The Midwest Region preview, presented by LaxRecords.com features a four-part series. Part two looks at some of the big themes around the region.
We’re Talking About Playoffs
The post-season was a topic of much debate in Michigan and Illinois last season and it is likely to be once again with the state’s applying a big-sport model to handle the growth of lacrosse.
Indiana is going to a two-class system for the first time. A state that has been dominated by Carmel (Ind.) and Cathedral (Ind.) during the last decade will have Class 2A and 1A. Carmel and Cathedral along with the 2018 state champion Hamilton-SouthEastern (Ind.) and runner-up Culver Academy (varsity) will all compete in 2A. Every team that has won a state title in Indiana since 2002 are all in Class 2A this season. The last time a team that is now in Class 1A won a title was Park Tudor (Ind.) in 2001.
In Illinois, New Trier (Ill.) won it all last season, but Loyola Academy won it in 2018. The new region layout forced the rivals to meet in the region final last season in what many considered to be the de facto state title game. That layout is unchanged this season, which does leave the door open for another team to step into the title game, likely against either New Trier or Loyola Academy. Warren (Ill.) did it last season.
Cathedral (Ind.) missed making the title game only twice in the last decade. The new decade begins with the Irish as defending champions. The last time they won one, they repeated in 2016 and 2017.
Brother Rice (Mich.) seemed to play with a purpose last season after not winning a title in 2018. That was the first time the Warriors had not won a title since 2002. Brother Rice is loaded this season, but Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.) brings back a solid team and should contend after winning that 2018 championship.
Shawnee Mission East (Ks.) has won back-to-back state titles and is looking for its third three-peat in program history. SME won three consecutive titles from 2011 to 2013.
Lucky No. 7
MICDS (Mo.) dominated the last decade, winning every Division I state championship since 2014. The Rams have been stellar under Head Coach Andy Kay who could get his seventh championship and break a tie for the No. 1 spot among coaches. Mike Sennett from DeSmet Jesuit (Mo.) and Kay both have six championships in their career, which is the most in state history. MICDS is also looking for its seventh-straight state title this season. The Rams outscored its opponents 354-86 last season en route to an 18-1 year. Their only loss was to St. Ignatius (Ohio).
Chaminade Julienne (Ohio) went 9-10 under first-year head coach Jason Dembiczak. Prior to Dembiczak’s arrival, the team had not won more than three games in a season for the previous five years. Chaminade returns 18 players to the roster and gets back John Banks who missed last season due to an ACL/MCL injury.
Oregon Clay (Ohio) enters its third year as a program and is coming off a 10-9 season. Fifteen players return to the lineup, including nine starters.