The 2017 boys’ high school lacrosse season starts in a few days and with more than five months of games ahead, I thought I would take a look at some of the high school lacrosse games coming up that I found interesting.
I tried to stay away from listing the same team twice. Since some teams have multiple games on the schedule that are worth watching throughout the season, I tried to focus on games I find interesting and limited to just one from each team.
Is there a game you have on your list of must-see this season? Leave a comment below and let everyone know about it.
Ponte Vedra (Fla.) at Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.), Feb. 10
Ponte Vedra broke through last season, snapping a seven game losing streak to Lake Highland Prep that went back to 2011. The Sharks defeated the Highlanders twice last year, once in the regular season and again in the FHSAA Final Four. The teams meet in their second game of the 2017 season. Will Ponte Vedra continue their streak or was 2016 a rebuilding year for Lake Highland Prep?
Lambert (Suwanee, Ga.) at Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.), March 10
Gibbons put together a brutal schedule for a team located in North Carolina this season. They play four teams from the Maryland/Washington, D.C. area this season, but I’m picking the Lambert game. This is a meeting of defending state champions and will be interesting to see which of these teams could vie for the best team in the Southeast this season.
St. Mark’s (Dallas) at Episcopal Dallas (Dallas), March 24
St. Mark’s has not beaten Episcopal Dallas since Hayward Lee was the head coach. In his final season, 2013, the Lions defeated the Eagles twice, including an epic 8-7 overtime win the in the state championship game. Lee returns to the sideline this season, taking the reigns of the program back after Francis Donald took another job at a school in California.
Paul VI (Alexandria, Va.) at Bishop O’Connell (Alexandria, Va.), March 31
I expect new O’Connell head coach Kevin Giblin to pull an upset win in his first season. It would be fitting if this was the game as Paul VI head coach Bob Waters upset Giblin’s Georgetown Prep team back in 2013 when Waters was in his first season. Is it Giblin’s turn to pull the upset?
Niskayuna (N.Y.) at Darien (Conn.), April 7
I am really not sure why, but this is a game I always look forward to and it is on my bucket list to see these teams play in person. Maybe it’s the interstate matchup. Maybe it’s the fact that these teams are always powers in their state. Maybe it’s because the head coaches roaming the sidelines combine for more than 940 wins combined. Whatever the reason, I always look to see when these teams meet.
Lincoln-Sudbury (Sudbury, Mass.) at Ward Melville (East Setauket, N.Y.), April 13
A meeting of state powerhouses and teams that reached their respective state titles game last season. Lincoln won it all with a 10-8 win over Boston College High School (Boston). Ward Melville finished as runner-up in the New York Class B title game. This is also the first meeting of these programs, which adds another layer of intrigue to this meeting.
St. Ignatius Prep (San Francisco, Calif.) at Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.), April 18
St. Ignatius Prep put together quite the schedule in 2017, facing several teams that either won their league or section title or teams that reached those title games. Among those teams is Chaminade who is a regular in the CHSAA AA championship game. The Wildcats got the best of the Flyers last season, winning 7-5. Can they do it again?
Torrey Pines (San Diego, Calif.) at Poway (Calif.), April 21
This is the first meeting of these area powers. And it is a rematch of the San Diego CIF Open championship game in which Poway came out on top, 7-6. The Falcons and Titans split their meetings last season, with Torrey Pines defeating Poway 8-4 during the regular season. Jim Loftus from MaxLaxInc. Picked Torrey Pines as the favorite this season in our podcast previewing the California season. Will this first meeting be an indication of the final result?
Malvern Prep (Malvern, Pa.) at Delbarton (Morristown, N.J.), April 22
I always love when there’s an inter-state meeting, especially when it’s among teams that expect to compete for their respective titles. Last year, these teams played a two-goal game with Delbarton coming out on top, 13-11. Malvern is always competitive under head coach John McEvoy who should reach his 200th career win this season. Chuck Ruebling reached the 500 win mark last season and enters the year with 501 career wins and 14 state championships.
Hill Academy (Ontario, Canada) vs. Culver Academy Prep (Culver, Ind.), April 23
Two of the best independent teams in North America face each other late in the season. Hill Academy was arguably the best team in North America last season, going 11-0 and defeating Culver 12-4. No other team defeated Culver by more than a goal last season. Hill Academy only played two game in which they won by fewer than three goals. But both teams lost star players. Jeff Teat for Hill Academy and Ethan Walker for Culver. Where are these teams in 2017?
McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) vs. St. Paul’s (Brooklandville, Md.), May 2
The next head coach at St. Paul’s will be on the McDonogh sideline when these teams meet. I find that incredibly interesting since that’s not something you generally see in sports. When someone is named a new head coach, they don’t usually keep their job at an opponent. Plus, it’s a battle of MIAA A Conference powers.
Victor (N.Y.) at Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt, N.Y.), May 13
Victor has the longest active winning streak in the nation entering 2017 with 44 consecutive games. Before they get to JD, the Blue Devils have to get through a slew of New York power programs in addition to Michigan powerhouse, Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.). Victor and Jamesville-DeWitt last met in 2015 when Victor’s winning streak was in full swing. They met in the Class B Final Four and Victor came out on top 11-9. In 2014’s Final Four Jamesville DeWitt came out on top 17-13.
Boys’ Latin (Baltimore) vs. St. Paul’s, May 16
St. Paul’s proved to be the one exception to my rule of one game from each team, but for good reason. This is the final regular season game for St. Paul’s head coach Rick Brocato. He will be the all-time wins leader by this point and if these teams play as expected, both have playoff games ahead of them. This game is the 100th meeting of these legendary programs. I will have a podcast further highlighting this game, which we will debate on whether or not this is the best rivalry in high school lacrosse.