Annual lacrosse ‘Island War’ takes place this Saturday

By Linda Williams Rorem

The annual “Island War”, in which Mercer Island and Bainbridge Island boys’ lacrosse teams go head-to-head, takes place this Saturday, May 7, at Mercer Island High School and Islander Middle School fields.

The “Island War’ event rotates between the two island communities, which each count about 23,000 residents. Last year several hundred Mercer Island lacrosse players traveled on the ferry to Bainbridge for a day full of games, and this year the Bainbridge players will make the trip here.

For nearly 20 years, the annual match up between the Island communities’ varsity lacrosse teams has attracted regional – and often national – attention. The stakes are especially high for this year’s competition, as Mercer Island stands undefeated in the division, and Bainbridge has lost just one game (to Issaquah).

About five years ago, the Island War began including teams with youth players from third grade through high school; this year eight games will take place on a total of four Mercer Island fields. Games begin at 3 p.m. at all four locations: MIHS Stadium, MIHS “Upper North” field, Islander Middle School Turf Field and Islander Middle School Sunken Field, and conclude with the Varsity match up at 7 p.m. at the Stadium.

Last year Mercer Island players were victorious in all nine match ups, with MIHS varsity shutting out its rival 13-0.

Mercer Island and Bainbridge Island teams have long been considered friendly rivals. In 2002 and 2003, Bainbridge beat the Islanders in the Washington state championship; in 2001 and 2004, Mercer Island topped Bainbridge.  After two years in which MI reigned over Issaquah in the championships, MI and Bainbridge faced each other again in 2007, and Bainbridge won.

The concessions stand opens at MIHS Stadium at 3 pm, where offerings will include “Coach Dave’s” Famous BBQ.

Following is this Saturday’s schedule:

MIHS Stadium

MIHS F/S vs BI F/S 3 - 5 p.m.

MIHS J.V. vs BI J.V. 5 - 7 p.m.

MIHS Varsity vs Bainbridge 7 - 9 p.m.

IMS Turf

MI 7/8 Maroon vs BI 7/8 3 - 5 p.m.

MI 7/8 Black vs BI 7/8 5 – 7 p.m.

Upper North

MI 5/6 Maroon vs BI 5/6 3 - 5 p.m.

MI 5/6 White vs BI 5/6 5 - 7 p.m.

IMS Sunken Field

MI 3/4 Lakeridge Lions vs BI 3/4 3 -5 p.m.

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