District 17 – Can Cardinal Mooney Break Through to the Final Four?


District 17 faces substantial change this season as the formerly 6-team district now sports TEN teams, with 4 new additions to varsity status.  A two-edged sword . . . GREAT to see the demand for growth but four at once means having to give up some out of district matchups for the previous 6.

We’ll take the positive side of the sword though!

Last year it was Cardinal Mooney as the breakout program of the state, going all the way to the FHSAA Elite Eight before bowing on the road to eventual state champion Jupiter.  The next step for the #6 ranked team in the final poll is pretty straightforward . . . the Final Four and beyond.  But they can’t overlook another rapidly growing program in their own backyard in Riverview-Sarasota as they finished #24 in our FLN Final Poll.  In short order the two schools have slugged it out pretty good the last few years and it doesn’t look like that will change in the short term.  And Out of Door has shown growth lately too so the battle for second might well be on!

Here is the link to Tampa Lax Report’s District 17 Preview:  HERE

Last season’s Regular Season records via MaxPreps (Note: possibility not all results were uploaded):


School Name *W-L *Pct. W-L Pct. GF GA
Cardinal Mooney 6-0 1.000 20-2 0.909 335 115
Riverview Sarasota 5-3 0.625 14-6 0.700 244 158
Out-of-Door Academy 3-3 0.500 9-6 0.600 167 90
Saint Stephen’s Episcopal 3-4 0.429 11-9 0.550 176 173
Calvary Christian 1-4 0.200 9-6 0.600 137 154
Sarasota Military Academy 0-4 0.000 2-13 0.133 47 211
  • * Denotes district data.


As you look at this you can add Lakewood Ranch, Manatee, St. Petersburg Catholic and Venice to the equation!

Cardinal Mooney’s schedule has taken another step up in difficulty and I’ll certainly be in the stands in Boca when they come calling on Saint Andrew’s . . . that’s must-see in the area!

They should be able to get through to the Final Eight and as in my Preseason article home field should be massive.


Cardinal Mooney 20-2, lost in the FHSAA Elite Eight

Head Coach Derek Wagner with this information:

Cardinal Mooney HS Boys Lacrosse enters the 2019 with high expectations to build upon the 2018 record of 20-2 and a Regional Final loss to eventual State Champion Jupiter HS.

We graduated 12 Seniors including 8 starters: Matt McDonnell D US Lacrosse AA (U Michigan), Chip Jackson M, Vinny Mercadante SSDM (Marian University), Ashton Horiuchi LSM (Wittenburg University), Griffin Worsham G, Caleb Ward M, Eric Martin M and Patrick Kenefick LSM



2019 Returning Players

MJ McMahon 2019 A 56G 62A 118 points 2019 US Lacrosse HS AA (University  of Utah)

Ryan Katchan 2019 M 25G 18 A 43 points 51 GBs (Mercer University)

Alec Frank 2019 FOGO/M   F/O 288 W 124 L 70.2% 247 GBs

Charlie Budreau 2019 M 14G 6A 20 points

Nick Petrucelli 2019 G GAA 4.  57% Save%

JP Jackson 2020 A 49G 40 A 89 points

Michael Bavaro 2020 A 14G 14A 28 points

Cameron Lynch 2020 M 7G 5A 12 points

Luca Dominquez 2020 D 19 GBs 16 CTOs

Tyler Horiuchi 2021 M/FO/LSM  55W 28L 66%

Anthony Fayette 2021 D 29 GBs 12 CTOs

Christian Laureano 2021 M 62G 29 A 92 Points

2019 Schedule

4 Teams were added to District 17 making it the largest District with a total of 10 schools.  Out of District contests include Lake Highland Prep, St Andrews, Belen Jesuit, Tampa Jesuit, Plant, Bishop Moore.

Cardinal Mooney will again host Sticks For Soldiers, a 4 Team charity event, on 3/22 & 3/23. Riverview-Sarasota HS, Saint John Paul II and Admiral Farragut Academy round out the tournament field.


Riverview Sarasota 14-6, lost in the district final

We have not received the questionnaire yet, will update when we get it



Out-of-Door Academy 9-6, lost in the district semifinal

Head Coach Phil Meyer has given us these insights:

What are your expectations this season for the team?

This is the first year in a long time that I am not sure of what to expect from our team.  We have a solid group of Seniors who are back, and a solid group of new freshmen, sprinkled in with a Junior class that is very competitive.  As a group, I am not sure what to expect, and with the growth and development of our entire district it makes it even more difficult to predict.  With all of that said, we would like to be able to compete for a District Championship.  That will be tough with reigning champ Cardinal Mooney back and looking better than ever, and Riverview continuing to build on their success year in and year out.  Sprinkle that in with huge improvement from the rest of the district, and I do not know yet where we fit in.  It should really make for an interesting and ultra-competitive year of lacrosse for our District.



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

Jimmy Viard Senior (uncommitted) A/M 26G/13A

Leland Wheeler Senior (uncommitted) M 21G/11A

Jared Flahive Junior, Defense

Sam Millie Junior LSM

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

Answer:  We have a solid group of Freshman who will make a difference for us this year, I would prefer to not name them as of yet.

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

All District games as I do feel that our district will be vastly improved and incredibly competitive.  I do feel that LWR, St. Stephens, Calvary Christian, Manatee and Venice will all be tough games.  And with the success of returning Champ Cardinal Mooney and runner up Riverview, all games will be difficult and fun to play.


Saint Stephen’s Episcopal 11-9, lost in the district semifinal

We have not received the questionnaire yet, will update when we get it


Lakewood Ranch, first year as varsity program

We have not received the questionnaire yet, will update when we get it


Manatee, first year as varsity program

We have not received the questionnaire yet, will update when we get it


St. Petersburg Catholic, first year as varsity program

We have not received the questionnaire yet, will update when we get it


Venice, first year as varsity program

We have not received the questionnaire yet, will update when we get it