Tag Archives: Recruiting
College Lacrosse: New NCAA Div I Eligibility Website “2.3 Or Take A KNEE” Shows High School Student-Athletes Minimum Academic Requirements
College Lacrosse: “Recruiting Advice For West Coast Players” From Fairfield Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Andy Copelan And ConnectLAX
“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.
College Lacrosse: “Recruiting Advice For West Coast Players” From Stevenson Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Paul Cantabene And ConnectLAX
Recruiting Advice For West Coast Players
College recruiting is a challenge for even the best player’s; finding the right fit on campus and on the field is no easy task. Doing so from outside the traditional lacrosse hubs is even harder given there are not as many footsteps to follow. However, with passion and a plan, you can identify and get your game in front of the right coaches.
ConnectLAX helps you create a target list of schools that match you on and off the field and use your mobile recruiting profile to put your game at the fingertips of college coaches who are always on the go.
Every recruiting plan is different, but yours should include the following: invest in your game and in the classroom, create a realistic list of target schools and initiate contact with coaches you are interested in, both online and by attending their camps.
Recruiting is supply and demand and the number of roster spots is growing much slower than the number of top players. Recruits should maximize the number of available schools by getting the grades and test scores needed for eligibility. Practice with your team, practice alone, race your dog… just keep training. Coaches want to see you have the speed to play at the next level, so work with a training ladder.
Lacrosse should be one of many factors in your college decision. Save time in the process by finding teams you can contribute to and colleges you’d attend exclusive of lacrosse. Keep an open mind. Get on campus as much as possible and try to meet the coaches and players.
No one likes rejection, but guess what, the coaches do not simply come to you so you need to proactively reach out to them. Coaches get a lot of inbound traffic so make sure your information is well organized and in one place so they can make a decision. We spoke with Paul Cantabene, head coach of Stevenson University, the 2013 DIII champion, about his recruiting advice for West Coast players.
1. What advice do you have for West Coast players interested in Division III schools, which are primarily located on the East Coast?
Initiate contact with the schools you are interested in. It’s important to include Youtube clips and let them know where you’ll be so they can see you in person.
If a coach gets in touch with you, get back to them in a timely manner. College coaches are still surprised that players don’t always understand a response is necessary whether you are interested or not.
2. What is the best way for West Coast players to get on your recruiting radar?
Our graduate assistant makes at least four West Coast trips a year. They hit the major recruiting tournaments. However, do not be discouraged if you are unable to participate in those.
If you are heading East and in the Baltimore area, let us know ahead of time, include your video and if we see something we like, we’ll always invite your on campus.
3. What type of player’s do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?
We look for speed and athletic ability. If we have a feel for a player, even if it’s based off of a single play we saw in a highlight video. We’ll reach out to that player. Even if they are not from a traditional lacrosse hub, we’ll coach him up. Sometimes we’ll move an attackman to middie. We’re looking for complete athletes.
4. What areas of player development would you recommend West Coast players focus on to help get on par with their East Coast competition?
We feel West Coast players have really caught up a lot. Young players should focus on their stick skills and not bank on just being a good athlete. Players need to watch the game, become a student of the game, and listen to announcers point out what they’re seeing. Rewind the game to watch where the defense slides from and really try to break the game down.
5. How has the accelerated recruiting landscape impacted your approach to recruiting?
We are getting better athletes as more late bloomers are looking for a college home. We are recruiting younger as well. The key is for players to know what they want and realize with only 61 or so Division 1 teams, they need to also be looking at Division 2 and 3, where there are hundreds of teams.
ConnectLAX.com helps players maximize their recruiting exposure with mobile recruiting profiles linked to their team roster. Recruits can create their recruiting profile and target list of colleges for free. ConnectLAX team recruiting helps coaches manage and promote their players. Learn more about registering your team at Connectlax.com/recruiting. ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Stevenson University.
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Four Key Tips in Navigating Ivy and D3 College Recruiting
As a former Ivy League head coach, I was blessed with a successful career and many fond memories. Considering the selectivity in admissions and the high price tag of an Ivy League institution, my recruiting yields were consistently strong and I learned valuable lessons about prospects and the potential benefits they can receive in the admissions process.
Ivy League and D-3 college coaches are unable to offer athletic scholarships to prospects, but they can significantly influence the admissions process that can lend strong support to prospective student-athletes. That aside, it is important that prospects, families and high school advisors clearly understand the nuts and bolts of this process and make every effort to grow honest and strong working relationships with college coaches.
Admissions Index In many cases, academic select colleges use an “Admissions Index” that objectively analyzes a student’s academic qualifications. The AI is simply determined by combining core grade point average with standardized tests results (SAT I, SAT II, ACT).
A perfect Admissions Index would reflect impeccable scores on standardized tests and a top class rank at a prestigious high school with brilliant academic credentials. The lowest Admissions Index (The Floor) that is acceptable in Ivy League and D-3 Admissions will vary, depending on the school, division and conference).
Banding Typically, college sports program will be awarded an arbitrary number of “admissions support slots” to be used by the coaches to support athletic candidates. More popular sports tend to receive more “select” admission slots and in many cases, athletic directors will “tier” sports depending on the popularity and the level of success the team earns at the conference, regional and national level.
Athletic departments are encouraged to maintain an average student-athlete admissions yield that is no less than one standard deviation below the average AI for regularly admitted students. Many colleges have developed a system that subdivides the broader AI range into “bands” to assist coaches in recruiting prospects that potentially fall within coach’s allotment of support for any given recruiting cycle.
The number of admission slots coaches are allotted varies from sport to sport and college to college and based on the level of support, a coach’s recruiting strategy will be well-planned, systematic and precise. In addition, coaches are well aware that certain prospects will not be admitted, despite their level of athleticism if they are not up to the academic challenge at the institution.
Admissions Pre-Reads An admissions pre-read can provide prospects with a fairly accurate AI and a clearer idea of their chances in admissions. Coach will need a copy of your high school profile, transcripts and test results from the SAT and/or ACT. Following an early read, a good college coach will advise the prospect clearly to his chances in admissions and if the recruiting process should advance. Turnaround time for a pre-read is about 2 weeks and this information will help avoid “spinning of wheels” for the family, prospect and the college coach, especially if admission seems unlikely.
Likely Letters Likely letters are “near guarantees” of admission that can be sent to prospective student-athletes well before the regular population of applicants are read. The “likely” is a tremendous tool for college coaches who are competing with scholarship institutions for the same prospect, or “overlap” prospects who are applying to other Ivy League or D-3 institutions. Likely letters are limited to certain institutions, originate from the admissions office and offer families near-assurance and confidence that, barring any unusual circumstances, the prospect will be admitted.
Academic select institutions will admit a limited number of student-athletes who bring strong qualities that are identified as “important” to the admissions table. It is fair to point out that athletes, although identified as having a special talent, will be treated as any other candidate and will be admitted only if the applicants AI is in an acceptable range and they are capable of succeeding academically. That being said, talented student-athletes who offer solid academic credentials and have the ability to strongly impact an athletics program may be considered very favorably in Ivy League and D-3 college admissions.
Tom Kovic is a former 19-year head coach at the University of Pennsylvania and the current President of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families throughout the college recruiting process. Tom is the author of “Reaching for Excellence, an educational guide for college athletics recruiting”. For further information, visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com.