Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach High School will join the Sunset League for nearly all sports starting with 2018-19 academic year. The one exception is that Laguna Beach will continue to play football in the Golden West League. The moves will change the league’s balance of power in boys’ lacrosse and create a new Sunset League for girls’ lacrosse.
CdM and Laguna Beach will join Newport Harbor, Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Edison and Marina to form a seven-team boys’ lacrosse league. Each team will play six league games, one game against each league opponent.
The Sea Kings are no strangers to league competition, they dominated the Pacific Coast League until 2012 before playing as an independent from 2013-17. With two Section championships and three County championships since 2012, the Sea Kings are expected to be one of the early favorites for the automatic bid to the post-season that comes with a league championship under the current US Lacrosse sponsored format.
Laguna Beach, on the other hand, will be entering its second season after debuting as a JV team in the 2018 season.
With the expected transition to CIF-sponsored boys’ lacrosse playoffs in the next two to three years, the addition of CdM and Laguna Beach should also bring benefits to the league down the road. CIF places a much greater emphasis on league standings and awards playoff entry to four teams from a seven-team league versus just three from a league with only five or six teams.
The addition of CdM and Laguna Beach also now provides sufficient teams for a girls’ lacrosse league that will also include Los Alamitos, Newport Harbor, and Edison. The other Sunset League schools do not offer girls’ lacrosse at this time.
On a related note, neither boys’ lacrosse nor girls’ lacrosse will not immediately be affected by another change in the Sunset League format. With the exception of football and lacrosse, the eight-team Sunset League (Fountain Valley does not offer lacrosse) will be divided into two four-team divisions, the upper Surf Division and the lower Wave Division.