(Photo Courtesy of Montgomery Bell Lacrosse)
It’s January, which means lacrosse season is right around the corner. In the many southern states, the high school lacrosse season is a month away or sooner, especially this year.
The high school season in Tennessee usually gets underway the last week of February/first week of March. That looks to be the case again this season with teams currently scheduled to play games then.
With the high school season just right around the corner, here are a few superlatives from around the Volunteer State heading into the 2021 spring season:
Team Most Likely to Win a State Title:
The TSLA Private DI league is pretty wide open this spring. Christian Brothers, McCallie, Montgomery Bell, and Memphis University School all have the talent to take home the crown in 2021 and could be argued as the favorite heading into the season.
While they do lose some strong talent to graduation, most notably attackman Stephen Avery (Denver), I’m going to go with Montgomery Bell in this spot. Playing a schedule that features regional powers such as Trinity (Ky.) and St. Xavier (Ky.), and national power Culver (Ind.), who they will play at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., the Big Red will be lead by a pretty strong offense. Senior attackman Stokes Myers (Gettysburg commit) and midfielder Luke Mryncza (VMI signee), who each recorded double-digit point totals and were top-three scorers last season, are their top two returners from last years’s squad that went 2-2 before things were shut down.
Team To Watch:
After being the runner-up in the TSLA Private DI league in 2019 and starting strong with a 3-0 record when the 2020 season was cut short, Christian Brothers out of Memphis has, perhaps, the most upside of any team across the state.
The Purple Wave are led by an impressive attack unit, which features junior Will Simonton. One of the best offensive players in the state, he led the team in points with 18 (8G/10A) last season. The Purple Wave attack unit also features seniors Nick Sellers and Nick Quarles. Their defense is highlighted by a juniors Sam Wallace and Dudley Knowlton, and senior Willy Huffman at close. Sophomore Ben Willis will anchor things in cage after a stellar freshman season in which he posted a 79% save percentage.
Top Offensive Player:
Midfielder Edwin Shy (North Carolina signee) has and will be the leader of the Memphis University School offense this season. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior midfielder, who was asl the Owls’ starting quarterback in football, has all the tools you want in an offensive player. He is a strong dodger, very good off-ball, has a very good IQ, and brings those quarterback intangibles over to the lacrosse field.
Top Defensive Player:
Senior defenseman Quinn Fitzsimmons (Colgate commit) will be the leader of this McCallie Blue Tornado defense in 2021. In two games last season, Fitzsimmons scooped up five ground balls and recorded eight caused turnovers. He should be even more productive and disruptive as one of the leaders of a talented defensive unit in 2021.
This spot is reserved for either a faceoff man or a goalie. And with this one we’re going to go with Collierville junior faceoff man Eli Grizzard (Jacksonville commit). Grizzard has been one of the most productive guys at the dot in the Volunteer State the past two seasons, going 216-for-331 (65%) in 2019 and 57-for-75 (76%) during the shortened 2020 season. He will be an X-factor for a strong Collierville team with TSLA Public DI title hopes this season.