SVSJ preview: Mount Si boys’ lacrosse looks to contend this spring after offseason full of major change

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s another preview of a Valley high school spring sports team this morning – we feature the MSHS lacrosse program, beginning a new era in 2014. 

Mount Si’s boys’ lacrosse program went through some monumental changes during the offseason. First was a coaching change, as the program’s original coach, Woody Kiser, resigned to take teaching and coaching jobs out-of-state. Hired to replace Kiser is someone who is no stranger to the sport – or the Valley, for that matter.

Chris Castleberry is a veteran lacrosse coach, having coached for over 10 years in southern California, but he also is a member of the Snoqualmie Tribe. He’s looking forward to leading the team and helping educate them at the same time. “Our main goal this season is to learn lacrosse, not just the X’s and O’s, but the history and cultural significance of a game that is indigenous to North America,” Castleberry said in comments to the SVSJ sent by email.

To that end, the coach told us that the program has been given the opportunity to represent the sport locally at the University of Washington’s annual Spring Powwow, to take place in a couple of weeks. The team and players will be conducting demonstrations at the event. “I am very proud as a coach and member of the Snoqualmie Tribe to be asked to represent something so important,” he said.

The Wildcats have also seen their league realign as well once again this season. According to Castleberry, the state association went through major realignment in the offseason, and as part of that, Mount Si has been shifted to the much tougher Division I, from Division II, which had been their home since their inception. Further, the team is part of what Castleberry suggests is the “conference to watch”, that being the Kingco Conference. That puts them in the same league as more established programs, such as Bellevue and Mercer Island, both of whom will look to be very strong this season. Mount Si will look to contend, but has started out 0-3 this spring, with their most recent loss being a 19-0 blowout defeat by MI March 25.

Juniors Tyler Smith and Blake Picchena return to anchor a Mount Si roster that is slightly younger this spring, with a large junior group and only three seniors, those being Zach Gappa, Adam Husa and Henry Dunn. The top freshman to watch, according to Castleberry, is attacker Eric Virta. “Eric plays on various regional and state select teams and made the varsity team as a freshman,” Castleberry said.

They are back in action with a pair of home games this week – Thursday against Newport, and Friday against Tacoma’s Curtis. Game times usually are 8:00 p.m., but the Friday night game, and selected other games, will start at 7:00 p.m. More information is available by going to the Mount Si lacrosse webpage at right in our news links.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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