(Trinity’s Gavin Noland evades a St. Xavier defender. | Photo Credit: Chad Waggoner)
On Wednesday night at 7 pm, the biggest high school rivalry in the nation heads to the lacrosse field as Trinity (Ky.) takes the 14-minute trek from Shelbyville Road to Poplar Level Road to take on St. Xavier (Ky.) in what is annually the most anticipated high school lacrosse game in the state of Kentucky.
Setting The Stage:
The host Tigers come into the contest with a 3-1 record and coming off a 15-5 win against Springboro (Ohio) last Saturday. St. Xavier’s lone loss came to national power Culver Prep (Ind.), whom they fell to in a hard-fourth 8-5 contest in their season opener. The Shamrock of Trinity comes into the contest sporting a 3-2 record and coming off an 11-5 win over Eastern (Ky.) on Sunday. The Rocks’ two losses have come against Montgomery Bell (Tenn.), 9-8, in their season opener and against Jesuit Dallas (Texas), 10-2, in their second game of the season.
These two bitter, arch-rivals have met annually since the inception of each program, and both coaches, St. Xavier’s Scott Howe and Trinity’s Pete Schroder are renown as “founding fathers” of lacrosse in Kentucky. The Tigers and Shamrocks have met in six of the seven KSLL state title games with St. Xavier winning four of those meetings. Prior to Louisville and Oldham County teams playing in a separate league, the two met in seven state title games from 2002-2012. Howe and the Tigers have a state-best 12 state titles while Schroder and the Shamrocks sit behind them with six. St. Xavier has won the past two KSLL state titles (2018,2019).
Coming into Wednesday night’s contest, St. Xavier ranks first and Trinity second in the most recent Kentucky Lacrosse News Top 10. They have held those positions since the preseason.
Players to Watch:
Ben Hubbs, Attack (Bellarmine signee): The lefty senior attackman has been one of the Tigers’ top offensive weapons over the past few seasons and is one of the best pure-bred shooters in the state. He has cashed in 11 goals through the first four games of the season.
Jackson Campisano, D/LSM: The sophomore might be the best athlete currently grazing the lacrosse field in the Bluegrass State. He has seemingly made an impact on both ends of the fields for the Tigers this season. He especially shined defensively against Culver, matching up with Duke midfield signee Jackson Gray multiple times and taking his cookies.
Gavin Noland, Attack (Bellarmine signee): Noland has been the face of the Trinity offense for multiple years now. He causes problems for defenses in a multitude of ways and started the year off with a bang, scoring five goals in the Rocks’ opener against Montgomery Bell.
Stone Wilmes, Defense: Wilmes has often looked like the best pole on the field for Trinity this season, consistently taking the opponent’s top offensive threat and being able to neutralize his matchup multiple possessions in a row. Look for him to be one of the more impactful players on the back end for the Rocks again this contest.
How to Watch:
If you can’t attend the game, which is subject to fan limits, you can view the game on the NFHS Network.