District 15 – New Teams But Sickles Still the Favorite, Wiregrass Ranch and Steinbrenner Looking to Climb

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District 15 unfortunately loses one of the more interesting competitive stories in the state as Kuebrich and Kuebrich has broken apart as the Steinbrenner brother has moved on . . . too good a story to last!  Sickles won this district last year and was a surprise team last year, finishing at #17 in the FLN Final Poll.  They gave Elite Eight participant Jesuit of Tampa a run in the 1st round of the brackets.

Steinbrenner also started very strong but faded a little later in the season, having appeared in the Top 25 early in the season and receiving consideration for the final poll.  Wiregrass Ranch had a very good first varsity year and should challenge in the near future.

This district also has been reshuffled by the FHSAA, as the teams competing this year are:  Steinbrenner, Mitchell, Sickles, Sunlake, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch and Zephyrhills Christian.  What MaxPreps has on their site is way off, as they list Plant and Jesuit as members of this district.  It looks like there was something of a numbering change too so take this MaxPreps listing as flawed:

 

School Name *W-L *Pct. W-L Pct. GF GA
Jesuit 4-0 1.000 20-3 0.870 303 136
Sickles 5-0 1.000 17-3 0.850 243 109
Plant 4-1 0.800 15-4 0.789 247 119
Wiregrass Ranch 3-1 0.750 13-3 0.813 174 107
Tampa Prep 3-2 0.600 6-9 0.400 112 138
Berkeley Prep 2-3 0.400 5-15 0.250 177 195
Robinson 1-5 0.167 2-11 0.154 52 160
Alonso 0-1 0.000 5-9 0.357 100 142
Jefferson 0-4 0.000 0-11 0.000 45 177
  • * Denotes district data.

 

And here is last year’s District 16 according to MaxPreps . . . keep this in mind while we all pray that someone can take over LaxPower . . . and hope that Gainesville requires better quality control wherever MaxPreps is run out of . . .

 

School Name *W-L *Pct. W-L Pct. GF GA
Tampa Catholic 5-2 0.714 8-8 0.500 144 176
Freedom 2-1 0.667 5-7 0.417 93 106
Steinbrenner 2-2 0.500 10-9 0.526 203 164
Wharton 0-2 0.000 4-9 0.308 105 138

 

Okay, we’ll just skip over that one.

 

For those who want to see the Tampa Lax Report Preview of the District, click HERE

 

Sickles 17-3, lost in the FHSAA First Round

Sickles Head Coach Joe Kuebrich chimes in with his thoughts on the season:

What are your expectations this season for the team?

We expect to successfully defend our District 15 Championship, and advance past the first round of the Regional Playoffs.

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

Jennings Dorman (A/M) – 59G/39A ;  Jackson Dorman (D/LSM) – 64GB/37TA; Carson Cates (M) – 14G/2A; Joey Heikkenen (D) – 46GB/15 TA

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

Julian Williams (M), Luke Barrow (D), Damian Blanco (G)

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

Plant, Steinbrenner, Gulf Breeze

 

Steinbrenner 10-9, lost in district

We have not yet received their questionnaire, we’ll add it when we get it

 

Mitchell 5-8 according to the team page, lost in district

We have not yet received their questionnaire, we’ll add it when we get it

 

Sunlake (new varsity program?)

We have not yet received their questionnaire, we’ll add it when we get it

 

Wesley Chapel 0-15, did not qualify for district

We have not yet received their questionnaire, we’ll add it when we get it

 

Wiregrass Ranch 13-3, lost in the district finals

We have not yet received their questionnaire, we’ll add it when we get it

 

Zephyrhills Christian new varsity program?

My name is Matthew Knight I am the new head coach of Zephyrhills Christian Academy Boy’s Lacrosse. I was the assistant coach for Wesley Chapel High School in 2017 and have previously coached both Youth and Recreation lacrosse with the Wesley Chapel Athletic Association; an organization I grew up playing for.

What are your expectations this season for the team?

I have high expectations for this season with regards to the growth and development of my team and its playmakers. On this season’s team there are only four players with previous experience in playing lacrosse and I will be relying on them to set good examples for their new teammates. Although I have few seasoned players, the athletes that have shown up to try their hand at a new sport are just that, athletes. I have confidence they will catch on to the game quickly.

 

 

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

The player who surely make a difference for our team this season is Kollin Eckel. Whether it’s game time or at practice he is always helping new players and being a positive influence on his peers. Kollin is a player who has been voted Midfielder of the Year by the awarding committee for our district twice; during his freshman and sophomore years. Now as a senior he looks even more promising, showing leaps of continued growth. Kollin is committed to Barton University, and will be a member of their lacrosse team.

 

 

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

One player I look forward to seeing step up and make an impact on our team is Gavin Eldien, a sophomore attack man who did not get the chance to play last year but played for WCAA as a 7th and 8th grader. His determination, willingness to learn and mentorship of his teammates will be essential to our success this season. Gavin is a player to watch and shall continue to show success by improvement in his seasons to come.

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

The games that I’m looking forward to most are the ones against both Wesley Chapel High School and Wiregrass Ranch High School. Not only have I coached many players in each of those programs, but I also played with and against the coaches of those teams. I believe our companionship and individual expertise shall surely shine on the field in both of those match-ups.