By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/11/10
The boys’ scholastic kicks off Friday as Haverford School hosts St. Paul’s (Md.) in a battle of nationally-ranked teams and Penn Charter travels to another Maryland power, Loyola-Blakefield.
Next week the first Pennsylvania Media Lacrosse Rankings will be released. Today, we present the Phillylacrosse.com Preseason Rankings:
1. Conestoga (24-2 last year) – The Pioneers return loaded and expecting to return to the state finals for unfinished business.
2. Haverford School (16-8) – The Fords finished strong last year and return some key seniors and a brilliant junior class. Today’s game against St. Paul’s will be one of many major tests.
3. Springfield-Delco (19-6) – The Cougars reached the state semifinals last year, and with most of the starters back, they figure to be Conestoga’s biggest challenger in the Central League, District 1 and the PIAA.
4. Emmaus (19-5) – The Green Hornets also return a large amount of seniors and have a excellent non-league schedule. The rest of the Lehigh Valley teams continue to improve, but they look like the team to beat in District 11.
5. Malvern Prep (11-9) – The Friars have a standout midfield returning and – if they stay healthy – should present a formidable challenge to Haverford School in the Inter-Ac League.
6. La Salle (21-4) – Don’t take pity on the two-time defending champions, who lost 10 Division I seniors and four All-Americans – there is plenty of talent back. The Explorers still have to be considered the favorite in District 12.
7. Episcopal Academy (13-8) – The Churchmen, armed with a great defense, stood toe-to-toe with Haverford School and Malvern Prep last year in the Inter-Ac. It may happen again.
8. Abington (17-6) – The Ghosts have all kinds of offensive firepower. If the defense and goaltending are there, watch out.
9. Downingtown East (20-4) – The Cougars went to the District 1 finals last year and have enough returning to make another run at a Ches-Mont League crown and a strong playoff push.
10. Central Bucks East (16-6) – The Patriots are reloading after reaching the District 1 semifinals last year with a senior-laden team. They are still the team to beat in the Suburban One Continental Conference.
Teams to Watch (in alphabetical order): Avon Grove (9-8), Downingtown West (12-8), Garnet Valley (14-9), Hatboro-Horsham (15-4), Holy Ghost Prep (13-5), Lower Merion (17-6), Owen J. Roberts (19-2), Pennsbury (12-8), St. Joseph’s Prep (16-2).