The start of the 2009 boy’s lacrosse season here in our great state brings with it a new feature on our WHSBLA website. Every Sunday, we’ll take a walk around the league catching you up on any highlight worthy performance from the past week, preparing you for any must see games in the week to come, soliciting commentary from you, the reader, and discussing hot topics in high school lacrosse. Think of it as a WHSBLA weekly blog.
So, without further ado, here is the Division I Preview and some other tasty morsels for you all to chew on.
Division I Previews:
(In Alphabetical Order)
Spartans won 32 consecutive in-state games over the span of two years before
falling in last season’s state championship.
No doubt they will be motivated to get back to their winning ways as
they look to make a 3rd consecutive trip to the finals. Bainbridge has the perfect quartet of seniors
to lead them, one at each position. Sam
Snow is clearly the best attackman in the state and
has already committed to play NCAA Division I ball at
the loss of two all-state performers (Rusty Haehl and
already signed with the
Wolves are now two years removed from a solid senior class of ’07 that took the
Division II crown as juniors in ’06.
Still somewhat in the midst of rebuilding,
appears to be a rebuilding year for the Bulldogs after four year stretch that
produced three semifinal appearances and three All-Americans.
The purple and gold broke through in 2008, claiming the program’s first Division I state title on the backs of a solid senior class. The class of ’09 has plenty left in the tank though as they look to prove themselves as title contenders and return to the finals for the fourth time in five years. The senior midfield trio of Jake Director, Riley Goodman and Jordan Goldstein spearhead the offense while senior LSM, Connor McClain will have to lead a young unproven defense. If the defense can in fact step up, look for Issaquah to be playing late in May once again.
Lions reached the playoffs a year ago by winning a tie-break game in
overtime. Despite graduating 14 players,
2008 marked the first time since 2000 that Mercer failed to reach the state finals so you can be sure the Islanders are hungry. The Islanders return 8 of 10 starters, but junior netminder, Hap Giraud is more then capable of replacing the departed Adam Bowen. Senior, Daniel Shields return at attack and will be complimented by another Mahony (Doug) as well as junior midfielders, Steven Taylor and Jon Wettack. You should recognize those last names as all three had older brothers that played on Islander state champion teams from 04-06. Defensively, the Twin Towers will still stand in front of Giraud and both of them (Conner Beckwith and Connor Raffety) are two of the best returning defensemen in the state. No doubt the Islanders should reach the semis for the thirteenth consecutive year and have enough overall talent to win it all.
The 2008 Division II champions have brought their game to the Division I level and have the talent to contend in 2009. They may not quite be ready to challenge for the state title, but you can be sure they will be in the playoff mix. Northshore returns all but four from last year’s squad including the Wisman boys, Taylor and Foster. Senior attackman, Bowen Hadley has already committed to playing NCAA Division III ball and will also be a factor on offense. Senior netminder, Stuart Dransfield brings experience in net, but it is the defense in front of him that has to step up if they are to compete in Division I.
Army netminder, Nick LoRusso
takes over as the Head Coach for a Panther squad that narrowly missed the
playoffs in their first year in Division I.
The 2008 Division II runner-up made it all the way to the DII title game before falling to Northshore. Coach Mirsky has done an excellent job bringing the once proud program back to Division I after a down year in ’07 and the subsequent year in Division II a season ago. Good news for the Panthers, all major offensive components are back. Senior attackman, Arthur Stacey and senior midfielder, David Schoettler are explosive offensive weapons and both have committed to playing NCAA Division III ball at Wesleyan and St. Lawrence respectively. If Prep can stand tall on the defensive end, the Panthers could make some real noise back in Division I this season.
2008 was Skyline’s best season to date in the program’s relatively short existence (3 years) as the Spartans reached the semifinals. Last season may be hard to duplicate with the departures of All-State performers Riley Gervais and Lachlan Murphy. Despite the loss of Gervais on defense, the rest of the crew is still together and the strength of the team will lie on the defensive side of the ball. Senior, Calvin Wiley and sophomore, Brennan West will carry the load offensively.
The 2008 Maple Valley Vandals finished fifth and narrowly lost to Skyline in the quarterfinals. After graduating fourteen players, this year’s squad looks to rebuild with a new look and a new name, the Tahoma Bears. Sophmore, Justin Hanson has huge shoes to fill as the biggest loss to graduation has to be four year starter Connor Fischesser in goal. Nine players with varsity experience return, the best of which might be sophomore, midfielder, Spencer Kerr.
After a rebuilding year in 2008, Vashon could be ready to challenge for the playoffs again as they return 23 of 26 from last year’s varsity roster. Junior defenseman, Austin Franks was a Team Washington alternate this summer and senior, Ross Bowers has potential to be one of the league’s dominant midfielders. Bowers will get help on offense from the younger of the Davidheiser brothers, Gregor.
2009 - Division I - Preseason All-State Team
Lacrosse The Country…
Check out the lineup for this year’s Northwest Invitational: http://www.northwestinvitational.com/
Lacrosse Four Thought…
Who did we leave out of the Preseason All-State Team?
What are your picks for the final four?
When will Division I expand beyond 14 teams?
Where will this year’s All-Americans reside?
We’ll give a shout out to the best emails of the week and include your comments/quotes in next week’s Sunday Stroll.
Time to hear from you! Feed us your thoughts… bring it!