Lacrosse district tournaments underway


The lacrosse playoffs are here and that comes with a ton of expectations for both Ponte Vedra and Nease High Schools.

It is unique because both schools are in the same district on the boys’ side but are in different districts and classes when it comes to girls lacrosse.

In fact, they both enter the girls lacrosse district tournaments as the top seed in their respective districts with the Panthers (8-7) No. 1 in district 2-2A, while the Sharks (9-7) gained the top spot in district 3-1A.

The Sharks are used to having high expectations and have become accustomed to deep runs on a yearly basis, making it to the state final four a year ago.

They experienced some tough times early in the season, especially during a four-game losing stretch in February.

However, those loses were all to teams that are traditionally considered state contenders, including American Heritage, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bartram Trail and Plant.

It is schedules like that has become common across all the lacrosse programs at Ponte Vedra and Nease, and those tough schedules like that are examples of how each of the programs are always looking big picture and are more worried about creating valuable experience for when the postseason rolls around.

Both the Sharks and Panthers have a first-round bye, which is one of the advantages of earning the top seed in the district tournament.

The Sharks will play the winner of Beachside or St. Joseph Academy on April 12 at 7:30 p.m., while the Panthers are set to play the winner of Atlantic Coast or Sandalwood in the semifinals on April 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The girls lacrosse district championships will take place on April 16 at 7 p.m. If they advance, the Sharks will play St. Augustine or Fleming Island, while the Panthers could face either Mandarin or Fletcher.

On the boys side of things, the Sharks have had another memorable season, as they cruised through district play during the regular season and enter as the favorite to win the tournament with a record of 11-6.

However, the Panthers also feel very happy with where they are entering the district tournament with a record of 12-5 and riding a three-game win streak.

The Panthers will host Atlantic Coast in the quarterfinals on April 11 at 6:30 p.m. and could face Fletcher or Mandarin in the semifinals on April 15 at 6:30 p.m., while the Sharks will occupy one of the spots in the other semifinal matchup against Creekside or Bartram Trail on April 15 at 8 p.m.

The boys lacrosse district title will be played April 17 at 7:30 p.m. 

Nease Panthers, Ponte Vedra Sharks, lacrosse, playoffs