Texas Boys' Lacrosse Super Regionals Preview

High school boys' lacrosse playoff action heats up in Texas this weekend as Super Regionals begin on Saturday. In Division I games, eight teams will face-off, with the winners moving on to the quarterfinal round on Sunday to take on top-seeded teams earning first round byes. Follow along with our playoff preview and get the latest details on the opening round match-ups and which teams are favored to win it all this year.

Austin Bracket

In the Austin Bracket, Episcopal Dallas is slated to take on Houston Christian on Saturday in the first of two regional contests. Episcopal Dallas (12-6) is 4-3 in its last seven games and just 3-6 against winning teams this season. However, the Eagles are capable of beating any team in the state, as evidenced in wins over Coppell, Kinkaid and Highland Park. Headed by senior midfielder James Collins (Loyola) and attackman Philip Wagley (Harvard), Episcopal will look to push the pace and rely on its well-rounded offense to claim a comfortable lead and the momentum early on.

Although Houston Christian is 17-2 overall this season, the squad hasn't faced a tough schedule like Episcopal has. However, the Mustangs shouldn't be taken lightly. The squad features a rock-solid defense headed by LSM Stephen Mitchell. In each of the team's 17 wins this season, the unit has limited opponents to nine goals or fewer. The Mustangs opened up the campaign with ten-straight victories before falling to The Woodlands, 11-9, but proving they can play with a top-ranked program. However, to reach the quarterfinals, the Mustangs will likely have to bring its A-game on Saturday.

The winner will move on to face Central District champion Austin in the quarterfinals beginning Sunday. Austin is 15-4 overall this season and previously defeated Episcopal Dallas, 9-8, in overtime back on February 26. Led by standout attackmen Billy Bedillion and Mitch Reeder, along with middies Will Merritt and Will Schuhmacher, Austin has won nine games in a row after losing four of five midway through the season. Consider this squad to be a dark horse contender to reach the state title game.

As for the other regional game in the Austin Bracket, Dallas Jesuit will take on Anderson on Saturday. The Rangers (14-2) enter tournament play riding a wave of momentum thanks to a seven-game winning streak. The team has already posted impressive wins this season against Coppell, Westlake, Highland Park and Episcopal Dallas. Look for the squad's tough overall schedule to make a difference in the playoffs this season. The Rangers have gone up against national elites Rockhurst Jesuit, Gonzaga, and in-state rival St. Mark's looking impressive in each game. With attackman Buck McClure, middie face-off specialist Alex Petsos and a strong supporting cast consisting of Matt Miller, Jim Nawalaniec and Richie Sapp, Dallas Jesuit is one of the most balanced teams in the state and should be considered a state title threat.

Meanwhile, Anderson will need its strongest performance of the season if it wants to move on to quarterfinal action. After starting the season 7-1, the Trojans have lost five of its last six games and are just 2-5 against winning teams this season. Anderson will turn to senior middies Robert Newberry and Jeffery Sayers along with junior Joey Reynolds to lead the charge in hopes of an upset.

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2011-04-29



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