Defending state champ ESD enters as the favorite for the Texas High School Lacrosse League championship tournament this week. Ranked No. 1 in the state according to USA Today’s final, regular-season rankings, ESD overtook season-long, top-ranked Highland Park.
ESD is coming off a solid regional wins over Houston Kinkaid and Austin Westlake and meets powerful The Woodlands at 4 p.m. Saturday. Highland Park meets Allen in the other semifinals at 2 p.m. Saturday. All games are at Round Rock’s Dragon Stadium.
ESD has another talent laden roster led by speedy sophomore Duke commit Nakeie Montgomery, who scored six goals in a win over Jesuit two weeks ago.ESD senior midfielder Sam Romano (a Syracuse signee) anchors a returning nucleus of last year’s champs as well as several promising newcomers. Junior midfielder Adam Aaronowitz, freshman midfielder Patrick Skalniak and senior attackman Thomas Fitts give ESD the state’s most potent offense. ESD defeated Highland Park in the semifinals last year before defeating Jesuit in the final.
Highland Park has rallied after lackluster, late-season loss to Jesuit, which was ousted this past weekend by The Woodlands. Highland Park has a athletic, terrific defense led by junior goalie Colby Kneese and senior captain defender Cole Ogden. Highland Park is especially strong in midfield with captain Hugo Reisenbichler, speedy Kevin Ken and junior attacker Jackson Durham. Highland Park has won six Division I state championship but none since 2012 _ matching its longest drought since its first title in 2004. Highland Park is loaded with college talent including North Carolina sophomore commits Parker Alexander and Jack Kazmetsky and freshaman Cade Saustad to Virginia.
- M Case Carpenter North Carolina
- A Tyler Brock VMI
- M Jackson Durham Furman
- M Parker Alexander North Carolina
- M Jack Kazmetsky North Carolina
- A Owen Seebold Syracuse
- D Cade Saustad Virginia
- M Chris Buell Air Force
Allen and The Woodlands are representing the continued progress of suburban success in lacrosse as the other state semifinalists. Allen, led by Fairfield signee Adam Riestis and junior defender Kaegan Kumnick, defeated Kingwood and Austin Vandegrift while The Woodlands is coming off a 7-0 thumping of Jesuit.
The THSLL Division I final will be 1 p.m. Sunday in Round Rock.