Before we get to the weekend and the opening of college play — my calendar shows a couple of local MCLA games and at least one scrimmage (more on those later) — I wanted to highlight a couple of other teams from last weekend’s Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival.
Corona del Mar: Kings Lax Blue
Corona del Mar, last year’s U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section champion, lost four first-team all-county players — including two all-americans, one of whom was the county player of the year — among other graduation losses, but there’s still plenty of talent in the program. It just might take a bit more time to pull it all together.
The Kings Lax Blue squad, essentially the Corona del Mar varsity, went 2-2-1 in the elite division, posting wins against Propel out of Poway HS, 10-7, and Golden Eagles out of Santa Margarita Catholic, 9-2. The losses came in Saturday’s first game, 5-4 to eventual elite runner-up Mission Red out of San Diego’s Cathedral Catholic, and Sunday’s last game, 17-4 to West Coast FCA Orange. The tie was 6-6 with Blue Chip NorCal-East Bay.
One thing is certain: CdM will have an excellent attack line, with seniors Jack Ortlieb, an all-american last year who has committed to Holy Cross (where his goalie brother is a freshman), and Casey Mix, named first-team all-county last year by OCVarsity.com. The defense also looked solid last weekend — that 17-4 loss notwithstanding — with some younger poles stepping up and demonstrating good footwork and stick work.
The Sea Kings open their season with a scrimmage at Palos Verdes on Feb. 23, then the regular-season opener March 8 at Sage Hill School in Newport Beach.
Tri-Valley 9/10 wins its division
Though I didn’t get a chance to see Tri-Valley 9/10 play, I wanted to mention them because the team was a collaboration between two Conejo Valley clubs that have been around for a while — LA Mavericks and Silverfin. According to a post on Silverfin’s site, the same 9/10 roster took second place at the Adrenaline Lax Vegas tournament in early December.
At Sand Storm, Tri-Valley went 5-0 in pool play with impressive wins over DH Lions out of San Juan Capistrano, Propel out of Poway and Golden Gate Red from the Bay Area, then beat Golden Gate again for the title. Those were Golden Gate’s only two losses on the weekend.
Coached by Viewpoint School head coach Mike Delabar, Tri-Valley was made up of players from four high schools in the Conejo and San Fernando Valleys, according to the Silverfin post.
Mavericks and Silverfin each had individual teams entered in younger age groups, as well. In the Grade 7/8 Division, LA Mavericks #1 went 3-2 in its pool, while Mavericks #2 struggled and finished 0-5. Silverfin 7/8 Red was 1-4 in pool play. In the Grade 5/6 Division, LA Mavericks went 2-3 in its pool, while Silverfin Red went 2-2-1.
Another local club, Leverage Lacrosse out of Manhattan Beach, won its Grade 5/6 pool at 5-0 before falling in the title game 7-1 to 3d Select.
Regarding those MCLA games …
The local college season gets under way this weekend for a number of teams. For young players and parents who want to understand what the next level looks like, these games are a great opportunity. The Southland has a couple of clubs that should content for berths in the MCLA national tournaments — Division I and II — as well as clubs still looking for an identity. Either way, it’s college lacrosse, and it’s in the neighborhood, and it’s free.
Here are the games on tap this weekend (if I missed something, let me know):
• Pepperdine at Channel Islands, 1 p.m.
• Concordia-Irvine at UCLA, scrimmage, 1 p.m.
• USC at UC Santa Barbara, 2 p.m.
• UC Irvine at Cal State San Marcos, 2 p.m.
• Cal State San Marcos at Marymount College (Palos Verdes), 2 p.m.
High school practices get under way in earnest in about 10 days. Get out this weekend and watch some college guys, or go hit the wall. The season is here.