(Photo Courtesy of Chad Waggoner/Trinity Athletic Photos)
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 Kentucky 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. However, do watch out for the Jefferson County Public Schools (Louisville), which play in the KSLL, to possibly be delayed. JCPS has been the most restrictive body in the state on high school sports and did postpone both fall and winter sports longer than anyone else.
With the high school season just right around the corner, here are a few superlatives from around the Bluegrass heading into the 2021 spring season:
Team Most Likely to Win a State Title:
Arch-rivals St. Xavier and Trinity hold the most state championships in the state with 13 and six. The two are always head and shoulders above everyone else in the state and can, essentially, be penciled in to the KSLL (Louisville) title game each season. Trinity last won the KSLL title in 2017 and St. Xavier has won it the two full seasons since. The Tigers were 4-0 when the 2020 season was cut short and looked poised to defend their title. Trinity was 3-1 with their only loss coming against Culver (Ind.), as expected.
Coming into 2021, Trinity features an offense headlined by senior attackman Gavin Noland (Bellarmine signee) and St. Xavier is headlined by an offense that features three DI commits in senior attackman Ben Hubbs (Bellarmine commit) and senior midfielders Hillis Burns (Air Force commit) and Scott Cimbalo (Fairfield commit).
Right now, you’d have to go with St. Xavier as the favorite. They just have known known commodities across the board then Trinity coming into the season. But there is no doubt that it will come down to those two for the KSLL.
Team To Watch:
Henry Clay, South Oldham, Tates Creek, and Fredrick Douglas are all certainly teams that have talent and could do some damage this season, and are teams to watch. However, we’re going to give some love to the defending CLL champions in this spot.
Henry Clay is the defending CLL (Lexington) champions, but there are some questions coming into the 2021 season led by first-year head coach William “Sport” Richmond.
The Blue Devils went 2-0 during the shortened 2020 season and only allowed eight combined goals in those two contests. But while defense has been their bread and butter over the past few seasons, they are highlighted this season by a stellar offense that features senior attackmen Colten Reynolds (Flagler commit) and Presley Richmond. Their defense is led by senior Luke Plummer (Flagler commit).
Hillis Burns, Benn Hubbs, and Gavin Noland are, without a doubt, the best offensive players in the Bluegrass. You really can make an argument for any of the three as not only being the best offensive player, but best player in general, in the state.
But since we’re just picking one here, we’re going to go with Burns. The midfielder is a dynamic offensive weapon and elite scorer. He tallied 125 points (84G/41A) during the last full season in 2019. Last season, he tallied 17 points (8G/9A) in the four games the Tigers played.
Top Underclassmen to Watch:
Paul Laurence Dunbar sophomore attackman/midfielder Jude Koura is arguably the best player in his class across the Bluegrass. At 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, Koura knows how to use his body, has a good lacrosse IQ, and is a strong dodger. Additionally, he can get it done as a feeder of shooter from just about anywhere on the field. He tallied 16 points (9G/7A) in four games last season as a freshman.
St. Xavier’s Jackson Campisano is in the same camp as one of the best players in the 2023 class across the state. The defenseman/LSM is long and one of the most athletic players not only in his class, but in Kentucky in general. He is a great ground ball and transition guy, and can also put the ball on the ground at an impressive rate and knows when and how to use his body.