Tag Archives: Growth of Lacrosse
US Lacrosse Releases “2013 Lacrosse Participation Survey”; Record Total Of 746,000 Players Competed On Organized Teams, A 34% Increase Since 2008
NAIA Lacrosse: St. Gregory’s University (OK) Adds Men’s Lacrosse As Varsity Sport In 2014-15; Growth Of Lacrosse In State Cited As Primary Reason
It is not currently recognized as one of the NAIA’s championship programs, but there are more than 30 NAIA schools offering men’s lacrosse. Potter said SGU will play a hybrid of NAIA, NCAA and college club teams. The Cavaliers will compete at Fr. Victor Roberts Field, currently the home venue of the men’s and women’s soccer teams.
“We are beginning to see several high schools in our region add lacrosse, so we want to be proactive in being able to offer it here,” said Potter, who indicated that women’s lacrosse may be looked at as a future addition to SGU’s athletic offerings.
St. Gregory’s University will add three varsity sports for the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, athletics director Jeff Potter announced Wednesday. Men’s and women’s swimming and diving in addition to men’s lacrosse will bring SGU’s total offering of athletics programs to 17.
Potter said the university has already begun a search to fill the staffing needs of all three sports.
“Swimming and diving is an underserved sport in our region, and lacrosse has been identified as one of the most rapidly growing games in the United States,” said SGU President Greg Main. “We are excited to be adding these programs and look forward to providing SGU’s quality educational experience to future students who may be interested in them.”
SGU joins Oklahoma Baptist as the only varsity collegiate swim teams in Oklahoma. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), of which SGU is a member, has sponsored swimming since the 1950s. Swimming is similar to track and field in that athletes qualify for the NAIA’s national meet by meeting time standards.
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), approximately 33,000 high school students at more than 900 schools participate in swimming programs in Oklahoma’s six-state region.
“We feel like there are several potential students we can attract to SGU who may otherwise leave the state to continue their careers collegiately,” Potter said.
SGU added men’s golf to its list of athletics programs earlier this year and men’s and women’s track, men’s and women’s cross country and women’s golf in 2012.
NCAA Div II Lacrosse: The “2013 NCAA Div II Men’s Lacrosse Championships” Successful Expansion To Eight Teams Reflects “Growth Of Game At Youth And Prep Levels” That Sent A “Higher Number Of Quality Student-Athletes” To Colleges
“The expansion of the D-II tournament was obviously a success, but why? At its core, the growth of the game at the youth and prep levels has sent a higher amount of quality student-athletes to more and more schools, and the second division has certainly reaped the benefits of it. That’s looking at it more from a macro level, however.”
“It not only allowed D-II to send its best teams to the tournament in the first year of expansion, but still kept the door wide open for callow programs in the traditional south to progress toward the ultimate goal. When we look back in a decade about the impact of last year’s expansion, it might be less about the fantastic games themselves and more about what it did for the division as a whole.”
When the first-ever Division II quarterfinal games were winding down on May 11, the last question I had about the viability of the second division’s expansion to eight teams was being answered.
I was always for the expansion. That’s not exactly an edgy position – I don’t think I’ve met anyone who isn’t in favor of expanding NCAA lacrosse brackets, regardless of the division. Perhaps a better way to phrase it is I always felt D-II had earned expansion. While the number of sponsored programs didn’t necessarily mandate a larger draw by the NCAA’s math, lacrosse’s middle child deserved to have more than 10 percent of its members represented in a grand total of three postseason games.
My one concern was whether the eight teams would be on roughly the same level or would there be this clear and present gap between both the top and lower seeds. And would the talent divide between traditional powers and emerging programs remain uneven.
Fortunately, the postmortem of the first round showed my fears were unfounded. Two of the games were decided by three goals and two others – including No. 1 south seed Mercyhurst against No. 4 Lake Erie – needed overtime to be settled. Not only did these results, along with the fantastic semifinals and finals that were cumulatively decided by a total of five goals, confirm D-II’s ability to sustain a larger tourney, but even raised the specter of the “P” word.
“What you saw in Division II this year is what you kind of what you see in other divisions as far as the parity,” said Le Moyne head coach Dan Sheehan, who won his fourth crown in ’13. “We were three goals away from going undefeated and probably one goal away from missing the tournament. That shows you that it’s not only at the Division I level that the parity is happening.”
Top Western U.S. High School Lacrosse Coaches: 2013 CIF-Southern Section Champion St. Margaret’s Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Glen Miles Interview
St. Margaret’s Episcopal Boys Lacrosse first-year head coach Glen Miles led the third-seeded Tartans to a championship game victory over top-ranked Coronal del Mar in the CIF-Southern Section South Division playoffs and then captured the 2013 Southern Section Lacrosse Title against Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood on May 11. They finished the year #4 in the Nike/US Lacrosse West Region rankings. Coach Miles previously coached the San Clemente Boys Varsity Lacrosse team for 5 years, having established the program in 2008.
A native of Timonium, Md., Coach Miles was a three-sport standout at Dulaney High School, lettering in football, basketball and lacrosse. He was a midfielder and attacker for the US Naval Academy (1983-86) and is considered one of the premier players of his time. A three-time All-American and winner of the 1986 Lt. j.g. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award as the nation’s top Midfielder, he helped the Midshipmen advance to the NCAA Quarter Finals in 1986. He was inducted into the United States Naval Academy’s Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1986 and was an alternate for the U.S. World team that same year. Four years later he was a member of the U.S. team that won the 1990 World Lacrosse Championship.
Coach Miles went on to enjoy a successful career in the United States Marine Corps where he served as an F-18 pilot. He graduated from Naval Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) in 1996 and served as an Air Combat Tactics Instructor throughout the rest of his military career. He is a founder of San Juan Capistrano, CA-based Victory Lacrosse, the premier lacrosse and leadership development organization in the United States.
The following is the first of a five-part interview that Coach Miles granted to LaxBuzz on the importance of “high quality, experienced and dedicated high school coaches” for the continued growth of western lacrosse.
LaxBuzz: Hello, Glen. Congratulations on your team’s success in 2013, your first at St. Margaret’s. You are from Baltimore, MD and played lacrosse at the Naval Academy, both located on the East Coast where lacrosse has been focused and dominated for over 100 years. What brought you and kept you out west to coach Youth and High School Lacrosse since 1990?
Glen Miles: “Thank you. It was quite a fun year with a very special group of players and coaches. After graduating from the Naval Academy, I went to Marine Corps Basic School and then off to flight school. When I got my wings, I was assigned F-18s and transferred to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. I began coaching in Orange County in 1990 and I was fortunate to work with a a great lacrosse enthusiast and great man—Mitch Fenton. Mitch and I coached at Trabuco Hills HS in the early 90’s. We had a lot of fun back then and that group was a blast.”
LaxBuzz: How important is teaching character, responsibility, and honor to young lacrosse players? How does a coach accomplish this and attain success on the field?
Glen Miles: “We believe that character, responsibility and honor are extremely important for all of the youth in America and specifically where we invest our time and energy with young lacrosse players. At Victory we have added a few more values as well. Dignity, Integrity and Grace. We feel youth sports is the most effective way to teach these values. Sometimes this is a difficult task in our sometimes “win at all costs” culture. However that is no excuse. As coaches, we have the power, position and platform to teach these values and many others. Additionally, we feel very strongly about relationships and we try to teach the value of relationships in the context of a team community. We take that job very seriously.”
“This is how we define success. Winning is merely a byproduct of that success. We define success as how these boys turn out as men, brothers, husbands and fathers. If we teach our players to love each other and teach them how to accept love or be loved, everything else starts to take care of itself. Regardless of what event, tragedy, or success occurs, when you lead through the various events from an underpinning of authentic love, you can’t go wrong. And that’s when all people, young and old, want to work together for the greater good. Not implying this is simple. If it were simple, we wouldn’t have all the issues we have in the world, but when you keep after it and fall back to this value, more good than bad surrounds the organization. Coaches must care deeply about the players and the players must selflessly care deeply about each other.”
Lacrosse In America: Over 720,000 Players Participated On “Organized Lacrosse Teams” In U.S. In 2012, An Increase Of 66% In Last Five Years
Growth Of Lacrosse: US Lacrosse Releases “2012 Participation Survey”; 47% Increase In Last Five Years Make It Fastest-Growing High School Sport
The biggest improvement may be in the coaching. One reason soccer has stagnated in the U.S. is the dearth of quality coaches. Lacrosse is booming in part because of the quality of instruction.
Youth lacrosse in Colorado is booming. That has trickled up to high schools and college. The Colorado Youth Lacrosse Association has 7,000 boys participating. The Denver Lacrosse Club, part of the CYLA, boasts 750 in the spring alone. Rod Allison has introduced inner-city kids to lacrosse with Denver City Lax.
The lacrosse craze has put a Colorado twist on the national college lacrosse scene. A sport that used to be as East Coast as subways and crab cakes, lacrosse has found a major feeding ground in the Denver area. The University of Denver men’s team, ranked third nationally and only two years removed from its first Final Four berth, has nine in-state players. Air Force has 11. Thirty-three other Colorado prep products are playing among 22 other NCAA Division I men’s teams.
“You can get a kid from Colorado as good as the top kid anywhere,” said DU coach Bill Tierney.
Tierney is considered the Mike Krzyzewski of college lacrosse. He coached six national championship teams at Princeton, yet uprooted to one of only three Division I schools west of the Eastern time zone. He didn’t have a midlife crisis. He’s not much of a skier. But he knew he could build a winner at DU. “There was comfort in knowing there was a good recruiting base here,” he said.
In Tierney’s first year at Princeton, in 1988, he signed a Colorado prep player: Chris McHugh of Manual High School. Tierney then had Coloradans on every Princeton team through 2005.
Leading the Pioneers (9-2) into a showdown Saturday in Baltimore against fifth-ranked Loyola (9-2), the defending national champion, is Eric Law, DU’s leading scorer. He attended Arapahoe High School. A senior, Law has gone stick to stick against the stars from traditional eastern breeding grounds for four years.
NCAA Lacrosse: Colorado Women’s Lacrosse Builds Inaugural Program Around Northwestern Tradition And “Crazy Growth Of Girls Lacrosse” In Colorado
This spring, eight new programs started across the country, including at Southern California. In 2014 the number of Division 1 programs will reach 102 with the addition of Michigan and Colorado, and by 2016, three more teams, Furman, Mercer and Central Michigan, will up that number to 105.
This fall as a gaggle of eager freshmen arrive on campus in Boulder, a group of 20 women will also arrive, ready to make history as the inaugural members of the University of Colorado women’s lacrosse team.
“In all honesty, one of the biggest challenges has just been not having a team right now,” she said. “We’re used to being on the field all the time and seeing that progress with the kids.”
Developing a group of green 17- and 18-year-olds will be a challenge, Elliott knows. But the huge grin across her face as she talks animatedly about her new team doesn’t give away any nerves the young coach might have about starting a program from scratch. Elliott, 28, was hired last spring after the CU athletic department announced it would add women’s lacrosse as its 17th varsity sport.
Manning and the athletic department began talking about adding a sport before CU finalized its move to the Pac-12 two years ago.
The conversation kept coming back to women’s lacrosse, Manning said, because it made sense given the university’s needs and current facilities. It’s a spring women’s sport, growing quickly on the West Coast and in Colorado and eventually the university could sell tickets to matches, Manning said.
Colorado Girls Lacrosse Association President Kevin Mortimer said the sport is growing “like crazy” in Colorado, especially on the girl’s side. He coaches the Grandview High School girls lacrosse team in Aurora, which has doubled in size in the last year. He’s even adding a third “C” level development team to help with the overflow, he said.
Manning and other administrators visited Denver and talked with Stanford, Northwestern and Virginia to see what building the program would look like at a time when other schools are facing athletic budget cuts.
“As an administrator, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Manning said. “Not many institutions are adding any sort of sports programs. Many institutions are going the other way.”
Colorado has the support of the university and hype from the state’s lacrosse fans, but Elliott will still face the challenge of acclimating 20 women to collegiate life and Division 1 lacrosse without upperclassmen mentors to look to for guidance.
Four of the new players come from Colorado, while the rest are from a mix of East Coast states, California and the Midwest.
Nielsen said it didn’t take much to convince many recruits to commit to Colorado once they saw the campus. It helped that Elliott, Nielsen and Magarity had a handful of national titles between them, and spoke about unanimous lacrosse philosophies.
“When we’re talking to recruits, we all agree with what everyone’s saying because we’ve been part of the same program and we have the same beliefs,” Nielsen said. “We’ve got that unique experience that not a lot of coaching staffs out there have. We know what works. We’ve been part of national championships. We know the right way to do things.”
Nielsen said she’s looking forward to starting new traditions at Colorado, an opportunity most coaches don’t get with an existing program, and said her expectations for the team’s first season next year are high.
WCLA Lacrosse: USC Women’s Lacrosse (Club) Is 8-1 And Reflects “Booming” Lacrosse Growth In Southern California And Western U.S.
Lacrosse is booming these days in sunny Southern California, and USC Club (8-1) is riding a wave of momentum right into the WCLA Division I postseason picture.
The Trojans were busy in February. After an opening-day loss to UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 26 that was the team’s first significant work together since fall ball, USC ran off eight straight wins in February and is ranked No. 13 in the first coaches poll of the season.
“After that first game, I was pretty disheartened,” junior midfielder Madison Boutilier said. “We let that game go, keeping in mind what we did wrong, what we needed to become and took the rest of the season in stride.”
This is Boutilier’s first full season with the club team. She tried out for the team her freshman and sophomore years, but scheduling conflicts forced her to focus on school and drop lacrosse. Boutilier spent a semester last year practicing with the varsity squad, but couldn’t make the time commitment to play.
This year, the timing worked out.
“I really missed winning,” she said. “I really missed going out and defeating another team with people you love to play with.”
The eight wins match the most the program has ever won in a single season — with two months left to play in the regular season.
“I’m ready to make USC Club lacrosse history with my team, and I think this is the year that we’re going to do that,” Trojans fifth-year goalie Madison Aguirre said. “We decided in the summer that we were going to be a playoff team.”
USC typically frontloads its schedule to work around the school’s spring break. It works out great when the team is doing well, but Aguirre said it has been deflating in past years when the team has nearly played itself out of playoff contention by March 1.
The Trojans were 6-5 in February last season and finished 7-8. Aguirre said last year’s team wasn’t ready to even consider a run at nationals.
Growth Of Lacrosse: NLL’s Washington Stealth Announce “We Are Washington Lacrosse” Campaign To Benefit Youth Lacrosse Club Teams
The ticket photo contest will run throughout the month of September with voting closing on October 7. The ten winning clubs will be announced on October 10. Fans will submit an online form by clicking here, including their club affiliation, in order to vote. The contest is limited to one vote per email address.
The contest will also feature an individual prize and a club prize. One individual voter will be selected to win an autographed Stealth jersey. One lacrosse club that received at least one vote in the contest will be selected to have a pair of Stealth players attend a practice or clinic for the entire club.
“One of our missions at the Stealth is continuing the growth of lacrosse in the State of Washington,” said Stealth Vice President of Sales and Marketing Cory Howerton. “With the ‘We Are Washington Lacrosse’ initiatives, we are going to provide local youth, middle and high school lacrosse teams with opportunities to grow programs through exposure, fundraising and on-field clinics from our players. This is the first of a multi-dimensional program that will see us engage lacrosse at all levels throughout the year.”