Lacrosse: Season wrap

ajc.com

Reclassification shakes up sport next season, to feature 3 divisions

The lacrosse season ended Saturday with Lovett and Lambert’s boys and Blessed Trinity and Milton’s girls winning championships. A recap of the title games can be found here. The final rankings are here.

On the girls’ side, Blessed Trinity has now won five of the last six low-class titles, and Milton has won 14 of the GHSA’s 16 high-class championships. Those dynasties can still coexist moving forward despite a reclassification that will split the sport from two to three divisions, beginning next year.

Division 1 (Classifications 1A-4A) will have 42 schools, and Blessed Trinity will compete as one of 53 schools in Division 2 (5A-6A), while Milton will be one of 36 schools in Division 3 (7A).

The new area alignments can be found on GHSA.net.

On the boys’ side, Lambert has won five of the last six high-class championships, while Lovett capped a 23-0 season for its first title since winning three in four years from 2005-09. Lovett, which competed in 2A this season, will compete in Division 1 next year as a 1A school, and Lambert will compete in Division 3.

As mentioned before the playoffs, the sport is growing significantly at the GHSA level. Creating three divisions not only lays the groundwork for continued growth but will also foster the parity that’s already starting to emerge organically as a result of the GHSA seeing the sport grow from 37 boys and 35 girls programs in 2005 to the 137 total this season.

In Division 1, 24 of the 42 teams will qualify for the postseason, 32 of 53 will in Division 2, and 24 of 36 will in Division 3. In other words, more teams will qualify than not in all divisions. That will change as the sport continues to grow, but a good foundation has been laid that invites other schools to join.

And with the Georgia Swarm serving as the official sponsor of this year’s championships, the sport continues to gain momentum statewide.

Check the high school home page in about a month or so to see who was named as boys and girls player of the year, as part of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s annual GHSA Athletes of the Year selections. Last year’s players of the year were Lambert’s Danny Kesselring and Milton’s Maddie Dora.