So, after a long restful summer off, not watching any lacrosse (except the World Champion Denver Outlaws) I find myself eagerly awaiting the 2015 season. The McNuttins file is brimming over with errata, so lets get right to it.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Board of Director meeting for the WHSBLA. These are the volunteers who plan, organize and implement the Boy’s High School program in Washington and they provide the vision for the future as well. Like most volunteer boards, they are often accused of conspiracy, secrecy and incompetence by those of us that benefit from their work.
After spending a couple of hours observing their meeting three things become immediately obvious:
- They know much more about WA Boys High School lacrosse statewide than anyone else you know. Much more.
- They care deeply about growing the game in Washington and growing it properly.
- They put in a ton of time that no one ever hears about. And they do it on top of all the time they spend coaching/reffing/working their day job.
Like all Monday morning quarterbacking, it’s easy to be critical of the decisions they make. I myself have not agreed with the lack of parity in some of the scheduling decisions, and who knows, that may continue. But while we may not all agree with the decisions they make, we need to all believe that they are making them for the right reasons. There is no conspiracy to help certain programs or get certain players noticed or punish certain individuals. These are good people doing good work so your kid and my kid can play a great game. And BTW, if you still think you need to help them make better decisions, why don’t you put your name in the hat to run for a board position? At the meeting I attended, they were lamenting the fact that few new people were applying to be on the board. They’d love to get some new voices, especially from some of the growth areas in the state. You can find out more information about the WHSBLA here.
The focus of the board meeting I attended was news about new teams and programs for 2015. The best guess right now is that there will be at least seven, count ‘em, seven new high school programs added in 2015. That of course is great news for the growth of Washington lacrosse. The new teams will all come from existing programs that were representing multiple schools, and now will be able to sustain programs from their own high school. Nothing on this list is final, or approved, but here are the new teams I’m hearing about:
- Archbishop Murphy (Everett)
- Bonnie Lake
- Whiteriver (Enumclaw)
- Bethell (Puyallup)
Things could still change, with as many as three more teams a possibility. Look for the paint to be dry, i.e. final teams to be set, by the end of the year. Look for final league configurations to follow shortly after that. The early guess is that all these teams will start in D2, in leagues that are regionally appropriate.
On the topic of league configurations, it’s sounding like the Ballard and Roosevelt lacrosse programs will move to Metro, following their schools’ decision to leave Kingco for all sports. Their addition will surely make the Metro conference even more interesting.
Implicit in all these new teams is the requirement for more coaches, boards of directors, volunteers, parent support groups, fundraisers and referees. Now’s a good time to start considering how you can help. If you need info on how to get involved, email us and we’ll point you to who you need to talk with. In the same vein, don’t forget that referee training is coming up. Check the referees website (you didn’t know there was one, did you?) for the exact dates, likely to be the end of January.
Player rumors – Bellevue junior attackman Joe Bethke, coming off a good summer, is being courted by some D1 schools, most recently Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. (BTW, Mercer’s just opened new lacrosse facilities which some are touting as the best in the country.)
Likewise Mercer Island senior defenseman Kiernan Cole is garnering lots of attention from some top D1 east coast powerhouses, there is even a whisper of interest from Cornell…email me if you’ve got more player new or rumors.
NFHS, the national governing body for high school lacrosse has finalized the 2015 rule changes. You can read them here. ZZZZZ..nothing major this year. Defensive restarts after a violation by the offense can start inside the box. Previously the ball had to be moved to an alley before restarting. This will speed up the game and allow the defense to have fast restarts as well. Like I said, ZZZZZ.
As you might have heard recently, two of the three west coast NCAA lacrosse programs, Dominican and Notre Dame de Namur, made the decision to change their program’s affiliation. Dominican moves to MCLA (Club lacrosse) and NDNU leaves the WILA to go independent. (Whittier College is
the other NCAA program.) These are not particularly positive moves for the growth of west coast lacrosse. Dominican’s awesome coach, Ned Webster, left Dominican to become Cal Berkley’s first full time coach for their MCLA team. Webster, who has recruited heavily out of the Pacific NW, played his college lacrosse at University of Notre Dame where his coach was…Kevin Corrigan, who brings his current ND lacrosse squad to Tukwila later this month for the Seatown Classic. Austin Franks, Vashon class of 2009, has made a documentary detailing the final D2 season of Dominican. It debuts October 11th, you can find out more about it, and view a couple of trailers, here… http://goo.gl/T2OZXR .
On October 18th is the Seatown Classic. Have you bought your tickets yet? Local boys Drew Snider and Peter Baum are strapping it up for the US National Team as they face NCAA D1 Finalist Notre Dame. Come, support the WA chapter of US Lacrosse, but more importantly, watch the best lacrosse you’ll ever see in person. See you there!
Visit us at Soundlacrosse for pictures of all the Seatown Classic games. This year we’ll be the exclusive place you can purchase 2014 Seatown Classic photos, prints and posters.
*Edited to correct NDNU’s 2015 status.