The Grossmont High boys varsity lacrosse team has lived up to expectations and then some in 2019.
Touted before the season as a rising team in the county supported by an influx of players from the East County Warriors program, the Foothillers were 15-0 overall and 10-0 in the Grossmont League heading into this week’s championship showdown with Granite Hills (9-1, 10-4 overall).
Grossmont won the first meeting 6-5 back on March 26 in the local game of the year thus far.
The Hillers’ John Copley scored three goals while the Eagles’ Ethan Bailey, the reigning league Player of the Year, scored twice in a game which Grossmont led from start to finish.
Grossmont also has had great contributions this season from Ryan Crew, Hayden Siebert, Kolton Nevins, Francisco Wolftange and Jackson Krosovic.
The Foothillers were likely outside of the county top ten to begin the season but their season-long winning streak has catapulted them into the top four in the power rankings despite a weaker-rated schedule compared to the other top-rated teams.
Grossmont won the Grossmont League last season with a 12-0 record, finishing two games ahead of Granite Hills. The Foothillers concluded the season with a loss in the first round of the Division I playoffs.
Still, it was the fifth straight Grossmont League championship for the Foothillers.
The Hillers are surely headed to the Open Division playoffs as possibly a top-four seed in the eight-team format.
The Eagles, meanwhile, are rated 12th in the county power rankings this season but first in the ratings by a reasonable margin in the section’s Division II postseason picture.
Last season, Granite Hills fell in the Division II semifinals.
Bailey has nearly 50 goals this season for Granite, while senior teammate Justin Marshall is second on the team with more 30 goals. The duo figure to combined for more than 50 assists this season, as well.
Helix (7-4, 12-5 overall) is in third place in the Grossmont League.
The Highlanders won what might have been the most thrilling game of the season thus far in an 8-7 overtime win over Valhalla (5-5, 9-5 overall) back on April 11, as J.R. Hurdsman scored the decisive goal with 1:49 left in the game.
The Highlanders and Norsemen are both headed to the postseason in Division II.
Meanwhile, the Santana Sultans (8-9 overall) are the only other local team likely to qualify for the section playoffs in Division II.
The Sultans did their work out of the area, posting a 6-1 record against non-league competition.
Santana’s Tyler McGuire tied a school record with seven goals in a win over Monte Vista on April 11.
El Capitan’s 10-9 overtime win at Santana on March 26 will likely give the Vaqueros a fifth-place finish in the Grossmont League, however, over the Sultans.
A year after Foothills Christian’s historic first playoff appearance last season, the Knights (6-9 overall) can secure at least a third-place finish in the Pacific League in 2019 with a win in their final home game against Army-Navy Academy this Thursday at Seau Field.