SEATTLE – The high school lacrosse season for boys and girls in Washington state gets underway in early March with the addition of seven new school teams in Gig Harbor, Spokane and Vancouver.
This spring's expansion marks the first time in the four decades of high school lacrosse in Washington state that seven varsity teams have been added in a single season in boys or girls play.
“The demand for lacrosse participation opportunities in our high schools continues to expand for boys and girls – specifically in Eastern Washington,” said Dave Low, President of the Washington State Chapter of US Lacrosse.
Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools, which have fielded a combined boys varsity team since 2010, will elevate its girls junior varsity team to varsity play in 2013 to round-out the new additions.
In Spokane, Gonzaga Prep and Lewis & Clark High School, along with combined programs at University-Ferris High Schools, and Mt. Spokane-Mead High Schools will begin Washington state play for the first time in 2013. Gonzaga Prep and University-Ferris have had established teams playing neighboring Idaho high schools throughout the past decade.
With the addition of the Inland Empire schools, a total of eight individual boys and girls Eastern Washington high school teams from Spokane, Wenatchee, Selah and Tri Cities will see prep lacrosse action in the spring.
In the Vancouver area, Camas High School and Union High School will also begin play this spring. The two boys teams join King’s Way High School along with a girl’s team at Evergreen High School to round-out lacrosse play in SW Washington.
“As a sport, we are thrilled with the acceptance of lacrosse in Spokane, Camas and Gig Harbor schools,” said Low. “As lacrosse continues its unprecedented growth at the youth and high school levels in Washington state, US Lacrosse is committed to working side-by-side with local schools to help them accommodate their students’ interest in playing the sport on campus,” he said.
Since 2010, US Lacrosse along with the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association and the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association has facilitated the start-up of 23 new high school lacrosse teams (16 boys and seven girls) throughout Washington state, bringing the 2013 season total to 166 individual boys and girls high school teams. At the high school level, lacrosse has expanded at a double-digit average annual growth rate over the past decade with 4,000 student-athletes attending some 200 WIAA schools playing the sport.
In 2013, as a means to more accurately reflect the interest of high school students playing lacrosse for their school sponsored or school club teams, all boys high school teams in Washington state will directly reflect the name of the individual schools of their student-athletes. Girls teams representing multiple high schools will continue to be referenced by their club name.
The complete 2013 Washington State High School schedule for boys and girls lacrosse is available at www.WashingtonHSLAX.com.