Daily Archives: April 21, 2009

Northern California Lacrosse Clubs: Novato Lacrosse Club Celebrates 40th Year As Club That Started Lacrosse In Marin, CA


The Novato Lacrosse Club, which was established in 1969, now includes 11 teams (eight boys and three girls) totaling 200 kids. And like the kids in the program, it is still growing, adding about 20-40 players each year, league president Craig Hill noted.

Jake Caliguire, (L), Cody Dawson, (back middle), Conor Breckenridge (back right), and Griffin Griggs (front right), sit for a portrait before practice at Novato High on Thursday, April 16, 2009. The four teammates grew up in the Novato Lacrosse Club and now star for the Novato High Hornets lacrosse team. (IJ photo/Jeff Vendsel)

Jake Caliguire, (L), Cody Dawson, (back middle), Conor Breckenridge (back right), and Griffin Griggs (front right), sit for a portrait before practice at Novato High on Thursday, April 16, 2009. The four teammates grew up in the Novato Lacrosse Club and now star for the Novato High Hornets lacrosse team. (IJ photo/Jeff Vendsel)

That growth has created some issues – finding fields for practices and games, for instance. But it also has plusses. More young kids playing means more potential high school players in the future.

That’s good news for Novato High coach Mike Pardi, an alumnus of both the NLC and the school.

“I’m happy to have come out of it, and the fact that we have kids who start playing lacrosse at the younger levels and are starting to see these kids come in and play, it’s starting to really pay off. I know that in the next couple of years, we’re going to be having some kids coming it at the high school level with six years of lacrosse experience and they’re going to be coming in as ninth graders. So it’s going to be really, really impressive to see.”

Pardi, who is a member of the NLC hall of fame, is already seeing success on the field thanks to many NLC alumni. The Hornets won the MCAL title in 2005 and claimed the league’s regular-season crown in 2008. Novato also earned North Coast Section berths in 2004, 2005 and 2008, reaching the semifinals last year.

The NLC is a reason Novato ranks with Redwood and Marin Catholic as a consistent MCAL power. Like Novato, Redwood (Southern Marin Lacrosse Club, Ross Valley Lacrosse Club) and Marin Catholic (SMLC, RVLC, NLC) get freshmen with some experience in their programs.

“It’s a tremendous advantage,” Redwood coach Griffin Costello said of working with players who have come to him from juniors programs. “The younger they start, the better they are. It starts with fundamentals and good coaching, getting the stick skills down. Then the athleticism comes later.”

With experience comes confidence, too, which is a reason Novato’s players see MCAL playoff success as a possibility despite a lopsided loss to MCAL-leading Redwood last month.

“I’m out here every day working,” said Novato junior Jake Caliguire, who took up lacrosse in seventh grade. “When I was younger, I was playing baseball. But once I started playing lacrosse, there was no turning back.”

That is a sentiment shared by Novato junior Griffin Griggs and senior teammates Conor Breckenridge and Cody Dawson among others. All have grown up with and grown to love lacrosse after learning the sport as youngsters.

In Breckenridge’s case, that first exposure came in second grade when he lived in Maryland. His family moved to Marin before he entered seventh grade and he soon found his way to the Novato Lacrosse Club.

“Where I come from, we all had sticks since we were 5 years old,” said Breckenridge, who plays defense for Novato High. “But it was a little different, more physical the way I learned it. Here, I learned to play with more finesse. But I still like to hit people.”

In the end, however, the players agreed that regardless if their style revolves around power or finesse, lacrosse is really about stickwork. Translated, that means a longer exposure to lacrosse means a higher chance of success.

“A big deal with that is teams like Terra Linda and San Rafael didn’t have juniors programs in that area,” Griggs said. “So most of their kids are picking up their sticks for the first time in high school. By the time they are juniors in high school, they have only been playing for two years. So it’s good they are getting a (juniors) program.”

Griggs was exposed to lacrosse as a first grader when his brother, then in seventh grade, joined a NLC team. But Griggs didn’t get to play organized lacrosse until he was in fifth grade, when a team for his age level was created.

With NLC now offering teams for kids as young as seven, that won’t be such an issue for future players.

“I wish I had started earlier,” Caliguire said. “We all pride ourselves on our stickwork. If you can catch and throw you can possess the ball. That’s the game.”

Dawson, however, said players at schools such as Novato, Marin Catholic and Redwood with experienced players have another edge.

“I think the biggest advantage that we gain from having played in the juniors isn’t so much stick skills, at least for me personally” Dawson said. “It’s that all the kids that weren’t able to play at the junior level don’t understand concepts like defense, offense, offensive plays. So we have that advantage.”

“There’s a lot of information that goes into the game,” Pardi said. “Attention to detail, and executing little things and being really strong at the basics. So there’s a lot of information that you have to absorb in. It not just a physical game. When the game is going on, I’d say it’s 60/40 mental.”


College Lacrosse Recruiting: Lacrosse Student-Athletes And Parents May Contact Coaches, With Few Restrictions, Prior To July 1 Following Junior Year

victorycollegiateconsulting9Are parents and prospects permitted to initiate contact with college coaches any earlier than July 1 following the junior year in high school?

 Yes. Where coaches are bound by very strict contact rules, especially by phone and face to face, prospects and families are permitted to contact college coaches by phone and on the college campus with very few restrictions.

 I feel this is an important area and it would be wise to take a proactive and early approach in contacting college coaches. There is a tremendous amount of information that can be gathered by the prospect and the family that initiate communication with the college coaches who, for the most part, will be happy to speak with you. It places you on the radar screen of the coaches that develops a level of respect for the prospect in his effort to “take the bull by the horns.”


Tom Kovic
Victory Collegiate Consulting
The “go to” Information Site

California High School Lacrosse Scores For April 20

laxpower19High School Boys

CA Anaheim Servite 9, Mater Dei 5
CA Beckman 14, San Juan Hills 2
CA Bellarmine Prep 8, Menlo School 6
CA Bonita Vista 14, Chula Vista 1
CA Burlingame 9, Los Gatos 8
CA Corona Del Mar 25, Irvine HS 0
CA Eastlake 3, Hilltop 2
CA Foothills Christian 12, Montgomery 0
CA Laguna Hills 18, University Irvine 1
CA Los Alamitos 22, Tustin HS 2
CA Menlo-Atherton 13, Archbishop Mitty 6
CA Mira Costa 12, Chadwick School 4
CA Palisades Charter 8, Manual Arts HS 1
CA Poway 9, San Marcos 4
CA Rancho Bernardo 11, Carlsbad 1
CA Sacred Heart Prep 11, Saratoga 3
CA Serra-San Mateo 11, Leland 5
CA Torrey Pines 13, Westview 4

High School Girls

CA Cathedral Catholic 12, San Dieguito Academy 6
CA Gunn 10, Sacred Heart Prep, CA 9
CA La Costa Canyon 13, Poway 8
CA Laguna Hills 19, University HS, Irvine 0
CA Mission Hills 11, Fallbrook 1
CA Mt. Carmel, CA 14, Ramona 0
CA Rancho Bernardo 12, Carlsbad 7
CA Torrey Pines 12, Westview, CA 5


Northern California High School Lacrosse: East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) Boys Lacrosse Rankings For April 20, 2009

Amador Valley climbs up to No. 2 with San Ramon Valley checking in at No. 3 after a big win over Monte Vista. The Mustangs are fourth followed by Foothill.

1. De La Salle (10-2)

2. Amador Valley (11-2)

3. San Ramon Valley (8-6)

4. Monte Vista (8-5)

5. Foothill (9-5)

6. Acalanes (8-3)

7. Berkeley (10-1)

8. Las Lomas (8-3)

9. Piedmont (7-6)

10. Clayton Valley (11-3)

11. Miramonte (8-5)

12. California (7-7)

13. Bentley (7-4)

14. College Park (6-4)

15. Livermore (5-7)


East Bay Athletic League: San Ramon Valley High School Boys Lacrosse Are 8-6 In A Rebuilding Year And Ranked Third Behind De La Salle (10-2) And Amador Valley (11-2)

sanramonlacrosseLast year, the San Ramon Valley High School boys lacrosse team went 20-3, easily winning the North Coast Section title.

This year, the Wolves lost three times in their first six games, but don’t underestimate them.

They lost eight out of 10 starters from last year’s team but still find themselves at 8-6 overall and tied for third at 5-3 in the East Bay Athletic League.

Of their six losses, three of them were by one goal and one was a four-goal loss to St. Ignatius, the second best team in the state.

Not bad for a team that plays four freshmen in the six spots that make up the first two lines of the midfield.

“We’re a team you don’t want to play,” San Ramon Valley coach Peter Worstell said. “Right now, we’re gaining confidence and we’re just looking for some consistency. We feel like we can beat anyone if we show, but we have to go out there and prove it.”

Worstell appears confident, but don’t mistake that for arrogance. He and his team respect every opponent they face, especially in the EBAL.

“We respect everyone in front of us and take everyone seriously,” Worstell said. “The EBAL is tough and won’t be decided until the final game and we respect each and every team. If you don’t show, you’re gonna be on the wrong side of things.”

Patrick Worstell, Michael Tagliaferri, Jordan Weiss and Chase Miller are the four freshmen who play the midfield and they are the core of the young nucleus that continues to get better.

 “This is a competitive young group,” Worstell said. “Playing in a league like this does nothing but add character.”

After losing one-goal games in league to Amador Valley and Foothill, the Wolves beat Monte Vista last week, 11-10. The Mustangs were starting to establish themselves as the second-best team, behind De La Salle.

“That was a significant win for us,” Worstell said. “We look at that as a launching pad.”

The Wolves get a chance to avenge the 10-9 loss to Amador Valley as they host the Dons Tuesday night.

Speaking of Worstell’s four outstanding freshmen, they have been invited to Jake Reed’s Blue Chip camp in Maryland. It is the most prestigious individual camp in the country, and these four will be in the new rising sophomore camp.

Worstell’s own camp, California Gold, which runs from July 15-16, is not far behind and is the most highly touted recruiting camp in the West. An invitation must be earned, and it will consist of 108 kids, which will make for six teams of 18.

Worstell, who was a four-time All-American at Maryland (three times as a middie, once as an attack) has top-notch coaches in attendance to help run the camp such as Dave Pietramala of Johns Hopkins and Dave Cottle of Maryland.

Just before that, on July 12-14, Worstell will run the Be The Best Lacrosse Camp. This camp will have about 250 players and will have 50-60 of the top coaches and players from throughout the country.

Both camps take place at Osage Park in Danville.

Question and Answer with Monte Vista’s Miller


This week I spoke with Monte Vista middie Garrett Miller for a question and answer session. Take a look at what he had to say.

Q: What’s it like night in and night out playing in the ultra-competitive EBAL?

Garrett: Playing in one of the toughest leagues in northern California has been an overall a great experience. Because the EBAL is so competitive it gives me a chance to potentially play lacrosse at the next level. We play each team in EBAL twice, and every game is a different challenge. We might lose to one team, and with each team getting better as the season progresses, the next game is a different story.

Q: What is the hardest part, and what is the coolest part about being a middie?

Garrett: The hardest part is definitely the running. Last year I played mostly defensive middie and that really tires you out. But the coolest part is knowing when you can beat your defender one on one and score a goal.

Q: What will it take to win the NCS title?

Garrett: It will take a lot of heart and teamwork. If we work hard enough as a team and work together we will win NCS.

Q: How did you get into lacrosse?

Garrett: I started playing lacrosse my sophomore year because I wasn’t good at football, and all of my friends played. It looked like such a fun sport and I had always wanted to try. One day over the summer my friends said that I should try and play lacrosse. We played catch and they taught me some of the basics and then when I tried out in the Spring I made the team.

Q: What movies, bands or songs fire you up the most? Does anything inspire you or get you ready for a game?

Garrett: I would have to say the movie 300 gets me fired up, along with any Rage Against the Machine and the song Inch by Inch by Al Pacino.




27-FEB FRI MIRAMONTE HOME 5:30PM W 10-2 7:00PM L 8-9
6-MAR FRI NOVATO HOME 5:30PM W 13-2 7:00PM W 15-8
10-MAR TUES ACALANES HOME 5:30PM W 10-1 7:00PM W 11-10
13-MAR FRI ST IGNATIUS  HOME/AWAY 7:30 PM  L 3-10 4:00PM L 9-13
17-MAR TUES LIVERMORE* HOME 5:30PM   W 7-3 7:00PM W 17-1
20-MAR FRI AMADOR VALLEY* AWAY 5:30PM L 1-9 7:00PM L 9-10
24-MAR TUES GRANADA* HOME 5:30PM W 14-3 7:00PM   W 16-3 
25-MAR WED LIVERMORE* AWAY 5:30PM W 12-0 7:00PM W 17-1
27-MAR FRI CAL* AWAY 5:30PM W 15-1 7:00PM W 20-9
31-MAR TUES FOOTHILL* AWAY 5:30PM L 7-8 7:00PM L 13-14
3-APR FRI DE LA SALLE* HOME 5:30PM L 6-7 7:00PM L 4-11
17-APR FRI MONTE VISTA* AWAY 5:30PM     7:00PM  
24-APR FRI GRANADA* AWAY 5:30PM   7:00PM  
28-APR TUES CAL* HOME 5:30PM    7:00PM  

College Lacrosse Recruiting: Student-Athletes Must Build A Team To Manage The Recruiting Process (Victory Collegiate Consulting)

victorycollegiateconsulting8What specific areas can you pinpoint in managing the college recruiting process?

 Begin by building a team of people who are familiar with the prospect and offer certain “area strengths” in the process. These can include: Guidance counselor, high school and club coaches, mom and dad, mentor and an advisor if necessary. When you break it down, there are areas of the recruiting process that require specific attention and by distributing the workload to the “area experts,” you will create a more manageable recruiting experience.


Tom Kovic
Victory Collegiate Consulting