BE lacrosse teams enter playoffs
It’s that time of the year. The culmination of the High School League’s spring sports schedule has begun with the lacrosse state playoffs. And, Bishop England, which knows something about success in all sports when the weather warms up, is well represented.
The girls’ team, coached by Jeff Weiner, is the defending state champion and began the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Lower State. The boys’ team, coached by Sean Keiper, is the No. 2 seed in the Lower State playoffs. There was some surprise to that seeding because the BE boys beat No. 1 seed Hilton Head in the regular season.
There is a major change in this year’s playoff format. This year, there are two classifications: Class AAAAA and AAAA. The Bishops are competing in Class AAAA, which means neither team will have to face Class AAAAA power Wando along the way.
The Bishop boys were expected to face Bluffton in the opening night of the playoffs on Tuesday (this issue of The Daniel Island News went to print before the game). The competition will culminate with the state championships at Chapin High School on April 29.
If the Bishops are successful in their match-up against Bluffton, the victory will continue the team’s success under Keiper, who is in his first year as coach at the Daniel Island school.
“There are a lot of good schools in the Lower State bracket,” Keiper said. “There is a lot of talent. The playoffs are a whole new season. The team knows it has to come ready to play. It’s a lose-and-go-home situation. That’s the way we look at it. We take it one game at a time and move on from there.”
Keiper welcomes the split to two divisions because it is more proof that lacrosse, a sport the High School League sanctioned in time for the 2010 season, continues to grow at a healthy rate in the palmetto state.
“One of the great things we’re seeing is the number of programs growing,” Keiper said. “There’s talent across the board. This is a good time for lacrosse in this state. It’s good to see the number of schools growing the sport.”
The Bishop girls topped Oceanside Academy in the first round of the playoffs to improve to 11-2.
Weiner turned the Bishop girls’ team into one of the most competitive in the state. The Bishops have compiled a 68-13 record over the last five years and have become a fixture in postseason play.
Weiner said his team is primed for the playoffs now that some early season injuries and illnesses are history.
“Still, we have that target on our backs and the girls know it,” Weiner said. “The big difference is that we don’t have to go through Wando in the playoffs. That makes it much more interesting.”
The Bishops shouldn’t face a real challenge until the second week of the playoffs. If the bracket proves true, look for the Bishop girls to play St. James in the Lower State championship and then face Chapin for all the marbles on April 29.