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34th Washington prep lacrosse season gets under way | Prep lacrosse

SEATTLE – Prep lacrosse gets under way for the 34th season in Washington this weekend with boys state finalist Bainbridge taking on Lake Washington on Friday and rival Mercer Island, the 2011 state champion, on Saturday.

The Spartans, which have won six straight season openers dating to 2006, including a 15-8 win over the Kangs in 2011, are poised for another strong opening. But their real test will come on Saturday as state champion Mercer Island visits Bainbridge Stadium. Bainbridge is skippered by coach Jack Visco, now in his 11th season at the Spartans’ helm.

Looking to rebound from a heartbreaking loss to Mercer Island in the 2011 boys state championship game, the Sparts bring a young but potent squad to the field to make another run at the post season and perhaps a 12th overall state crown. Led by juniors Jacob Knostman (18 goals, 18 assists, 24 ground balls in 2011) at attack, Sean Maier at midfield and sophomore goalkeeper Reynolds Yarborough, who stopped 75 percent of shots on goal in three 2011 games, the Spartans hope to match their 17-win season of a year ago.

Lake Washington, under former Bainbridge coach Dejon Hush, hopes to finish the season above .500 in 2012. In 2011, the Kangs finished  9-9-0 after dropping an opening round playoff appearance to King’s Way. Senior attackman Cody Bernstein (32 goals, 6 assists, 23 ground balls in 2011) leads the Lake Washington offense in 2012. Friday’s Bainbridge-Lake Washington game gets under way at 7:30 p.m. while Saturday’s Bainbridge-Mercer Island game gets under way at 7 p.m. Both take place at Bainbridge High School Stadium.

North Kitsap hosts Gig Harbor March 13 at 5 p.m. North Kitsap competes in the Olympic Conference, one of six conferences in WHSBLA Division II. All told, there are 32 teams in Division II.

The team had its best season last year, finishing tied for third at 4-9. But this year the team will miss out on the talents of senior goalie Chazz Zachroff, who suffered a non-sport-related injury and will miss the season. Zachroff tended the goal for 11 games in 2011, defending against 237 shots and making 120 saves for a save percentage of 0.506.

Girls varsity play gets under way Monday

Girls varsity play gets under way on March 12 as Bellevue travels to Bethel, North Kitsap visits Spanaway Lake, Issaquah takes on Eastside Catholic and Overlake visits Mercer Island. Girls state champion Bainbridge opens against Issaquah on March 14 at Bainbridge Stadium.

North Kitsap’s roster includes players from China, Colombia and Spain who are studying either at Kingston, North Kitsap, or West Sound Academy. The team  was assisted by Division II Second Team goalie Val Kranich, who’s a junior this year.  A number of changes are in place for the 2012 season, with seven new boys and girls high school teams among the 157 now available to students attending nearly 200 high schools in the state.

In boys play, Division II varsity has realigned into six regional conferences. In girls play, the two traditional varsity divisions have consolidated into one varsity league with five divisions.  The spring season concludes with the girls state championships May 19 at Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish, and the boys state championships May 26 at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.  Complete boys and girls high school varsity and junior varsity schedules are available at www.WashingtonHSLAX.com

 

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