The boys lacrosse season starts in 149 days in Michigan. Last Thursday, coaches, athletic directors, and administrators met to pre-Seed the top eight teams in Divisions 1 and 2.
Michigan currently has 128 teams (63 Division 1, 65 Division 2) representing 178 schools among 34 cooperative programs, with some cooperative program agreements pending. The divisions are divided based on school population.
The 2023 preseason seedings are an important measuring stick for teams. Each division is broken up into eight regions. The top eight seeds in each division earn the top seed. The seedings are important when creating and analyzing your schedule and hopes for a tournament run.
Before we get into the 2023 season, let’s recap a historic 2022 season.
2022 Season Recap: Public School Vengence
The 2022 season was the first year that the Division 1 and Division 2 State Championship was won by a public school.
In Division 1, Hartland, led by Bo Lockwood (Michigan), knocked off Brother Rice 11-10 in overtime. Brother Rice had won 15 of the previous 16 state championships coming into the game. Hartland is the first and only public school to win a Division 1 state championship in the state of Michigan.
In Division 2, Forest Hills Central defeated Detroit Country Day 11-8 to win their 5th state championship in 12 years. Forest Hills Central finished the season as the top-ranked team in the state and was a perfect 18-0 on the year.
2023 Pre-Season Seedings
The seeding committee ranked the top eight teams based on the team’s performance in 2022. The committee used the Michigan Power Rankings (MPR), the strength of schedule, and head-to-head results.
The top three teams remain unchanged from a year ago. Brother Rice will look to stay healthy and avenge their loss to Hartland in 2023. The Warriors already have six players committed to play Division 1 lacrosse, tops in the state.
Teams 4-8 are where you could see the most movement. Clarkston was seeded eight last year in the pre-season and worked its way up to a four seed by the season’s end. Grandville wasn’t seeded going into 2022, but a strong season earned them a five-seed at the start of the tournament. A deep 2022 tournament run has Grand Ledge seeded for the first time in a few years. Lake Orion is coached by Hall of Famer Ron Hebert, who is three wins shy of becoming the all-time winningest coach in Michigan high school lacrosse history, and always poses a threat to higher-seeded teams.
Teams to watch for in 2023 that could find their way into the top eight: Muskegon Mona Shores, Rockford, Saline, Birmingham Seaholm, and Romeo.
The top three teams in Division 2 remain unchanged for 2023. At least one of the three teams has played or won the state championship in each of the last 15 years. EGR has won six state championships, Forest Hills Central has five state championships, and Detroit Country Day has three.
Haslett, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, and Portage Northern are looking to follow up 2023 with strong seasons after successful 2022 campaigns. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Okemos are traditionally consistent and strong Division 2 programs
Teams to watch for in 2023: Ada Forest Hills Eastern, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook, Grosse Pointe South, Midland, and Midland HH Dow.
2023 Tournament Information
The seeding committee will get together again in early May to seed the tournament based on the 2023 season. The state tournament begins on May 18th
The seeding committee has discussed finding a more permanent venue for the finals. The teams have played at Parker Middle School since 2016. Many of the coaches and fans have urged the state to push to play at the UofM Lacrosse Stadium in Ann Arbor. The move would make a lot of sense geographically and also showcase the state’s top talent at a top-five Division 1 lacrosse venue.
Editor’s note: Follow the author on Twitter @mcmicha7.