to make a legitimate run at the defending state champion Wolverines. But in the end, the KingCo crown will be contested on May 9 when John Baumann’s Wolverines and Ian O’Hearn’s MI squad square off at Islander Stadium in this battle of long-standing Eastside rivals. But keep an eye on the deeper race emerging between coach Chris Castleberry’s Mount Si Wildcats, coach Chris O’Dougherty’s Eastlake Wolves, along with Woodinville and Skyline.
Roosevelt High School
Ballard High School
Newport High School
Mount Si High School
Bellevue High School
Bothell-Inglemoor High Schools
Eastlake High School
Issaquah High School
Lake Washington High School
Mercer Island High School
Skyline High School
Woodinville High School
Liberty High School
2014 Girls Lacrosse Preview
The Washington state girls varsity lacrosse alignments remain unchanged in 2014 with the exception of Ballard High School’s shift to the North Sound Conference to accommodate the new West Seattle team. Here’s a breakdown of the girls conference alignments.
The SW Lacrosse Club, which is comprised of student-athletes from Highline, Thomas Jefferson, Mt. Rainier, West Seattle and Aviation High School, joins the Alki Conference after playing a JV schedule in previous years. The club joins 2013 state semi-finalists Mercer Island High School and Bainbridge High School, along with Holy Names and Seattle Prep, Kennedy Catholic and Garfield High School. Kennedy and Garfield both advanced to the opening round of state play in 2013. With a seasoned line-up returning, look for state Hall of Fame coach Tami Tommila and powerhouse Bainbridge to emerge as Alki Conference champions.
Last year’s state runner-up the Lake Sammamish Lacrosse Club, along with The Overlake School, Issaquah, and Eastside Catholic, which all earned opening-round state berths last spring, join the Bellevue East Lacrosse Club, made up of student-athletes from Newport, Interlake and Sammamish High Schools, Forest Ridge and Bellevue High School in the Snoqualmie Conference. In a highly competitive conference, expect Bellevue East with three-sport Interlake star and Princeton commit Camille Sullivan on the throttle, Lake Sammamish and Eastside Catholic to battle it out to the end.
Lake Sammamish Lacrosse Club (Lake Washington/North Shore SD schools)
Issaquah High School
Eastside Catholic School
Bellevue East Lacrosse Club (Bellevue SD schools other than Bellevue HS)
Forest Ridge School
Bellevue High School
The Puyallup High School club, a 2013 state quarter-finalist, Evergreen High School, which earned an opening-round state berth last spring, along with Graham-Kapowsin High School, Bethel High School, Spanaway Lake High School, Lake Tapps Lacrosse Club and the Tahoma High School club make up the Nisqually Conference. The two returning post-season entries from last season, Puyallup and Evergreen should fight it out for the conference crown. Don’t count out Lake Tapps or Tahoma.
Puyallup High School
Evergreen High School
Graham-Kapowsin High School
Bethel High School
Spanaway Lake High School
Lake Tapps Lacrosse Club (Auburn Riverside High School)
Tahoma High School
North Sound Conference
2013 state champion Lakeside School, along with the combined program of Snohomish-Glacier Peak High Schools, Roosevelt High School, Nathan Hale High School and Mukilteo Lacrosse Club, made up of Kamiak High School student-athletes and Ballard High School The Beavers moved to North Sound Conference play in 2014. The question isn’t “Can Lakeside coach Jamie Asaka repeat?”, but “When will the state Hall of Famer repeat?” Expect the Lions to be back in 2014, but with challenges from Snohomish, Ballard and Roosevelt.
Last year’s conference titlist Klahowya Secondary School joins 2013 state quarter-finalist Stadium High School and state opening-round entrant Gig Harbor High School along with Curtis High School and Bellarmine Prep in the Peninsula Conference. Look for Klahowya and Stadium in a sprint to the tape.
About Lacrosse in Washington State
Lacrosse has over 100 years of history in Washington state with clubs playing in the early 1900s and high schools now in their fourth decade of state competition. With Native American origins, lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports on the continent and today is considered the fastest growing sport in America. In Washington state, some 4,000 student-athletes attending over 200 high schools play prep lacrosse, while another 6,000 play lacrosse at the youth, adult and collegiate club levels throughout the state. For more information on high school lacrosse in Washington state visit http://www.WashingtonHSLAX.com.