The West Region preview, presented by LaxRecords.com features a four-part series. Part two takes a look at some of the overarching storylines.
Repeat champions are the word out West this season. Several states boast teams that are looking for their third title in a row.
Torrey Pines (Calif.) has continually taken steps to be considered not only one of the best teams in the West Region, but one of the best teams in the nation. Their schedule pits them against some of the best teams in the West and rivals last season when they went 20-2. The Falcons have won the last two San Diego CIF Open titles and have gone 39-3 in that span.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal (Calif.) has won three-straight Orange County CIF titles, but with a new division alignment, the Tartans will look to repeat as Southern CIF champions.
Eastlake (Wash.) and O’Dea (Wash.) are looking to do something no Washington team has done since Bellevue (Wash.) - win three straight titles. Bellevue won three-straight from 2016 to 2018. The first of those was when the state had two divisions (1 and 2). Since they split into four divisions in 2017, Eastlake and O’Dea have dominated. Eastlake has won the last two Class 4A titles and O’Dea has taken back-to-back Private School championships.
Utah’s Park City (Utah) is also seeking a third-straight title in Class A. Palo Verde (Nev.) went 20-6 last season en route to its second consecutive title. Head Coach Gary Campo is going for his third this year. Arizona’s Notre Dame Prep (Ariz.) is going for its fourth-straight this season.
Colorado will be fun to watch this season to see if the yearly swapping of teams among Class 5A continues. No team has won back-to-back titles since Arapahoe (Colo.) won in 2012 and 2013. Since 2014, Cherry Creek (Colo.) and Regis Jesuit (Colo.) have traded years. Regis Jesuit has won in even-numbered years and Cherry Creek has won the odds. The Class 4A title has gone to a different team in each of the last three seasons with Golden (Colo.) winning it last year.
The 2020 season in California marks the first year of the sanctioned CIF-Southern Section playoffs, which will be divided into a three-division playoff system. The divisions should allow for some developing levels of lacrosse to also have competitive playoffs. The new framework also combines Los Angeles and Orange County into the same playoff system from the opening rounds.
Duke City LC (N.M.) enters the year with the longest winning streak in the West at 41 games. The Scorpions have won three straight championships.
Big Names, New Places
Jimmy Borell is taking over as head coach at Loyola-Los Angeles (Calif.). The Cubs have gone 56-15 over the last three seasons and won three LA/Ventura and two Southern CIF titles in that time. Borell was the head coach at Palos Verdes (Calif.) since 2011 and compiled a 159-39 record. Owen Gaffney (Harvard) is one of the state’s best midfielders. Alex Horowitz (Bates) and Shane McAusland (Tufts) also return.