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This week's high school lacrosse notebook features coaching changes around the country and some pros and cons of state sanctioning.
We may be farther away from the start of the 2020 season than from the end of the 2019 high school lacrosse season, but that does not mean there is no news happening around the country.
Here’s the latest.
Got a news update to share? Email Mike Loveday.
Championship Coach Departs
Dublin Coffman (Ohio) is coming off its first state championship after going 21-1 last season, but if the Shamrocks repeat in 2020 it will be with a new head coach.
Shane Comisford announced he is stepping down as head coach after three seasons.
"The time commitment and dedication is why I'm stepping back," Comisford told ThisWeekSports.com. "Working 70 hours a week at my job and adding an additional 30 plus with practice, watching film, game planning, etc., can become a lot. I didn't feel I could continue giving it 110 percent, and anything less isn't fair to the boys."
Comisford went 60-7 in three seasons as head coach. He led the Shamrocks to at least a share of the division title in each of his three seasons.
First reported byFloridaLacrosseNews.com, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) is reclassifying 10 spring sports, including lacrosse for the upcoming season.
The FHSAA is splitting lacrosse into two classifications based on student enrollment.
Under the old system only the district champion from each of the 32 districts advanced to the postseason. Now, there are 16 districts in the new Class 1A and 16 more in Class 2A. The district champion and runner-up will advance to the regional playoffs.
Lee Roggenburg has a good breakdown of the new alignments in this story. There will be 16 districts in each classification, and the winner of each district will move on to the FHSAA tournament.
The reclassification has been hotly debated as it is based on enrollment and does not exclude private schools, which are generally smaller in enrollment than public schools but can have a more concentrated talent pool for specific sports.
St. Andrew's (Fla.) and Oxbridge Academy (Fla.) will both be in Class 1A and in the same district. Defending state champion Ponte Vedra (Fla.) will be in Class 2A.
Syracuse Legend Heads to Florida
Tom Marechek, a four-time NCAA All-American at Syracuse, US Lacrosse Hall of Fame and former National Lacrosse League player, is joining IMG Academy (Fla.) as its Director of Lacrosse.
In his role, Marechek will oversee all aspects of the IMG Academy lacrosse program for boarding school, camps, professional player training and events.
"It's exciting to join a school as world-renowned as IMG Academy," Marechek stated via an IMG Academy press release. "As a former player and now a coach, this is a unique opportunity to combine cutting-edge resources, education, and one of the most diverse student-bodies in the world to build something really special in lacrosse."
Marechek has coached at the high school level at McDonogh (Md.), Glenelg Country (Md.) and Friends School (Md.).
New Page for Vanterpool
Ira Vanterpool was named the new head coach at Page (N.C.) in early July. Vanterpool was the head coach at Grimsley (N.C.) last season.
As a college lacrosse player, Vanterpool won an NCAA National Championship with Syracuse in 1995 and was a Team Captain in 1998.
Vanterpool has compiled an 80-77 record since 2012, coaching at Greensboro Day (N.C.) and Grimsley (N.C.).
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Deserted in the Desert
Utah sanctioned lacrosse for the 2019-2020 season, but for some schools and players the transition is not going smooth.
The Deseret News has an article on Miles Watkins and Bryndon Cabreros who anticipated playing together for their senior year. But not all districts have decided to become sanctioned for the upcoming season.
"I thought we were going to have the first official Spanish Fork High School team," Cabreros told the Deseret News. "It was kind of a shocking turn of events when we found out our district won't sanction until 20-21 or 21-22 season. My graduating class is definitely really bummed. But we're fighting."
They can play in club leagues that will have far fewer teams and require a lot more travel, or they can use the state's co-op rule to play for another high school. In order to "co-op," student-athletes have to withdraw from the school they are attending and enroll in the school that offers the sport they want to play. If they make the team, they're eligible to play, and then after the sport season ends, they withdraw from that school and return to the school they were previously attending.
For seniors, it would mean attending another school the last half of their senior year.
Championships Come to Southern California
The CIF-Southern Section announced it will hold its inaugural CIF-Southern Section championships in the 2020 season. This will be the first official Southern Section championship held by the CIF.
Although lacrosse has been a part of the CIF-SS for a while now, the reason for the creation of division championships is due to the fact that at least 20% of the section's members must offer the sport. … The CIF-SS will announce how many divisions there will be this upcoming season, sometime before the end of summer, distributing the 104 boys teams and 94 girls teams into a number of divisions.
New Jersey Legend Retires
Allen Fitzpatrick was the head coach at Lawrenceville (N.J.) for 20 years, winning 290 games in that span.
Fitzpatrick announced his retirement in June.
He led Lawrenceville to 15 NJISAA Prep titles, which included an undefeated season in 2008 (20-0).
Josh Frechette was named the new head boys lacrosse coach and will begin during the 2020 season.
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