West Side Lax released the 2011 preseason rankings for the Nebraska High School Lacrosse league last week:
Preseason Top 9: 1. Creighton Prep 2. West Des Moines Valley 3. Lincoln 4. Millard West 5. Westside, 6. Omaha Burke 7. Millard North, 8. Millard South 9. River City.This is a major improvement over last year's rankings which saw the Tigers ranked ninth in the then ten team league. With only three regular season losses last year, Valley was the fourth seed in the playoffs (second in the North Division). After a narrow loss to eventual champions Creighton Prep in the semifinals, the Tigers faced Lincoln in the consolation game. The overtime loss to the Rampage resulted in Valley finishing the season solidly in fourth place.
Papillion-La Vista will not field a team this year, which is noted by their absence from the preseason rankings. The last word I received from the league indicates that River City has also withdrawn. The 2011 season was scheduled to begin with a jamboree at Burke High School this weekend, however that event may have been canceled.
Valley's complete schedule can be found here.
West Side Lax favors Valley on the defensive half of the field by praising senior goalie Hunter Couch, junior LSM Tanner McDougal, and senior defender Jamie Tornberg. Rounding out the defense are athletic senior poles Dan Boyd and Collin Mundus. Junior poles Colin Cook and Will Cafferta add imposing size while freshmen Will Tornberg brings a touch of speed. Sophomore Ben Oberender has moved to pole after playing JV middie in 2010. Freshman Graham Taylor backups Couch.
Senior middie Dylan Griess led the league in scoring last year and leads a strong midfield which includes junior Nick Harrington and Hunter Levis and sophomores Sam Arends and Cole Griess. Freshman Ted Crites leads the attack after a successful 8th grade season. Sophomores Josh Crew, Ross Delsol, Myles Goertz, and Quentin Straw all return in offensive rolls and will be joined by a strong crop of freshmen.
The complete roster will be updated here in the coming weeks.