When the Rockledge High girls lacrosse team went on the road last year and won an FHSAA playoff game, it may have been a surprise to statewide observers of the sport.
It likely was less of a suprise to the Raiders themselves. Despite only four years in existence as a program, they’ve now won back-to-back district titles and haven’t lost to a Brevard County opponent in more than two years.
The challenge for Rockledge before this year was that Vero Beach, the only program to ever win a girls state championship in Florida, was an early opponent on the bracket. That is no longer the case. Rockledge, the District 12 winner, begins play Friday at Timber Creek, champion of District 11, at 7 p.m.
“I expect it to be a good game, but I also expect that it’s a winnable game,” coach Paul Johnson said on Wednesday. He had just watched five of his players sign college scholarship papers, and more could do so in the near future.
The two boys teams from Brevard in FHSAA postseason play will meet each other. District 22 champion Melbourne Central Catholic will visit District 21 winner Viera at 7.
The Rockledge girls wouldn’t meet Vero Beach until the state title game, though Johnson warned there may be more dangerous girls teams this season. He is optimistic Rockledge can make its longest run ever in the postseason this year.
“It’s well within our skill set to do so,” he said. “This core group has the experience to settle down and play like they know how to play.”
College signings continue
Brevard athletes continued to sign with colleges on Thursday, the second day of the NCAA’s spring signing period.
Two Palm Bay basketball players signed papers in the afternoon. Alyssa Laudato with the College of St. Mary’s in Omaha, Neb. The guard averaged 11.6 points and shot 56 percent from the field.
Latrell Talley, who averaged a double-double for the Pirates at 11 points and 10 rebounds, will move across town to Eastern Florida State College.
A Melbourne High graduate, Abdul Sarki, signed from Daytona State College to join Charleston Southern’s Division I basketball program. He was part of the 2014 Bulldogs team that made the program’s first state tournament experience.
Isaiah Lopez, and all-Cape Coast Conference boys soccer player from Titusville High, signed on Wednesday with the University of West Florida.
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @Brian_McCallum on Twitter and at facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum.