Category Archives: Middle School Girls
US Lacrosse Releases “2013 Lacrosse Participation Survey”; Record Total Of 746,000 Players Competed On Organized Teams, A 34% Increase Since 2008
“2014 Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival” Concluded Seventh Annual Tournament In Indio, CA With Record 245 Girls’ & Boys’s Club Teams Competing
- 2014 Division – Puget Sound Select Elite
- 2015 Division – BearLax ‘15 Blue
- 2016 Division – Team 180 ‘16 Yellow
- 2017 Division – BearLax ‘17 Blue
- 2018 Division – Team 180 ‘18 Yellow
- 2019-2020 Division – Team 180 ‘19
- Elite Division – Kings Lax Gold
- 3d Lacrosse SoCal 16
- Freshman-Sophomore Division – DoCo Dogs 9/10
- Middle School Division – Oregon Pride 15-Under
- Fifth-Sixth Grade Division – 3d Lacrosse NorCal ‘20
- Youth Division – Brady’s Bunch 11-Under
Princeton Women’s Lacrosse head coach Chris Sailer sent an assistant to scout the Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival during the early years of its existence. Sailer figured a fledgling tournament on the West Coast would not feature the type of talent a perennial powerhouse in the Ivy League was seeking. With each passing year, those assistants reported to Sailer that Sand Storm was blowing up and the caliber of players attending was rapidly improving. So Sailer decided to check out the event herself last year and came away impressed.
“I was amazed by the quality of the tournament as a whole. The location, the facility, the organization – everything was first-class and top-notch,” Sailer said. “It was a great opportunity to see a lot of West Coast kids at a time of the year when no other recruiting events are being held. We wound up getting two players that we would not have seen otherwise. It just really opened my eyes to the caliber of talent that is participating in that tournament.”
Synapse Sports established the Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival in 2008 with 22 girls’ teams playing games on four fields. Last month, the seventh annual Sand Storm attracted 245 teams on both the boys’ and girls’ sides with a whopping 40 fields at the meticulous Empire Polo Club being utilized. “Sand Storm has grown by one thousand percent in just seven years. That is just incredible when you think about it,” said Cathy Samaras, founder and CEO of Synapse Sports.
“Everything about Sand Storm is spectacular. What’s not to love about 85 degree days in January under palm trees with snow showing on the mountains in the distance? We are particularly thrilled to provide a lacrosse tournament in which both girls and boys compete on adjacent fields and then come together to shop, eat and chill out!”
This year’s tournament set a new standard with Under Armour coming aboard as a corporate sponsor and providing a new lacrosse head and signature Sand Storm T-shirt to members of all 12 championship teams. Gatorade, a longtime partner of Synapse Sports, kept all the athletes well hydrated throughout the warm weekend in Palm Springs.
“We really enjoyed our time at Sand Storm. It’s great to be out in the desert where the weather is so phenomenal,” said Frank Chance, manager of the Kings Lax program from Newport Beach, Cal. “The facility is fantastic and the fields are in amazing shape. It’s like playing lacrosse on a putting green. The tournament is extremely well-run with everything happening on time and in an orderly fashion.”
Kings Lax, comprised entirely of players from Corona Del Mar High, uses Sand Storm as a preseason tune-up. Head coach G.W. Mix led the squad to the Elite Division championship with a victory over rival Orange County. “We are not a typical club program that draws talent from a wide area, but our kids have been playing together for a long time and have great chemistry and a commitment to teamwork,” Chance said. “It’s a great accomplishment to win Sand Storm because the level of competition was outstanding. It just keeps getting better and better each year.”
Theresa Sherry has been bringing her BearLax program to Sand Storm since its inception and has also marveled at its evolution. BearLax had all 13 of its teams and some 250 athletes at this year’s tournament and came away with two titles – topping the 2015 and 2017 Girls brackets. Team Tough, its middle school entry, was runner-up while three other entries lost in the semifinals.
“All the brackets had a lot of strong teams so it was really fun to see six of our teams make the playoffs. We won a championship at the very first Sand Storm in 2008 and I can tell you it’s much more difficult to do now,” Sherry said.
“Seven years ago, the best athletes on the West Coast were not playing lacrosse. That has changed dramatically as the sport has grown in popularity and parents have seen the college opportunities. I watched a lot of games during this year’s tournament and saw some amazing athletes out on the field.”
Bottom line, Sand Storm is now attracting a slew of major Division I prospects as well as a bevy of Division II and III candidates, which has swelled the ranks of college recruiters attending the two-day event. Schools from all the major conferences – Atlantic Coast, American, Ivy, Big East, Mountain Pacific – were on hand to scout for talent.
“There are definitely a lot more college coaches coming to Sand Storm. I had conversations with a bunch of coaches throughout the tournament that were interested in our players,” Sherry said. “This is clearly becoming a great opportunity for kids to showcase their skills and attract the attention of the college recruiters.”
Puget Sound Select made its third appearance at Sand Storm and was thrilled to come away with the Girls 2014 Division championship. Bainbridge Island High head coach Tamiko Tommila, who operates the program along with Lakeside High head coach Jamie Osaka, said winning Sand Storm was the greatest accomplishment to date for Puget Sound Select.
“We were ecstatic that our elite team won the title. It was definitely a big step forward for our program,” Tommila said. “We are not a big recruiting club. We treat Sand Storm as a reward to our kids for all the hard work they put in during the fall and winter. We just want to play lacrosse and loved that we were able to get in six games. That really made it worth our while to bring two teams. Winning a championship was icing on the cake.”
3d Lacrosse, an up-and-coming program operated by former University of Denver head coach Jamie Munro, showed up at Sand Storm in full force and came away with two titles. SoCal 16 captured the Boys High School Division while NorCal 20 took the Boys Sixth Grade crown. Zack Burke, southern California director for 3d Lacrosse coached the 2016 squad, which was comprised of sophomores from Poway, Torrey Pines, Costa Canyon and Cathedral Catholic high schools.
“Our players and parents all loved the tournament. It was run really well and the complex is beautiful,” Burke said. “It was just a great weekend all around and we’ll definitely be coming back to Sand Storm from now on.”
For more information about the 2014 Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival visit the event website: www.laxtournaments.com
SYNAPSE SPORTS Synapse Sports is the premier provider of lacrosse playing opportunities and recruiting events in the U.S. Founder and CEO Cathy Samaras has been a trailblazer in the sport of lacrosse, working tirelessly for over 25 years to promote the growth and development of the game – from grassroots to global. To learn more about the exciting events organized by the company visit www.synapsesports.com or call 410-573-1414.
3d Lacrosse Launches Major California Expansion In 2014 With New Offices, Club Teams, Leagues, Events And Staff To Develop Western Players
To date, 3d Lacrosse has served more than 5,500 players in northern and southern California. Today, the Company announces a major expansion in the state to better serve players in California and the Western region with:
- New Offices and Staff: 3d Lacrosse has opened new offices in San Diego, Orange County, San Francisco and, very shortly, Los Angeles. Each is staffed with top- rated coaches dedicated to developing Western players;
- New Events: The Oceanside Hustle, a twice-yearly tournament (June and December) modeled after the Western powerhouse Denver Shootout, and The Cable Car Classic, a tournament for boys and girls in grades 4 – 8, scheduled for June.
- New Camps: The Adventure Series, which will combine top lacrosse instruction with surfing and other outdoor fun will take place in August, while “Be the Best” camps will expand statewide; and
- New Club Teams and Leagues: Increased development of up to 30 nationally- competitive club teams, plus the inaugural season for a Temecula-based Box League.
“We are thrilled to be expanding our first-class operations, instruction, leagues and events in California,” said 3d Lacrosse CEO Jamie Munro. “To date, California and Western players have embraced our instructional methodology and welcomed our organized staff and top-rated coaches.
Our mission in California continues to reflect that of the entire organization: to foster developing talent with winning skills that will differentiate these players from their competitors and to train further the best players in the world.”
Greg Waldbaum, President and COO noted that, “We have been growing steadily in California for several years and we are now forwarding the increased interest we’ve seen in 3d Lacrosse into investments in people and programming.”
Western Success: Major Victory Increasing interest and participation has also netted significant results. “3d Lacrosse is the first club west of the Mississippi to have won the US Boys ESPN U15 Lacrosse National Championship with a team comprised entirely of players from California and Colorado,” added Munro. “We’ve proven that Western players are a force to be reckoned with and our new plans have been developed to broaden these winning ways.”
New Events: The Oceanside Hustle & Cable Car Classic Adding to current company events such as California Gold (July 8 – 9 in Danville), 3d Lacrosse is launching a new twice-yearly tournament, The Oceanside Hustle (June and December). Modeled after the nationally-recognized Denver Shootout, western teams can anticipate top-level clinics and multi-game tournament play across an exciting lacrosse- packed weekend. Founded in 2008, the Denver Shootout now hosts 4,000 players (U9 through High School Elite) and 60+ college coaches.
The Oceanside Hustle will take place at the new, highly-coveted SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside, a 97-acre outdoor recreational facility that includes 22 multi-use athletic fields.
Also new is the Cable Car Classic, a tournament for boys and girls teams from 4th through 8th grades, (June 21 – 22). It will be the first-ever lacrosse event to take place at the beautiful Pleasanton Sports Park which boasts 12 multi-purpose grass fields.
New Camps: Adventure Series New for action-fueled lacrosse players who also love the ocean and water sports, 3d Lacrosse is introducing an Adventure Series Camp (August 1 – 5) at the Academy by the Sea (the Army and Navy Academy) in Carlsbad, Calif. for players of all abilities. While not on the lacrosse field for morning drills or late afternoon scrimmages, campers will learn to surf from professional instructors prepared to introduce the sport to beginners and to boost the skills of the experienced rider.
In addition to surfing, players will learn team building and leadership skills directly from military staff committed to teamwork on and off the field. Evenings will include beach barbeques, movie and game nights, trips into town and plenty of time to laugh and make new friends with players from across North America.
In northern California, 3d Lacrosse will continue to build on the success of the Company’s “Be the Best” camps. Directed by Pete Worstell, Be the Best has offered solid instructional training for players of all abilities since 2001. This year’s camps will take place June 7 – 8 in San Jose, featuring John Grant, Jr., and June 17 – 18 in San Rafael featuring Paul Rabil.
New Leagues: Winter Box 3d Lacrosse owns and operates box lacrosse leagues throughout the nation, including its newest venture, a novel partnership between 3d and the NLL’s Colorado Mammoth in Denver. 3d Lacrosse launched its inaugural box league season this winter in Temecula and will continue to grow throughout 2014 – 2015.
New Club Teams With 3d Lacrosse select club teams now operating, training and competing in the San Diego, Orange County, and San Francisco Bay area, the Company anticipates fielding 25 – 30 nationally competitive California teams in 2014. From the summer 2013 3d Lacrosse California club roster, five Class of 2016 players have already committed to Division I schools.
People 3d Lacrosse has grown to nearly a dozen highly-skilled full- and part-time staffers in California (plus several dozen contract coaches). Much of 3d Lacrosse’s team has played professionally and in top NCAA programs, including:
- Zack Burke, Director, San Diego (Philadelphia Wings, UMBC).
- Brian Kelly, Director of Western Training (Anaheim Storm, San Francisco Dragons, Los Angeles Riptide, Whittier College); and
- Kevin Cooper, Manager, San Diego (Chesapeake Bayhawks, UMBC).
“3d Lacrosse will continue to innovate, grow, and expand in California and the West,” said Waldbaum, “By the end of 2016, we expect to have additional operational hubs in Los Angeles, the Pacific Northwest, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.”
About 3d Lacrosse Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, 3d Lacrosse has become the nation’s fastest-growing lacrosse training, events, and select club lacrosse operations in the country. Founded by Jamie Munro, a former Division I coach, professional player, ESPNU analyst, and Inside Lacrosse contributor, 3d Lacrosse has operations, offices, teams and events throughout the nation and has trained more than 20,000 players since 2009. 3d Lacrosse is best recognized for its Box/Field Hybrid Development System, an instructional methodology which combines the best tight-stick handling and small-space skills from the successful Canadian Box game with the cutting edge tactics and strategies now employed at contemporary NCAA Division I programs. # # #
Lacrosse Tournaments: “2014 Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival” To Feature A Record 250 Boys And Girls Club Teams On January 18-19 In Indio, CA
Organizers with Synapse Sports and Lax West have announced the seventh annual Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival, being held Jan. 18-19, at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Cal., has been expanded to include competition on 40 fields.
A record 250 boys’ and girls’ teams – comprised of middle and high school players – are slated to compete in the 2014 event co-sponsored by Under Armour and Gatorade.
“We knew when we started Sand Storm in 2008 that it had tremendous potential. A warm weather location, state-of-the-art facility, top-notch competition and detailed organization are the ingredients for success,” said Cathy Samaras, found and CEO of Synapse Sports.
“Sand Storm lived up to its potential and exceeded expectations since the beginning. Now it has become a destination event for club teams throughout the country as the premier winter tournament on the West Coast.”
Sand Storm began as a girls’ club tournament geared primarily towards clubs from Western States. It has since expanded its reach and now includes a significant number of teams from the Midwest, East Coast and even Canada. The number of Division I, II and III collegiate coaches scouting talent at Sand Storm has also increased significantly in recent years as the talent pool expanded.
Sand Storm added a boys’ component in 2011 and it has grown exponentially under the guidance of Michael Watson of Lax West. In just four years, the boys’ tournament has grown from 14 to 112 teams. “It’s a testament to the overall quality of the event.
Every team that participated the past two years had a great experience and it has spread by word of mouth that Sand Storm is a top-notch tournament in terms of a spectacular venue, precise management and strong competition,” Watson said. “A weekend in Palm Springs is very appealing to the out-of-town teams. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how quickly this thing has taken off.”
For more information about the 2014 Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival visit the event website: http://www.laxtournaments.com
SYNAPSE SPORTS Synapse Sports is the premier provider of lacrosse playing opportunities and recruiting events in the U.S. Founder and CEO Cathy Samaras has been a trailblazer in the sport of lacrosse, working tirelessly for over 25 years to promote the growth and development of the game – from grassroots to global. To learn more about the exciting events organized by the company visit http://www.synapsesports.com or call 410-573-1414.
LAX WEST Founded by US Lacrosse Hall of Fame recipient and former UVA 4-time All American Michael Watson, Lax West is committed to helping its participants reach their full potential as competitive lacrosse players and coaches through a variety of platforms including instructional and competitive camps & clinics, as well as coaching clinics and seminars, invitational exhibitions, games and tournaments.
Visit http://www.laxwestlacrosse.com for more information.