District Preview: Class 2A – District 1! Wide Open with New Rivalries to be Born!

Class 2A – Region R1 – District D1

School

City

Buchholz Gainesville
Chiles Tallahassee
Forest Ocala
Gainesville Gainesville
Leon Tallahassee
Lincoln Tallahassee
Niceville Niceville

Obviously, all the Districts are going to be new and this one holds the unfortunate distinction of having the biggest distance between schools, as Niceville is 331 miles from Forest in Ocala.  Yuck.

Buchholz will no longer face a district with Oak Hall and that will help them to rebound from a losing record last season when they faced a solid schedule.  Chiles, Lincoln and Leon continue their district rivalry and also no longer are facing a Maclay program that rebounded last year.

Forest fell off last year and looks to rebound, while Gainesville looks to break above .500. Niceville makes their Varsity debut this season.

This is a wide-open District on paper as none of the teams dominated in a way to make them a big favorite.  Chiles was the victor in last year’s District 1, avenging an earlier loss to Lincoln in the regular season while Buchholz gave Oak Hall a run in their District final.

How the season plays out will be very interesting.  A lot of graduations from last year means whoever peaks down the line is likely the favorite.

Note:  Please keep sending in the preview answers, we’ll add to this article as they come in.

Buchholz

Head Coach Casey Adams

What are your expectations this season for the team?

First and foremost, we expect our team to go out there and play with class. Secondly, we expect to be competing for a District Championship in Tallahassee. We graduated the bulk of our starters in 2019, so we plan on being competitive at practice in order to find out who will take over these starting roles.

Who are the returning players who will make a difference this season?

Sr. Graham Denault: 4G/3A, 113GB, 197 FO wins, 60%

Sr. Jared Lamb: 16G/12A, 21GB, 6CT

Sr. Cam Banks: 134 Saves, 51%

What players do you expect to step up this year that didn’t get much playing time last year?

Jr. John Allen Willis

Soph. Matt Bala

Soph. Cade Balogh

Soph. Monte Gonzalez

What are the games you are really looking forward to this season?

Oak Hall is always the game of the year. It means so much to these young men and the local lacrosse community. The teams have a ton of respect for each other and at the end of the game, were all friends. Very classy rivalry!

Chiles is a game we are looking forward to most in our new district.

The players are looking forward to playing IMG Academy as well.

Lincoln

Head Coach Mark Williams

What are your expectations this season for the team?

We want to be competitive in the new district and make a run in the district playoffs.  This is a great opportunity for us to play new teams and work to get better.  We want to represent Tallahassee lacrosse in a positive way and continue to grow the sport here at Lincoln.

Who are the returning players who will make a difference this season?

Morgan Bell, Senior – Attack       26 Goals, 20 Assists, 50 GBs

Evan Taylor, Senior – Defense       1 Goals, 1 Assists, 31 GBs

Yili Liu, Senior – Midfielder            3 Goals, 3 Assists, 20 GBs

What players do you expect to step up this year that didn’t get much playing time last year?

Justin Johnson, Senior – Attack

Tyson Laws, Senior – Midfielder

Jamal Garye, Junior – Defense

Clay Edwards, Junior – Defense

Tyler Massey, Junior – Attack

What are the games you are really looking forward to this season?

We are playing Tampa Catholic and Shady Side Academy out of Pittsburgh over Spring Break.

Forest High

Head Coach Kyle Strausser

What are your expectations this season for the team?

We fully expect this to be a very competitive district this year with everything up for grabs. With that being said I am looking to have a great year and have full confidence in my boys and we are all looking to have a great season.

Who are the returning players who will make a difference this season?

Drew Flagg (53g/16a), Braeden Forrest (24g/14a), Carter Jackson (45gb/16ct), Conner Dolan (16g,7a), Weston Cook (33gb/9ct), and Jackson Pizzuti (15g/25a)

What players do you expect to step up this year that didn’t get much playing time last year?

Dylan Gennaro-Middie, Lukas Garcia-Defense, Miles Stevens-Defense/LSM, Logan Smith-Middie, Davis Rankin-Attack

What are the games you are really looking forward to this season?

Buchholz, to us, is our biggest rival, but we are looking forward to all of our district games.

Gainesville

Head Coach Eric Simon

What are your expectations this season for the team?

With a team that graduated 13 seniors last year, the ‘Canes are reloading this year, but still expect to compete for a playoff spot.

Who are the returning players who will make a difference this season?

Kaedan Skinner, Attack.  Nick Swanger, Midfield

What players do you expect to step up this year that didn’t get much playing time last year?

Jack Arnold, Attack. Jake Pugh, Close Defenseman, Aidan Deturris, LSM.

What are the games you are really looking forward to this season?

Conference games against Buchholz and Lincoln.

New Coach: Eric Simon

First time head coach at any level, played HS lacrosse in Ohio, coached for Santa Fe HS last year.

Leon

Head Coach Luke Kendall

What are your expectations this season for the team?

We are a young team looking to grow. With not one starting player returning for the 2020 season players are working to earn spots and prove themselves out on the field. Hoping to gain experience and grow as a program. Leon has a lot to prove and it’s going to start with the local competition in Tallahassee, we hope to compete and prove ourselves this year.

Who are the returning players who will make a difference this season?

Senior midfielder Carlos Urrutia, Senior attackman Jake Moore, and Senior defender Hayden Foster

What players do you expect to step up this year that didn’t get much playing time last year?

Junior Wyatt Parker, Freshman Mickey Killeen, Junior Jay Gonzales

What are the games you are really looking forward to this season?

Looking forward to the local rivalry games vs Chiles, Lincoln and Maclay

Chiles and Niceville have not come in yet.  We will add them when they are received.

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