New look for WHSBLA in 2013
A new year and a new look for the WHSBLA. In addition to the usual up and down movement between divisions as evidenced by last year’s DII champion Snohomish making the move to DI and only Stadium moving to DII. This year there are two new elements for boys’ high school lacrosse. One is the alignment of the conglomeration programs with a specific high school and the other is the continuing expansion of the WHSBLA into Vancouver and now into the Spokane area. One of the points of emphasis with the WHSBLA this year was the team alignment with a specific high school.
So gone are the general area monikers, at least on the official schedule and on the score sheet, of teams such as Lake Tapps, Mukilteo, Northshore and North County, to name a few and in with team names such as Auburn Riverside, Kamiak, Bothell-Inglemoor and Lynden. Some programs might be initially upset by the change and feel that an existing relationship with the high school administrators could be damaged. However, all thirteen of these teams affected by the shift in policy can still use their same game jerseys and ultimately the same name within the program but the WSHBLA will use the high school name as the official name. Why the shift?
The WHSBLA Board states a few reasons for the update. Ultimately, it will help with the number of All American nominations granted by US Lacrosse. Teams that are not affiliated with a specific high school cannot be reported on LaxPower and other national ranking sites because they are considered a ‘regional’ team. In addition, many of the local media outlets will not report game scores unless the program is listed as a high school. And finally, this is another step in staying consistent with other leagues as well as the WIAA.
The goal is to have lacrosse programs at just about every high school in the state and just as a decade ago we watched the Eastside Ravens LC morph into multiple programs such as Issaquah, Eastlake, Northshore and Redmond which in turn some have split and split again to the point where there are now close to one hundred youth teams on the eastside (GELL) alone. It’s all good.
Along that theme, the second thing that you might have noticed with the release of the new schedule (www.whsbla.org) was the expansion of teams into Spokane and Vancouver, Washington. The King’s Way program has spawned two new programs this year as Camas (Camas and Washougal School Districts) and Union (Evergreen School District) will join the newly created DII Central-South conference which also includes Selah and Richland (formerly Three Rivers). Also new to the WHSBLA for the 2013 season are four, yes four teams from the Spokane area. In addition to Gonzaga Prep, Ferris-Lewis & Clark, Mead-Mt. Spokane and University-Central Valley will all compete with Wenatchee in the Eastern conference of DII.
If you are keeping score at home that brings the total number of teams competing in DII to 38 while the DI ranks remain at 20 teams.
Here is a look at each division and the conferences:
King East King West
Issaquah Bothell-Inglemoor (Northshore)
Skyline Lake Washington
Snohomish Mercer Island
Metro South Sound
Bainbridge Auburn Riverside (Lake Tapps)
Bellermine Prep Curtis
Eastside Catholic Emerald Ridge-Puyallup
Kamiak (Mukilteo) King’s Way
Burlington Edison (Skagit Valley) Everett
Friday Harbor (San Juan) Meadowdale (Edmonds)
Lynden (North County) Monroe
Providence Shorecrest (LFP-Shoreline)
Sehome-Ferndale (Whatcom) Stanwood
Liberty Kennedy Catholic
Mt. Si Nathan Hale
Roosevelt Seattle Prep
North Kitsap Richland (Three Rivers)
Peninsula-Gig Harbor Selah
Port Angeles Union
Ferris-Lewis & Clark
Mead -Mt. Spokane