Local Teams Crack National Preseason Rankings
The talent pool of high school lacrosse players in Maryland and Washington, D.C., is among the deepest in the nation.
That reputation is reflected in the preseason national polls.
Teams from Baltimore's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference and Washington's Interstate Athletic Conference are well represented in both the Nike/ Lacrosse Magazine Preseason High School Boys' Top 25 and Under Armour/ Inside Lacrosse poll. The picture for national supremacy will become clearer as the season progresses because many of the teams will battle head to head.
In the Nike/ Lacrosse Magazine poll, Landon in Bethesda, Md., is ranked second behind Haverford (Pa). Gonzaga earned the No. 4 spot, while St. Paul's School is ranked sixth, followed by McDonogh. Calvert Hall is the No. 13 team, with Boys' Latin just one spot behind. Loyola Blakefield is ranked No. 21, while Georgetown Prep and Bullis round out the poll at Nos. 24 and 25, respectively.
In the Under Armour/ Inside Lacrosse poll, Landon is ranked third, followed by Gonzaga (No. 5), McDonogh (No. 8), Georgetown Prep (No. 17), Bullis (No. 19) and Boys' Latin (No. 22). Haverford is also the top-ranked team in that poll.
St. Paul's, McDonogh, Calvert Hall and Boys' Latin compete in the MIAA, and those teams will meet at least once this season. The same goes for Landon, Georgetown Prep and Bullis in the IAC. Gonzaga plays in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
Notable nonconference games:
March 15: Loyola Blakefield at Haverford
March 10: McDonogh at Gonzaga
March 12: St. Paul's vs. Haverford
March 22: Loyola Blakefield at Landon
March 24: McDonogh at Bullis
March 29: Boys' Latin at Gonzaga
April 1: Georgetown Prep at Gonzaga
April 1: Bullis vs. Boys' Latin *
April 1: Calvert Hall vs. Conestoga (Pa.)*
April 12: Gonzaga at Landon
April 29: Landon at Georgetown Prep
* PNC Lacrosse Invitational at Loyola's Ridley Athletic Complex.
On the girls' side, McDonogh is the overwhelming top-ranked team and carries a record 133-game winning streak into the season. The Eagles have won the past seven Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland Conference A championships. Other IAAM teams in the Nike/ Lacrosse Magazine Preseason High School Girls' Top 25 poll are Roland Park (No. 17) and Archbishop Spalding (No. 22). Manchester Valley in Carroll County, Md., is ranked 21st. Representing the WCAC is Good Counsel at No. 3, while Georgetown Visitation, which competes in the Independent School League, rounds out the poll at No. 25.
Notable nonconference games:
April 11: Good Counsel at Roland Park
April 25: Good Counsel at McDonogh
For the complete polls, check out the full article here.
PNC Lacrosse Spotlight: McDonogh Boys' Senior Attackman Jackson Morrill
Jackson Morrill is a four-year varsity player and captain for the Eagles this season. He has been ranked among the best attackman nationally since his freshman year at McDonogh. A stellar student, Morrill has committed to Yale. His older brother, Zeke (Gilman), is a sophomore attackman at Georgetown.
PressBox: Who was your biggest influence with lacrosse growing up?
Jackson Morrill: The two most influential people for me have been my dad and my older brother, Zeke. I never truly appreciated my dad's vast knowledge of the game until I was much older and could then understand how much it impacted me as a kid. Growing up, going to Zeke's games and picking up little mannerisms and tricks that he used was invaluable.
PB: What are the biggest challenges of playing in such a tough league like the MIAA A Conference? What does McDonogh have to do better to win the title this season?
JM: The biggest challenge is definitely that there are no games off in this league. Also, it's a challenge because the Baltimore lacrosse community is so close that everyone is familiar with each other and their tendencies. An improvement from last year will be staying the course for the duration of the season and understanding while a win in March is important, wins in May are truly the ultimate goal.
PB: What type of leadership responsibility comes with being named captain?
JM: For the captains and seniors, the biggest challenge will be making sure every member of the team is ready for every practice and game while keeping in mind that the underclassmen are watching everything we do.
For more from Morrill, including how he balances academics and athletics and the lessons from McDonogh he'll take with him to Yale, check out the full interview here.
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