2023 Southern High School Lacrosse Preview

(Photo Courtesy of Luck Beckham Lacrosse/Steve Stack Images)

Across the South, the high school lacrosse season is right around the corner with practice in some states beginning in less than a week and regular season play being in a little over a moth, or sooner.

Here is a look at some of the top storylines, teams, and players to watch across the South during the 2023 high school lacrosse season.

Top Storylines

Lucy Beckham’s Continued Rise

Four years ago, there was no Lucy Beckham High School. But since the Mt. Pleasant-based school opened in the fall of 2020, the Bengals’ lacrosse program has been in a perpetual state of ascension. The Bengals went 12-3 and ended its first season(2021) with a loss to Oceanside Collegiate in the South Carolina 4A state tournament. Parker Ferrigan’s squad would follow up with a more than stellar second season last spring, going 18-1 and coming out on top as 4A champions with a 10-8 victory over Christ Church Episcopal in the state title game. The Bengals’ lone loss came against St. Joseph Regional (N.J.).

Being a newer school, most of the Bengals’ have been very young with little to no upperclassmen on the roster each of the past few seasons. Now, heading into year three, that talent has grown up.

Junior defenseman Garrett Coombs (Saint Joseph’s Commit) headlines this team as its top pole. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound defender plays alongside his older brother, Connor (Wingate signee), on the backend for the Bengals. Junior Ryan Weis anchors things in cage and is coming off a sophomore campaign in which he made 134 saves with a 66.3% save percentage. Junior Flynn Wilson (Sacred Heart commit) is the top returner at the faceoff dot after going 73% a season ago while senior Grant Bushey (32G/24A) is a top returner on offense, along with juniors Austin Constable (Binghamton commit)and Ryan McCarthy. Each put up 30-plus goals last seaon.

Champions Rebuilding?

St. Andrew’s (Fla.) won the FHSAA 1A title last spring while up the the Tar Heel State Middle Creek (N.C.) took home the NCHSAA 4A title. Both teams lose significant pieces from last season and it will be very interesting as to how these squads reload at those spots.

The Scots lose their top pole in LSM Sean Jordan (Harvard) and starting goalie Gunnar Schwarz (Navy). The pair helped lead what was one of the best defenses in the Sunshine State each of the past two seasons. Some of St. Andrew’s top returners include senior attackman Jack Schulte (Air Force signee) and junior defenseman Dom Deering (Merrimack commit).

Middle Creek loses two of its top scorers from a year ago in Tate Jones (Ohio State) and Breyden Harrison (Jacksonville). Seniors Collin Patrick (Marist signee) and James Cardillo (Washington & Lee commit) are the Mustangs’ top returners on that end of the field.

Much of the same can be said for Jesuit Dallas (Texas) who is coming off a THSLL title and must replace its starting goalie in Connor Knight (Richmond) and leading attackman McAllister Hobbs (Penn State), as well as faceoff man Will Reading (Babson). Junior A/M Beckett Foley and senior goalie Cooper Coleman (Jacksonville signee) help headline the Rangers’ returnee.

A Five-Peat in The Bluegrass?

The St. Xavier (Ky.) Tigers have racked up more state champions than any other program in Kentucky with 15. Four of those tiles have come in the past four full seasons with the Tigers winning it all in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022. The Tigers beat archrival Trinity in each of those state championship games.

Headlined by a trio of DI commits in senior LSM Jackson Campisano (Bellarmine signee), junior attackman Trevor Havill (Ohio State commit) and junior defenseman Ryder John (Towson commit), the Tigers will be looking to stay on top of the mountain in the Bluegrass state.

Shall the Tigers be knocked off, the defeat will likely come from the Trinity Shamrocks. An 11-9 state title win in 2017 and 8-6 regular season win the following season are the last two wins Trinity has over its archrival. They are also the last two victories another Kentucky team has had over the Tigers.

Roswell’s Year in Georgia?

Since the advent of classification in Georgia high school lacrosse, there have been two programs who have repeated as champions. Lambert completed such a feat last season and Roswell did so in back in 2014 and 2015. Since, however, the Hornets haven’t made it back to the state time game.

The Hornets enter the 2023 season coming off a year last spring in which they went 15-6 and fell to Buford in the 6A/7A Elite Eight in a 16-14 contest.

Roswell was a strong core coming back with seniors Hill Plunkett (Army signee) and Alex Lobel (Michigan signee). Senior faceoff man Myles Quandt (Towson signee), junior attackman Ezra Moore (Bellarmine commit), and senior defense Sam Coffee (Alabama-Huntsville signee) also help form what should be a solid core for this team that will looking to get back to the top of the mountain.

Other Teams to Watch

Beyond the already aforementioned teams, here is a look at a handful of other teams to watch this spring.

Mountain Brook (Ala.): Back-to-back Alabama State champions, the Spartans will be looking to got for the three-peat and its seventh overall state title this spring.

Bentonville (Ark.): The back-to-back Natural State champions will be looking to complete the three-peat in 2023.

Ponte Vedra (Fla.): Midfielder Maddox Johnson (Denver signee) headlines a talented roster that should be in the hunt for a state title. Senior LSM Luke Lowery (Dartmouth signee), junior pole Tanner Parlette (Stony Brook commit), and goalie Jack Pelot (Penn commit) also help highlight the Sharks’.

Jupiter (Fla.): Sophomore defenseman Connor O’Brein and faceoff man Dylan Furshman are just a few young players who will be contributing to this Warriors squad, along with veterans such as defenseman Parker Jahn (Lindenwood signee) and attackman Sean Myers.

Lambert (Ga.): A Peach State Power, the Longhorns will be searching for their third consecutive title and seventh in program history this spring. While Lambert does lose some talented pieces, the Longhorns should be expect to be as loaded as usual with seniors such as Chris Harper (Embry-Riddle Commit) leading the way and younger players such as Charlie Goldstein expected to also be in the mix.

Trinity (Ky.): The last in-state team to knock off St. Xavier, the Shamrocks will be looking to return to the top of the mountain in Kentucky this spring. Reigning All-State attackman Andrew Welch is a top returner for the Shamrocks along with junior midfielder Huck Campbell, faceoff man Canton Latham, and goalie Nick DeGrandi, among others.

Cannon School (N.C.): Headlined by a pair of North Carolina Tar Heels commits in Brayson and Brevin Wilson at the goalie and attack positions, the Cougars are coming off a 2022 campaign in which they went 18-2 and won the NCISAA title.

McCallie (Tenn.): The Blue Tornado reached the top of the mountain for the first time since 2015 last season, winning the TSLA DII AA (Private) state championship. It marked the program’s ninth overall. McCallie is headlined by junior attackman Zach Chari (Georgetown commit) on offense while Ethan Fisher (Monmouth commit) helps lead the defense/

Episcopal School Dallas (Texas): The Eagles came up short in an 11-10 defeat against Jesuit Dallas in the THSLL AA title game last spring. Headlined by junior A/M Sean Browne (Virginia commit), ESD will be looking to get back to the top of the mountain for the first time since 2019.

Top Players to Watch

Here is a look at some of the top players to watch across the region this spring:

Anderson Moore, Goalie, Briarwood Christian (Ala.), 2023 – Georgetown

Brayson “Goose” Wilson, Goalie, Cannon (N.C.), 2023 – North Carolina

Hill Plunkett, Attack, Roswell (Ga.), 2023 – Army West Point

Alex Lobel, Attack, Roswell (Ga.), 2023 – Michigan

Jordan Faison, Midfield, Pine Crest (Fla.), 2023 – Notre Dame

Karter Williams, Defense, Hough (N.C.), 2023 – Notre Dame

Maddox Johnson, Midfield, Ponte Vedra (Fla.), 2023 – Denver

Ben Abel, Goalie, Highland Park (Texas), 2023 – Loyola

Turner Ashby, Midfield, Plant (Fla.), 2023 – Air Force

James Canipe, Attack, Greater Atlanta Christian (Ga.), 2023 – Harvard

Jack Schulte, Attack, St. Andrew’s (Fla.), 2023 – Air Force

Troy Capstraw, Goalie, Daphne (Ala.), 2024 – Virginia

Sean Browne, Attack, Episcopal School Dallas (Texas), 2024 – Virginia

Caden Harshbarger, Midfield, Lake Mary (Fla.), 2024 – North Carolina 

Trevor Havill, Attack, St. Xavier (Ky.), 2024 – Ohio State

Ryder John, Defense, St. Xavier (Ky.), 2024 – Towson

Jackson Spells, Midfield, Green Level (N.C.), 2024 – Duke

Jack Ranson, Attack, Charlotte Catholic (N.C.), 2024 – Georgetown

Brevin Wilson, Attack, Cannon (N.C.), 2024 – North Carolina

Owen Lenox, Attack, Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 2024 – Rutgers

Colin Wade, Defense, Oxbridge (Fla.), 2024 – Rutgers

Garrett Coombs, Defense, Lucy Beckham (S.C.), 2024 – Saint Joseph’s


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