Monthly Archives: July 2008

Petaluma Lacrosse Community Pushes For Acceptance With School District

Published: Thursday, Jul 31, 2008

In one Southern California school district, the jump rope game Double Dutch has been recognized as an official school sport. Somehow, I can’t visualize a television program “Wednesday Night Lights” being built around jump rope, no matter how gifted the athletes.

Morgan Hill Clovers' Karissa Watanabe fires a shot at Petaluma goalkeeper Heather Murphy during the second half of their game at Sobrato on Saturday afternoon. Watanabe scored the goal and the Clovers won 13-6.
Morgan Hill Clovers’ Karissa Watanabe fires a shot at Petaluma goalkeeper Heather Murphy during the second half of their game at Sobrato on Saturday afternoon. Watanabe scored the goal and the Clovers won 13-6.

2007 Photo

However, the fact that schools are willing to try new sports and adapt to what the kids really want is encouraging.

In Petaluma, what the kids really want is lacrosse. The sport was started in our community just three years ago by a small group of parents who had played the sport in college and wanted to give their children and others a chance to experience the game.

Lacrosse is truly an American game, tracing its roots back to Native Americans who were playing a form of the game when the ships carrying Europeans to the new world were still a speck on history’s horizon.

It is also a fun game for both spectators and players. It combines the non-stop action of basketball, with the skill of soccer and the physical nature of football and wraps it all up in teamwork. One player can stand out, but not dominate a game.

It only took watching a couple of games to get me hooked on the sport. It is exciting and very fun to watch. It must be a blast to play. I still don’t know all the rules and I’m still learning the terminology, but you really don’t have to know a lot to appreciate the sport.

From the beginning three years ago, lacrosse has grown to 17 teams involving more than 350 youngsters of various age groups. There are boys varsity and junior varsity and girls club teams at both Casa Grande and Petaluma high schools.

Those numbers are an indication that lacrosse has quickly caught on with the only demographic group that really counts — the players. It really doesn’t matter how much me or any other fan enjoys the sport or how passionate the coaches are about lacrosse. What really counts is how enthusiastic the players are about the sport and, from what I can tell, they love it.

That is the biggest and best argument for making lacrosse an official school sport.

Its current status as a club sport means that Petaluma and Casa Grande teams are traveling all over the country. Even more significantly, the athletes cannot officially represent their schools. They cannot earn school athletic letters or win pennants and trophies for their schools. They aren’t even officially Trojans or Gauchos.

It’s not fair.

School administrators argue that they don’t have the resources to add an additional sport. They say there isn’t enough money or administrators to supervise the games.

Lacrosse supporters point out that if the sport were recognized as an official California Interscholastic Federation sport, the local schools could be placed in a league with Marin County or other closer-to-home schools.

Petaluma Youth Lacrosse League, the parent organization of the Petaluma River Cats, has said it will pick up the entire tab for a lacrosse program in both high schools and even provide most of the administrative work.

Truthfully, adding lacrosse, or any other sport, will have some impact on the schools. There will be some cost, some administrative work and it will take some athletes away from other sports. But those impacts will be minimal.

On the other side of the ledger is the irrefutable argument that their a lot of kids who want to represent their school playing lacrosse.

They deserve the chance.

Lauren Ciccomascolo Announced As Part of University of Denver Women’s Lacrosse Team

DENVER – The University of Denver women’s lacrosse team welcomes 11 freshmen in its latest recruiting class, head coach Liza Kelly announced today. The class of 2012 consists of Lauren Ciccomascolo, Laura Connors, Kaiti Delaney, Ashley Harman, Kelsey Hughes, Morgan Johnson, Kathryn Keppler, Rachel Lenchner, Melissa Maier, Kara Secora, and Becca Steinberg.”We have been looking forward to the fall of 2008 ever since these players committed,” DU head coach Liza Kelly said. “They are an extremely well-rounded group of young ladies that excel both in the classroom and on the lacrosse field. They will help Denver reach new heights during their four years.”

Ciccomascolo comes to the University of Denver from Orange County, Calif., where she recently was named the 2008 most valuable player of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Championship, as well as an Orange County Register athlete of the week. In 2007, Ciccomascolo was named first-team All-American and all-county at midfield, while also earning CIF player of the year. She was also first-team all-league and SWC MVP in 2006.

Connors joins the Pioneers from Manhasset, N.Y., where she played lacrosse for the Manhasset Indians. She was an All-American nominee as a senior, earned all-county as a junior and was named all-conference as a sophomore.

Delaney hails from Denver, where she played for Kent Denver and Team 180 club lacrosse. She earned first team all-state and honorable mention All-Colorado. She was named her team’s offensive MVP this year.

Harman joins Denver’s lacrosse team from Boyertown, Pa. She was named a first-team All-Pac Ten and Mercury all-area performer, as well as an honorable mention All-American this season. Harman was the 2008 MVP for her high school team. As a junior in 2007, she earned first team all-area and first team All-Pac Ten honors.

Hughes hails from Severna Park, Md. She was defensive player of the year twice and an IAAM A-league all-star in 2007 and 2008. Hughes was also selected to the All-Galaxy first team in 2007 and second team in 2008. As a senior, she was named a first-team all-met performer.

Johnson, a native of Denver, received honorable mention all-American as well as all-state honors this season. Johnson played defense for the three-time defending state champion Cherry Creek Bruins. She was selected as an all-league performer and named academic all-state honorable mention.

Keppler, also from Denver, played alongside Johnson on the state champion Cherry Creek Bruins. Keppler was named first team All-league. Her club lacrosse team won the Vail Shootout in 2007 and took second in 2008.

Lenchner joins the Pioneers from Pittsburgh, Penn., where she captained the Sewickley Academy lacrosse team last season. She was named a 2008 U.S. Lacrosse All-American and a two-time all-Midwest all-star. Lenchner was also a WPIAL first team all-star and WPIAL Section 2 first team all-star. She was selected as a Post Gazette athlete of the week in 2007, as well.

Maier comes to the University of Denver from Farmingdale, N.Y. She was selected to the Empire State Team in 2006 and 2007, and was also a member of the Nassau County and Long Island championship teams at Farmingdale H.S. Maier was a 2006 all-conference performer and a 2007 all-county honorable mention selection. She received the “Unsung Hero” award at the New York State Championship in 2006.

Secora, a Denver native, was named a first team All-American in 2007 and 2008. She was also selected to the Under Armour All-American team in 2008. Secora is a three-time first team all-state performer and a four-time first team all-league selection. As a member of the Rocky Mountain Nationals Team, she was honored in 2006 and 2007. During her career at Kent Denver, she set a school record with 317 points and served as captain her senior year.

Steinberg comes to DU from Millersville, Md. Steinberg played both attack and midfield for the Severn Admirals during high school. In 2008, she won the Player’s Award. She is also a two-time recipient of the Kimball Ground Ball Award. Steinberg was selected to the All-Galaxy first team in 2006 and 2007.

The Pioneers will return 24 players from the 2008 squad, including All-MPSF selections, Megan Carver (Baltimore, Md.), Steph Coyne (Baltimore, Md.), Ali Flury (Arnold, Md.) and Karen Morton (Adelaide, Australia), as well as Tri-Newcomer of the Year Tulley Stapp (Denver, Colo.). DU went 13-6 overall and 5-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in 2008 before falling to Stanford in the MPSF championship game. Denver lost six student-athletes to graduation, including Second-Team All-American and MPSF Player of the Year Kelly O’Connell.


Cameron Piorek High School Senior Lacrosse Classic To Benefit Assistance Fund

Cameron’s Story On April 22, Cameron Piorek, a sophomore defenseman at AlisoNiguelHigh School suffered a spinal injury while playing in a Wolverine lacrosse game. After the injury, he has been experiencing paralysis from the chest down. Cameron has responded well to his treatment and therapy sessions and was currently released from St. Jude Medical Center to spend three weeks of very intensive physical therapy at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland


The Los Angeles Riptide


Orange CountyLacrosse Association (OCLA)



Cameron Piorek Night at OrangeCoastCollege


Cameron Piorek HS Senior Lacrosse Classic

Northern California vs. Southern California

Graduating Senior All Stars

Saturday, August 9th, 2008 at 4:30pm

Followed by

L.A. Riptide vs. San Francisco Dragons at 8pm



On Saturday, August 9, the Riptide will join forces with Team Cameron and the Orange County Lacrosse Association (OCLA) to present the Cameron Piorek HS Senior Lacrosse Classicto benefit the Cameron Piorek Assistance Fund. The All-Star game will feature the best of the 2007-08 senior class from Northern California and Southern California.


Following the Senior Classic, the L.A. Riptide will take on their Northern California rivals, the San Francisco Dragons at 8pm


For more information, please visit



Cameron Piorek                            Ticket Prices

Assistance Fund                 Tickets Get you into the Senior Classic and the Riptide Game

$10 from each ticket           VIP Center Sideline: $50.00

purchased will go               Center Sideline: $35.00

towards the Cameron                  Reserved: $25.00

Piorek Assistance Fund    General Admission: $20.00 



CALL: Russ Chase (213)763.2652 or visit



Lacrosse On “90210” TV Series Update

West Beverly High parking lot and Lacrosse fields (El Segundo High School: 640 Main St.)
The scenes in the high school parking lot and lacrosse fields are filmed here. Dustin Milligan, who plays Ethan Ward, a star lacrosse player, enjoyed his scenes here the most because “I skateboard and there’s all these waxed curves and ledges, so I was skateboarding the whole time. It was sick! It was like right out of a video game or something.”


One of the new “90210” characters threw a big party at Boulevard3 last week, and though we can’t divulge whom, we can say that it was as decadent an affair as you might expect from the new residents of the posh ZIP Code. The popular Hollywood club is just one of many Los Angeles locations executive producers intend to showcase on the CW spinoff series.

“We’re using iconic places, and hopefully we’ll also be showing the cool places,” executive producer Gabe Sachs said. The show will also be filming at Raleigh Studios in Manhattan Beach. “It gives a reality to the show.” That doesn’t mean there won’t be a Peach Pit, shot at Kokomo Café, 6333 W. 3rd St. On this series, the old will mix in with the new as well as the real with the fictional.

The first episode was shot at seven locations:

1) Peach Pit (Kokomo Cafe: 6333 W. 3rd St.)
The favorite hangout in Beverly Hills for its cool hipster residents, but now it’s more of a trendy cafe that Nat, played by the returning Joe E. Tata, still owns.

2) West Beverly Hills High (Torrance High School: 2200 W Carson St)
In keeping with the original, all exterior shots of West Beverly High are done here. Shenae Grimes, who plays Annie Wilson, picked this as her favorite location, so far. “Awww, walking around the courtyard of the school that the original ‘90210’ was shot at. It was a very, very, very surreal moment. It was wild,” she said.

3) Wilson residence (Bel Air Road)
Tristan Wilds plays Annie’s brother, Dixon, and he was most impressed with the Bel-Air mansion on Bel Air Road that will serve as the Wilson residence. “The house is oh my goodness. It’s in Bel-Air. We got out of the car and I was like, ‘Gabe, I think we switched shows. Am I the new Fresh Prince now? What’s going on?’ ”

4) West Beverly High parking lot and Lacrosse fields (El Segundo High School: 640 Main St.)
The scenes in the high school parking lot and lacrosse fields are filmed here. Dustin Milligan, who plays Ethan Ward, a star lacrosse player, enjoyed his scenes here the most because “I skateboard and there’s all these waxed curves and ledges, so I was skateboarding the whole time. It was sick! It was like right out of a video game or something.”

5) Boulevard3 (Boulevard3: 6523 W. Sunset Blvd.)
The famed nightclub plays itself and is used for a climactic birthday party scene. Michael Steger, who plays Navid Shirazi, had never been to the club until the script called for it. “I really like to be here. It has a very good energy to it. I like the location. I can walk here.”

6) Peach Pit After Dark (Spider Club: 1737 Vine St.)
This is the Pit, the reincarnation of Peach Pit After Dark. AnnaLynne McCord, who plays queen bee Naomi, doesn’t party on her personal time, so she found it enlightening to film scenes in two clubs. “I don’t do the socialite nightclub thing, so it’s fun to see those in the daytime, where you’re like, ‘Oh, this is what goes on at night. It’s all debaucherous and all.”

7) Santa Monica Pier/Santa Monica Beach
The first episode ends with a bonfire on the sand, and Jessica Stroup chose this as her favorite locale. “It’s so quintessential Los Angeles. I love the pier. I grew up on the East Coast, and for me to have the last shot of the episode to be at the pier in Santa Monica on the beach, it’s awesome.”,0,6230853.htmlstory

Video: Nike Lacrosse Camp

Univ. of Mary Washington Nike Lacrosse Camp Attracts Young Players From California

Although he’d never played lacrosse before, Magnus Charters of Chevy Chase, Md., didn’t mind being thrown in with more skilled players attending the Nike camp at the University of Mary Washington.

“Everything is new to me, but I’ve learned a lot here. And I’m a better player now,” the rising junior and safety for the BCC football team said this week.

“I like the contact,” he added. “There aren’t so many rules, which I like, too. And I like the speed of the game.”

The sixth annual camp drew approximately 100 players, including California teens Harry and Sebastian Clifford, whose parents rented an RV for their cross-country trip.

Players were grouped by age with high-school players gathering at one field, middle-schoolers on another, and 12-and-unders at a third site at the Battleground complex.

While the evening scrimmages were easily the favorite time, there were plenty of opportunities to have fun while honing one’s lacrosse skills at all levels.

“A lot of this camp is about good habits and trying to teach them drills that they can do in small groups,” Shenandoah University head lacrosse coach Brian Jenkins said. “It is human nature for young athletes to always want to play, and every morning they ask me if we are scrimmaging this morning.

“Playing is a big part of it, but lacrosse is a very much a skilled sport. It is hard to play a game if the skills aren’t there.”

The mixture of high and lower skills worked for the most part, according to Hunter McCann of Charlottesville.

“We all get along,” the rising Albemarle High junior said. “I can catch and throw with both hands. I’m always here playing with guys learning how to catch and throw and helping them out.”

McCann, a midfielder, has played lacrosse since he was 5 years old and appreciates the way campers were brought along.

“The counselors [UMW lacrosse players] work with you one-on-one and they teach you about the team,” he related. “They don’t let you go out there and dominate. They always have something for you to fix.”

Daniel Coats was one of the counselors working with the 12-and-unders, and he noted the group improved its skills significantly since the first days of camp, worked hard and generally maintained its attention span.

Still, there was some friendly banter going on, particularly during the water breaks that occurred every 15-20 minutes.

“I’ve heard a lot of ‘When are we going to scrimmage? Do you have a girlfriend? How many girlfriends have you had?’ Funny stuff like that,” the rising UMW junior said.

While sharpening their individual skills was the top prize, campers also had fringe benefits to strive for — including camper-of-the-day tickets (to trade in for ice cream or soft drinks) for each session, as well as prizes that were handed out at Wednesday’s final session.

“The kids are all great here, and they are enthusiastic,” said Spotsylvania County resident Joe Trippi Sr. as he watched his grandsons Alex and Joey go through their drills.

“They enjoy the game — you can see that, and they are out here in 100-degree temperatures,” he added. “They’re working hard, and I’m over there in the shade sweating.”

Download Camp Brochure


The University of Mary Washington is proud to host a NIKE Lacrosse Camp again in 2008.  Located in Fredericksburg, this camp challenges campers of all abilities to get better results from their lacrosse training and skills.  Campers practice and play at The Battleground Complex, one of the finest facilities in Virginia and host to many NCAA Division III Championships.

15th year  Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach at UMW, Kurt Glaeser  returns as camp director this summer. During his tenure, Glaeser has made the Eagles one of the most competitive squads in the Mid Atlantic Region. Last season, his team went 10-5 and finished second in their conference, marking his third 10 or more win season in a row with a total of 31 wins. A two-time Capital Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Glaeser led his 2002 squad to the Capital Athletic Conference championship game, and set the school record with eleven wins in one of the top conferences in the nation. The 2002 season showed the continuing progression of the program, as UMW ranked nationally in defense for the second straight year, and lost just one game by more than two goals. The Eagles backed up the eleven wins earned in 2002 with ten more in 2003. The UMW squad also returned to the Conference Championships in ’03.  A tri-captain and all conference selection during his playing days at Western Maryland College, Glaeser played under former Towson High coach Bill Thomas.

Profile: Robert Abbott and West Coast Starz Compete At U-15 Championships

Robert Abbott recently got the opportunity to unveil his lacrosse skills on the national stage.

Abbott, a 15-year-old who will be a ninth grader at Ferrucci Junior High School this fall, competed against some of the best lacrosse players in the United States at the U-15 National Championships in Philadelphia, Pa. from July 17 to 20.

Abbott was on the roster of the West Coast Starz, a team comprised of some of the best lacrosse players from Washington, California, Texas, Nevada and Oregon.

“When I heard I was picked for the team I was surprised,” Abbott said. “I knew that I was good but I didn’t think I was that good.”

Lacrosse is a physical sport and that is one particular part of the game where Abbott excels.

“I like to score goals. I like scoring and then after that going to the defensive side where I can knock someone to the ground and get possession,” Abbott said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Even though Abbott is an aggressive player, he still shows respect for all his opponents regardless of the outcome.

“He’s a really level-headed kid. He stays centered,” Robert’s father Graham Abbott said. “Robert doesn’t pump his fist during the games. He’s all business out there.”

Recently, I had an opportunity to ask Robert a few questions about his life outside of lacrosse.

Shaun Scott: What is your favorite movie of all time?

Robert Abbott: “300.” I like the original version. It’s a good story line. Three hundred people went against a huge group and still almost won.

SS: Who do you want to be the next president of the United States?

RA: John McCain. He’s older and actually knows what he’s doing.

SS: What is your favorite restaurant in Puyallup?

RA: The Ram. The ribs there are just awesome.

SS: Where do you see yourself in five years?

RA: I want to be in the Naval Academy. They’ve got an awesome lacrosse team there that I eventually want to join.

SS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

RA: Don’t get a big head. I got that from my dad.

SS: What is your favorite dinner dish?

RA: Hawaiian pizza and bread sticks. I like the pineapples and whatever else they put together on there. It’s really good.

SS: Who is your favorite athlete of all time?

RA: I have two favorites. One is Gary Gait. He’s the best left-handed lacrosse player of all time. The other is Mike Powell. He’s one of the little guys but he’s still one of the best.

Lake Tahoe Lacrosse Tournament This Weekend

It’s back.

And while it will follow the same format, feature many of the same teams and be played at its familiar Village Green venue, one thing could be different about this year’s 18th annual Lake Tahoe Lacrosse Tournament in Incline Village, which runs from today through Sunday.Two players struggle for the ball during a tournament last spring.

The home team — just maybe — could be pretty good.

“We’re actually going to have one of our better teams,” said Incline resident Curt Wegener, a lacrosse enthusiast and goalkeeper for the Tahoe Dawgs, the host team at the tournament.

Perennially, the Tahoe Dawgs have struggled at its home tournament, including a 1-3 showing at last year’s event. To the team’s credit, it rarely gets to play and practice as an entire team for any time outside the days leading up to the annual Tahoe tourney.

But after last year’s tournament, Wegener said it was one of the team’s better performances, maybe the best since the Dawgs made it all the way to the title game in 1997, before coming up short.

This year, the team could even be better, he said, as the team recently scrimmaged in Palo Alto, Calif., winning two of three matches.

As for competition, the field will be impressive, Wegener said. Many of the tournament’s regulars, such as the Rocky Mountain Oysters, Olympic Club and Dub C (the defending champs from ‘07) are all signed up to compete again in 2008, among the tournament’s 16 total teams. Many of the teams hail from the Bay area, central California, Oregon, Colorado and Idaho.

The Dawgs lie in Group C, along with Big Foot, NW Nirvana and Palo Alto. Two new teams to this years’ field are Team Mexico and Woozles.

The entire tourney takes place at the Village Green. Matches played on Friday and Saturday will have 30-minute halves, with Sunday games having 25-minute halves. The semi-finals and finals will have 30-minute halves. Each team will play a minimum of four games this weekend, with a total of three games being played on Friday and Saturday and at least one on Sunday.

Today’s matches kick off at 11 a.m., with Marin playing Team Mexico and SLO Town playing Chico, on fields one and two, respectively, at the Village Green. The Tahoe Dawgs play their first match at 4 p.m. today against Big Foot. On Saturday, the Incline-based team plays at 12:30 p.m. against NW Nirvana and at 3 p.m. against Palo Alto.

“It’s going to be a great weekend to come and see some great lacrosse, some of the best lacrosse you can see around here.” Wegener said.

Onyx Lacrosse and New West Distributing are sponsoring this year’s tournament, and they will be on hand for tonight’s welcome party for the tournament, which takes place at Crosby’s in Incline. Also, during the tourney at the Village Green, hamburgers or sandwiches, soda, water and more will be sold.

The annual Lake Tahoe Women’s Lacrosse Tournament also will take place this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, with more teams and a larger pool than last year’s tourney, which featured six teams. Games will have 25 minute halves, and will take place Saturday at Incline High School.

On Sunday, both the men and women will play their respective championship games at the Village Green, with the ladies playing at 1:15 p.m. and the men playing at 2:30 p.m.

If you go
What: 18th annual Lake Tahoe Lacrosse Tournament
When: All day today, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Village Green, fields one and two
Notable No. 1: The Tahoe Dawgs, Incline’s home team, plays its first match at 4 p.m. today against Big Foot.
Notable No. 2: The annual Lake Tahoe Women’s Lacrosse Tournament also takes place this weekend, with Saturday’s games at Incline High School and Sunday’s title game at the Village Green.

Adidas National Lacrosse Classic Recap

Baltimore, MD — The inaugural adidas National Lacrosse Classic featuring the top high school underclassmen boys on 16 regional teams from eight regions in the United States gathered at the Maryland Soccerplex in Germantown on July 19-20 for an exciting weekend of high school boys’ lacrosse action. In all, 31 games were played in a 24-hour span. The first national championship went to Rochester, which defeated Delmar Prep (Baltimore Private Schools), 9-8, in a thrilling, back-and-forth championship game not decided until the final 30 seconds.
“We are pleased to provide this unique experience for the entire lacrosse community,” said Jeff Bowyer of adidas Lacrosse. “Our vision is to expose parents, coaches and student athletes to the rapidly growing sport of lacrosse at all levels to all areas of the country.”

Crowning a champion is an exciting proposition, but according to Joel Franklin, Chairman of Level 2 Sports and the Event Directo, there is a higher goal at stake. “There is a wide diversity of lacrosse talent throughout the United States, but many of these players are not receiving the exposure that they deserve,” said Franklin. “Recruiting budgets for most college programs have not grown at the same pace as the game’s popularity and it is difficult for coaches to find opportunities to actually meet the players and see them play. We wanted to provide that platform and we are grateful to the folks at adidas Lacrosse for helping to make this a reality.”

Players were selected to their regional team over the past two months after a three-hour evaluation by high school coaches that included individual position drills, time testing for speed, and a series of games. Regional teams from Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Greensboro, Long Island, Los Angeles, Orlando, Princeton, Rochester, San Francisco, and Washington DC-Virginia competed in the first-ever of its kind National High School Games.

“This [tournament] is a perfect example of where the sport is going,” said Scott Conklin, who coaches at Episcopal School in Northern Virginia. “Players from all over the country come here to compete against the best. The guys from Denver, Orlando, and California are hanging in there. You can tell they have great athletes and their stick skills are coming around. They understand the game much better than four or five years ago. It’s not going to be long before lacrosse is nation-wide and there’s going to be 10 to 12 hotbeds.”

Many coaches were on hand to watch the games. According to Mike Blanchard, head coach at Emerson College in Massachusetts, “The adidas National Lacrosse Classic ran so well, and was so thought out, that I was amazed that this was an inaugural event.” Zack Burke, Baltimore Sun’s Coach of the Year, added that the “event gives high school underclassmen the rare opportunity to play with other great players from their area and join together to become the best lacrosse region in America.”

National champion Rochester will play for the Brodgen Cup against Canada in Orlando, Florida, December 5-8, 2008. “I’m going to Disney World!” Kyle VanThof shouted to the absolute amusement of his teammates, who surrounded him during a post-game interview.

Tylon Thompson scored three goals and VanThof netted two, including the game-winner with less than 30 seconds left in the game, to lift Rochester to a thrilling 9-8 victory over a talented Delmar Prep team on Sunday. Delmar consisted of private school players from the Mid-Atlantic region of Delaware and Maryland. This team has a handful of players that have already committed to play for Division I programs.

Chris Lightner, a three-year varsity lacrosse starter and team captain of the 2008 Calvert Hall (17-2) team has recently committed to play for Johns Hopkins. Teammates Tyler Adelsberger and Jason McFadden have committed to Ohio State and Georgetown, respectively.

Bill Cherry, head coach at Manhasset High School, and Steve Finnell, head coach at Garden City, teamed up to coach the adidas Long Island team. Manhasset and Garden City are have perhaps the oldest high school lacrosse rivalry in the nation.

In addition to Burke, the other participating high school coaches have many impressive accomplishments. Mark Sweeney, head coach at Madison High School in New Jersey, was the 2007 Star Ledger Coach of the Year and 2007 Fitch Division Coach of the Year. Mike Vergalito, head coach at Hunterdon Central in New Jersey, was the 2007 Pitt Division Coach of the Year.

* * * *

Sometimes, all it takes is a passionate speech from the coach to spark a team to success. Or a punch in the mouth, perhaps. It happened Sunday at the Adidas National Lacrosse Classic semifinals, when the Baltimore Private team found itself in a 3-0 hole at the break against Baltimore Public. The game had some added incentive, since most of the players on the field had spent many summers playing club ball together and have had some exciting meetings during the spring high school seasons.

“I guess our guys just took them lightly, and, if you do that in a tournament like this, they’re going to jump on you,” said Baltimore Private coach Zack Burke, whose team rallied back for a 7-4 victory and advanced to the finals at the Soccerplex in Germantown, Md. “It wasn’t so much a speech. I think they just came out and punched us in the mouth. My guys weren’t fired up until that happened. Sometimes, that is all it takes.”

Burke, the All-DigitalSports Boys’ Lacrosse Coach of the Year for the Baltimore-metro area, carefully watched Baltimore Public’s 10-5 victory over Princeton, NJ in the quarterfinals and awaited the match-up. To throw some fuel on the fire, Glenelg coach Josh Hatmaker, the Baltimore Public coach, led his team past Burke’s Archbishop Spalding squad last spring in an MIAA meeting.

“Coming in, we knew it was going to be a big rivalry,” said Andrew Scalley, who scored two goals for Baltimore Private and helped lift the team in the second half.

“It was private schools versus public, and we wanted to show what we had. Everything was on the line because we wanted to go to Florida. In the second half, we started to play together and we put some goals in the back of the net.”

The trip to Orlando barely eluded Baltimore Private, as it later fell to Rochester, NY in the championship, 9-8. One more victory would have secured a trip south to represent the U.S. against Canada for the historic Brogden Cup on Dec. 5-8 to determine the best region of high school lacrosse players in North America.

As old local rivalries were rekindled over the weekend, new long-distance ones were sparked. Washington, DC Private squeaked by a tough Chicago team in overtime, 6-5, in a quarterfinal game. Bob Degen, the Chicago coach, was happy with his team’s performance and was glad the spectators got to see some of the talent coming out of the middle of the country.

“We may not get to see this kind of quality play in the Midwest but at the same time, we got the opportunity to show that we have some great athletes,” Degen said. “The sport is growing by leaps and bounds in the Midwest and everyone had a great time here this weekend.”

Washington, DC Private coach Scott Conklin admitted that the torch hasn’t been passed yet but that the rest of the country is catching up. “This [tournament] is a perfect example of where the sport is going,” said Conklin, who coaches at Episcopal in Northern Virginia. “Kids from all over the country come here to compete against the best. These guys from Denver, Orlando, and California are hanging in there. You can tell they have great athletes and their stick skills are coming around. They understand the game much better than four or five years ago. It’s not going to be long before lacrosse is nation-wide and there are going to be 10 to 12 hotbeds.”

Andrew Cordia, of Washington DC Private, said he was a little surprised how talented the Chicago side was but it just taught him and his teammates that every team at the tournament could play. He scored the tying goal and game-winner in the quarterfinal victory. “It was a tight game,” the rising senior at Episcopal said. “They shut us out the entire first half. I was surprised Chicago could come out like that.”

On the final score, Cordia admitted a little luck played a part. “I really wasn’t trying to go to the cage,” he said. “I sort of ducked out of a double team and ended up on the crease. But it was nice. It always feels good to be in overtime and hit the game-winner.”



Cameron Piorek Update

Despite a small glitch with a very nasty ticket agent in Baltimore which resulted in them missing their originally scheduled return flight, Brandon and Cameron made it home safely last Saturday. It was late (11pm), and both Cameron and Brandon were tired, but after 3 very long months… Cameron is HOME!! The van drove like a charm and all of the upgrades to his new room and bathroom were complete and just waiting for him to test out. He woke up first thing on Sunday and took a shower at home… and he LOVED IT!! His fellow lacrosse teammate and good buddy, Shane Diamond arrived first thing in the morning and the two hung out and caught up on all kinds of ‘important guy stuff’. Just to make matters even more perfect, a Los Angeles Riptide game came on TV early in the afternoon and, at several times during the broadcast, the camera focused on the back of the players’ helmets and Cameron was able to plainly see the ‘#36 Team Cameron’ helmet stickers that the whole team is wearing! It made Cameron feel ‘VERY proud and honored that the team would do that just for him!’

Cameron made HUGE strides in Baltimore towards his recovery. He now has some muscle control in, not only his intercostal muscles, but his glutes and thighs also. He also can slightly move one of his big toes if he concentrates VERY hard. He still cannot feel the muscles, but he can control them and that is HUGE progess. The big news of the week, however, is that he has resumed some sensation in his left tricep. He ordered some equipment that was recommended at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, so in addition to his regular therapy sessions, he can continue what he learned there on his own as well.


Cameron has said that he is so grateful for having had the opportunity to begin his outpatient rehabilitation and occupational therapy at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. He met a lot of people there and would highly recommend the facility to anyone who finds themself in his position. He said that “it was absolutely the right decision to go there and he will never forget his experience there”. In his own words… “I loved everyone there from the moment I arrived until the moment I left”. Cameron is hoping to go back one day and visit…only this time, he will WALK through the front door!







Cameron will continue outpatient rehabilitation for the next 6 weeks at St. Jude’s Brea facility. He is aso hoping to begin therapy at Project Walk Spinal Cord Injury and Recovery Center in Carlsbad, California.

Cameron will also be working toward finishing up his World History class so that, in the fall, he can go back to school as a junior with his friends at Aliso Niguel High School.

In the meantime, Cameron is looking forward to having LOTS of friends visit him at HOME! If you would like to drop by, please call him first, then head on over. He missed everyone and can’t wait to catch up with all of the ins and outs of teenage life. He is looking forward to showing everyone how much progress he has made in such a short time!


And the Piorek Family would like to extend an invitation for EVERYONE to CELEBRATE with THEM!!

THIS Sat July 26, 2008

5:00pm until…whenever at:


Please join Cameron, Brandon, Kelly, Jordan and Indiana to celebrate Cameron’s arrival back home in Aliso Viejo.

Tony Pepperoni’s is located in the food court of the Sports Chalet Plaza on the corner of La Paz and Pacific Park in Laguna Niguel.

Saturday August 9, 2008

AEG, the ownership group of Major League Lacrosse’s Los Angeles Riptide, will be sponsoring a fundraising event for Cameron. The game is at Orange Coast College (OCC) in Costa Mesa. The Riptide will be hosting the San Francisco Dragons in, what is sure to be, an exciting game.

A special website has been set up so that tickets can be purchased in advance. For every ticket purchased through the website, AEG will donate $10 to the Cameron Piorek Assistance Fund. Let’s get the word out to everyone and have a HUGE crowd to cheer on the LA Riptide as well as Cameron!

Please log onto the website and order your tickets TODAY!

After the game, there will be player autograph signing at the fence at the bottom of the stands. Ask any Riptide player to show you his helmet and you will see the custom ‘# 36 Team Cameron’ sticker that the team sports on Cameron’s behalf.