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Ponte Vedra

Lake Mary (Fla.) Ascends to No. 1 in South; 4 New Teams in West Region

March 21, 2023
USA Lacrosse Magazine Staff
John Strohsacker

The first complete Nike/USA Lacrosse High School Boys’ National Top 25 rankings since the preseason will be revealed on March 28, but we take this week to look at a pair of regions that are well underway. Some in the South and West Regions are almost at the midway point with double-digit games under their belts. Both regions have seen significant movement with four previously unranked teams vaulting to prominence. 

The South Region has a new No. 1 with Lake Mary (Fla.) unbeaten through 10 games. Perennial contender St. Andrew’s (Fla.) checks in at No. 2, and Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) has moved up to No. 3 after a strong start. Ponte Vedra (Fla.) also has been good in the early going with one of two losses coming at the hands of Lake Mary. Westlake (Texas) rounds out the top five as the highest-ranked team out of the Lone Star State thanks to a historic win over Dallas Jesuit (Texas). St. Mark’s (Texas), Blessed Trinity (Ga.) and Jesuit (Fla.) all moved into the rankings as well.

St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.) retains its top billing in the West Region with an unbeaten start, though they have been tested particularly in a triple-overtime thriller over Torrey Pines (Calif.). Arapahoe, Legend and Mountain Vista are three Colorado teams in the top five after unbeaten starts with Legend making the biggest move thanks to a pair of wins over California teams. Another Colorado team, Valor Christian, will challenge Arapahoe and could climb with a win. De La Salle (Calif.) is in the final spot of the hotly contested Top 10 thanks to a pair of overtime wins amidst a tough schedule.


1. Lake Mary (Fla.), 10-0

The Rams are off to an unbeaten start, highlighted by wins over Ponte Vedra (Fla.) and IMG Academy (Fla.). The win over Ponte Vedra avenged last year’s playoff loss for the Rams. North Carolina recruit Caden Harshbarger is off to a hot start, providing a trick in Lake Mary’s win over Ponte Vedra. Previous: 9

2. St. Andrew’s (Fla.), 8-2

The Scots are off to an 8-2 start this year with wins so far over Jupiter (Fla.) and Pine Crest (Fla.). St. Andrew’s losses came against St. Edward’s (Fla.), and Boys Latin (Md.). Senior Jack Schulte has led the way with 22 goals. He has gotten a lot of help offensively from freshman Nick Testa who leads the team with 22 assists to go with 18 goals. Previous: 1

3. Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.), 6-1

The Crusaders’ only blemish so far this year was a 13-5 loss to McDonogh (Md.) on March 14. In their six wins, the Crusaders have won by margins of eight or more goals. Cardinal Gibbons have gotten balanced scoring with Ayden Turner, Justin Conly, Brady Dolan and Zach Kerner all in double figures for goals this season. Previous: 7

4. Ponte Vedra (Fla.), 9-2

After a 9-1 start, the Sharks entered spring break on a losing note by falling to vaunted Bullis (Md.) 14-2. The loss followed a 16-14 win at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) on March 10. Maddox Johnson scored eight goals in the road win. Ponte Vedra’s only other loss came against Lake Mary in overtime on February 18. Previous: 2

5. Westlake (Texas), 5-0

The Chaparrals have faced a tough schedule early in the year, but managed to win all five games. Among the key wins to start the year was the program’s first-ever win over Dallas Jesuit (Texas) on March 4. After over two weeks off, Westlake returns to play this week to take on another tough foe – Episcopal School of Dallas (Texas). Previous: NR

6. Roswell (Ga.), 11-0

The Hornets are off to a perfect start this season, having won every game by at least five goals. Roswell is outsourcing opposition 192-57 to start the season. Roswell’s attack has been led by seniors Alex Lobel and Hill Plunkett. Previous: 5

7. St. Mark’s (Texas), 6-1

The Lions are off to a strong start highlighted by an 11-8 victory over Dallas Jesuit (Texas) on March 8. Jake Park, who scored a pair against Dallas Jesuit, has played a key role in St. Mark’s offense before heading to Air Force next season. St. Mark’s only blemish was against Westlake (Texas) on March 25. Previous: NR

8. Dallas Jesuit (Texas), 4-4

The defending state champs looked like they picked up where they left off by winning their first four contests. But the squad has since lost four in a row, including losing for the first time ever to Westlake (Texas). Cameron Martin and Charlie Schmidt have led Jesuit’s offense, each scoring over a dozen times to start the season. Previous: 4

9. Blessed Trinity (Ga.), 11-0

The Titans are playing lacrosse akin to their perfect 24-0 season two years ago. Blessed Trinity is outsourcing opposition by a 144-68 margin. The highlight of Blessed Trinity’s season thus far is a 9-8 win over Lambert (Ga.) on February 17. Michael Read scored the go-ahead and game-winning goal to cap off a hat trick in the win over Lambert. Previous: NR

10. Jesuit (Fla.), 9-1

The Tigers are a goal away from having a perfect start to the season. Their only loss so far was an 11-10 heartbreaker against Lake Mary (Fla.). Jesuit has been led by freshman Cole Peck, who leads the team with 28 goals and 16 helpers. He scored four or more goals in four of his first six games. Previous: NR

— Justin Boggs


1. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), 6-0

The Wildcats avenged one of last season’s losses when they opened the season with a win over Loyola-Los Angeles (Calif.). They’ve won five more in a row since then, including a three-overtime victory Friday over Torrey Pines with seniors Tristan Ghosh (Yale) and Bruno Chapman (Loyola) connecting on the game-winner over another of the teams that beat them a year ago. Between those bookend wins have been victories over teams such as De La Salle (Calif.) and Dallas Jesuit (Texas). St. Ignatius will be challenged over the next week by a Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.) team just outside the Top 10 and No. 9 Jesuit Portland (Ore.). Previous: 1

2. Arapahoe (Colo.), 2-0

The Warriors should have a lot tougher tests ahead this week. Arapahoe outscored its first two opponents of the season by a combined 24-3 count. They face a couple of strong in-state opponents in Regis Jesuit (Colo.) on March 21 and No. 6 Valor Christian (Colo.) on March 24. Then, they go out of state for a big showdown at No. 3 Torrey Pines (Calif.) on March 28. Previous: 3

3. Torrey Pines (Calif.), 3-1

The Falcons moved up not solely by virtue of their wins, but because they gave top-ranked St. Ignatius its toughest test of the season. Torrey Pines took the top-ranked team to triple overtime before falling, 12-11, on March 18. Johns Hopkins commit Andrew Cook had 17 saves, while Rutgers-bound midfielder Matthew Mannarino scored three times and assisted on another score. He also had four ground balls. Blake Washburn and Jacob Mendez had five points apiece and James Duncan had a hat trick. The short stick defensive midfield unit of Ben Trask, SJ Dohrenwend and Joey Levenberg keyed the defensive efforts. Previous: 8

4. Legend (Colo.), 3-0

After a solid win over consistent Evergreen (Colo.), the Titans picked up a pair of big wins in California. They edged a pair of Top-10 foes in Mater Dei (Calif.) and St. Margaret’s Episcopal (Calif.) by identical 9-7 scores. Legend won seven of their final nine games last year. Previous: NR

5. Mountain Vista (Colo.), 3-0

The Golden Eagles haven’t had an early challenge while cruising by their first three opponents. Their closest contest was decided by nine goals. Mountain Vista should get a tougher game from Denver East (Colo.) on March 21. They don’t want to look too far ahead, but their first game of next month brings them Legend (Colo.). Previous: NR

6. Valor Christian (Colo.), 4-0

The Eagles have lined up a good one for the week against Arapahoe in a battle of unbeatens. Valor in succession took care of Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.), Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) and La Costa Canyon (Calif.). Valor allowed just 17 goals over those three games. Previous: NR

7. Mater Dei (Calif.), 6-1

The Monarchs have lost just once, and they have already won four one-goal games. Their latest one-goal win was over Memorial (Texas) after suffering a two-goal loss to Legend. They’ve also edged Palo Verde (Nevada) and Loyola-Los Angeles (Calif.) in tight early games. Previous: 4

8. St. Margaret’s Episcopal (Calif.), 6-1

The Tartans suffered their only loss of the year to Legend (Colo.). Otherwise, they have been dominant, but haven’t played the strength of schedule of some other teams ahead of them. They have some tougher games in April, but St. Margaret’s could get through March without another loss. Previous: 7

9. Jesuit Portland (Ore.), 1-0

The Crusaders opened their season with a 19-2 win over Sherwood (Ore.). After a trap game against Lake Oswego/Riverdale (Ore.), Jesuit will face a strong quartet of Redwood (Calif.), Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.), St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.) and Westlake (Texas) for the chance to show just how good they are. Previous: 10

10. De La Salle (Calif.), 6-1

An overtime win over Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.) aided the rise of the Spartans. John Christmas’s squad already had an overtime win over Redwood (Calif.) early in the month and suffered their only loss to St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.) by three goals. They have the chance to go on a good run now before seeing Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.) in three weeks. Previous: NR

— Justin Feil