Central Bucks East HS Mens Lacrosse: CBE Lacrosse History

Sunday, March 11
How CB East BoysÂ’ Lacrosse Came to Be

Written by Kevin Milici, 12/19/11

CB East Boys’ Lacrosse, as we know it today, did not just “happen” by chance. It is the result of vision and hard work by many stakeholders going back 15 years as of this writing. What follows is a brief synopsis of how it came to be as well as key events that followed. Enjoy!

1998

A high school level club lacrosse team, called the Central Bucks Lacrosse Club was started by Mr. Walt Szambelak. The club included players from Central Bucks West High School, a handful from Central Bucks East High School, and even fewer from the New Hope Solebury High School. In its first season that year, the club played other area high school club teams, as well as a few establish varsity teams.

1999

With the growth of lacrosse exploding nationally, and locally, the number of high school youth and high school age players was rising at that same pace. The Central Bucks Lacrosse Club split into two club teams, with the original Central Bucks Lacrosse Club consisting of all CB West players, and a new club, the “Centaurs,” under the direction of Bruce Garcia as Head Coach, consisted predominantly of players from CB East High School and a few from New Hope Solebury. The Centaurs were actually part of the Central Bucks Athletic Association (CBAA). Again, this season was club play, with no affiliation with CB East High School or CB School District. The Centaurs played other area high school club teams, as well as a few establish varsity teams.

During this year, with the exponential rise interest and participation in youth lacrosse Central Bucks, it became apparent that there would be an evitable demand for sanctioned varsity lacrosse at the high school level. A very small core group of local lacrosse enthusiasts began a formal and serious effort to have boys’ lacrosse formally become a sanctioned and official varsity sport in the Central Bucks School District. It was a daunting task, with many obstacles.

2000

The level of participation in the Centaurs continued to expand, and the club played its second club season.

2001

On January 23, 2001, after a 2-year effort, the School Board of the Central Bucks School District voted with tremendous support to make boys lacrosse a sanctioned and official varsity sport. The Board’s vote was 8 - yes, 0 - no, and 1-abstention. It was a great milestone. The affected high schools at the time were CB East and West.

The team became officially the CB East Patriots, and the high school level Centaurs ceased operations. The Patriot uniform came to be, complete with school colors.

However, with varsity status having been awarded just monhs before, there simply wasn’t enough time to prepare for a spring 2001 season as part of the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA). At the time, the EPSLA was the governing body for boy’s lacrosse (including high school interscholastic) in the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association Chapter area of US Lacrosse. The EPSLA included public, private and parochial school teams, which reflected the history of the growth of the game at the high school level in Pennsylvania.

That year, the Patriots played a schedule consisting of a mixture of club and varsity teams. Varsity and Junior varsity letters were awarded at the conclusion of the season for the first time as well.

2002

This was the first season in which the CB East Patriots team officially competed in sanctioned inter-scholastic play as part of the EPSLA, as a member of the Suburban One League. This meant that for the first time, the Patriots were able to contend for the state championship. The schedule consisted of Suburban One League opponents, as well at some non-league opponents, but all varsity none-the-less.

At the time, the champions of the three leagues in Pennsylvania -- the EPSLA, CPSLA (Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association), and the WPSLA (Western Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association) -- played every year in early June for the “Keystone Cup,” which was awarded to the best boys' high school in the Commonwealth.

The team’s record was 9-8-0 that first year, and they placed second in the Archbishop Ryan Tournament. While CB East won the Suburban One League championship, it did not qualify for the EPSLA championship tournament.

2006

In October 2006, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) voted to sanction boy’s lacrosse in Pennsylvania, effective July 1, 2008. Beginning with the 2009 spring sports’ season, all schools sponsoring lacrosse and their players were required to comply with all PIAA standards. This development promised to alter the boy’s high school lacrosse landscape in the years ahead.

2009

All PIAA schools sponsoring lacrosse and their players were required to comply with all PIAA standards. The PIAA held its first state championship game this year. Non-PIAA schools began making adjustments to thrive in the new Pennsylvania lacrosse world order.

The PIAA ran its first post-season tournament in 2009. In a game that featured two nationally ranked teams, LaSalle topped Conestoga to claim the title. The PIAA sponsors only one state championship division for boys and girls. It will not sponsor class designations (i.e., AA, AAA, AAAA) until a certain number of teams across the state play the game.

 

In summary, it’s been a relative short history for the CB East Patriots. Their evolution, progression and record of accomplishment is something of shared pride for all …. Players, Coaches, Parents, and the community at large.

 

 

 


Handout: Yearbooks