The Fall Grind was a Huge Success

Over the past five years, the fall has turned into a very important recruiting period for college lacrosse programs. When my son was playing club ball back in 2010-2011, the fall recruiting period was a one weekend deal. Kids played in one tournament that might of had 15 Division 1 college coaches watching. The fall recruiting period has now evolved into a ton of events all over the country. College coaches carefully plan what events to attend and where to send their staffs.  The sport of lacrosse has had rapid growth over the past 5 years and college coaches need this evaluation period to see as many kids as possible.  This tremendous growth also comes with more pressure on college coaches. Universities have committed a ton of money and resources to lacrosse programs. You now have “lacrosse only” facilities on campus, increased lacrosse athletic budgets and big increases in coaches salaries. The fall period is a grind, no doubt about it.  It is not easy on our kids and families. Football kids are flying up early Saturday morning while others fly in late Friday night. Weather can be dicey in the northeast in November which causes another set of issues for our families. As a program, we have decided each team really needs to go up twice to be seen and play against the best kids/clubs in the country.  Liam and I spend alot of time and effort researching fall events to make sure when we go up north, college coaches will be on the sidelines. We want to get maximum exposure for our kids. It’s the only way to do it right now. Our kids played hard competing against the best clubs in the country.  Now that the fall is over, the second wave of 2020 commitments will start to happen. I have spoken with many college coaches and families over the past two weeks. We have a bunch of recruiting visits in December which will result in some great offers.  I will also be at the IMCLA coachs convention in early December which will allow me to wine and dine the college guys a little more. (One of my best traits) I know with our 2020 Thunder LB3 kids, we could have as many as 10 kids get offers and decide to commit during this second wave.  If nobody has reached out to your son, DO NOT PANIC. We are only in the second quarter of the recruiting process. Remember, it’s a process. With the new recruiting rules, there is no rush for coaches to grab kids since they are just evaluating one class which right now are the 2020’s.  The remaining 2020’s will get offers and commit this summer. Use the next two months to get ready for your spring season. Get after it this spring and we start the process all over again this summer. Have a great Holiday!!!! Great job this fall.

As always, I am readily available to assist families through this process. 

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It’s Go Time

It’s now GO TIME for the Atl boys. All the practices, skill sessions, and hard work getting prepared for the November recruiting period is behind us. No more excuses, just play. Our 20’s, 21’s and 22’s have big boy schedules so we get to see how we stack up against the best kids in the country. Be mentally ready to go, have fun and play with “energy and effort unknown to mankind.”  See everybody in Philly!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS- Keep a lookout for these two west coast cowboys coaching Legends. The true definition of fashion and style. Former Terps now living the Cali life.

LBosworth-SScott Hochstadt -LMX PRO-1

Style

Style is an important component to any lax tournament or game. Nobody wants to look “scrubby” running down the field this fall.  I would like to give out some wardrobe advice to our guys before heading up north.   First of all, you need to figure out the weather and field conditions.  Is it raining, hot, breezy, cold, turf, grass etc?? Up north this fall expect some rain, bad fields and cold weather.

Players 

1) Shoes– A lot of options here based on the field. Molded cleat works well for any field. Go with a white low top or high cut.  Never wear a black shoe, it makes you look slow.  Also, think twice before going with an off color shoe like a pink or gold. A lot of pressure showing up playing Team 91 wearing a gold or pink cleat. “You better be good wearing a shoe like that.” Another rookie move is wearing brand new cleats right out of the box. Welcome to blister city. A smooth move that is a off shoot of the AAU basketball circuit is going with an “after game” shoe. Nothing defines a “baller” better than  coming over to the sideline after a win and putting on your after game shoe. During the summer,  a slipper or flop works well. During the fall or winter, a UGG slip on is the call.

2)   Socks-If you choose the proper shoe, make sure your sock game is tight.  Go with a nice mid calf adrenaline or legacy sock. Crazy colors and stripes are ok. No-show ankle socks are not the play here. You look like you should be running in the Boston Marathon. In addition, ankle socks are a no go on turf. After every run, you will be picking pellets out of your shoes.

3) Leggings or tights  under your shorts will be your call.  In the fall, I get it if you need to keep your hamstrings warm. In the summer, it’s more about flash than substance and could probably be left in the bag. Our boy Rat , is a big leggings guy. If you can play like Rat, you can wear anything you want.

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4) Sweatshirts/Under Armour. Nothing says “fish” more than a southern kid coming up north wearing a hoodie under their uniform.  At this point, it’s time to stop playing and get ready  to pledge Sigma Chi at Auburn. Not the look we need and college coaches will take notice. Go ahead and wear a UA mock cold gear long sleeve and move on.

5) Hair or Flow. I get the flow look. Having some “lettuce” hanging out of the helmet looks good. Lacrosse is years behind hockey regarding quality flows. Take a look at the Minnesota high school finals every year and the “Flow” tradition. Our Thunder/LB3 top ten flows are being selected as we speak for the big announcement coming next month.

Overall, it’s pretty important to remember that when we play up north everything you do is being evaluated including how we dress.

Numbers Now in the 50’s

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Congratulations to our two newest college commits, 2020 Defenseman Ajax Zappitello(University of Maryland) and 2020 FOGO Hudson Bohn(Penn State). We now stand at over 50 college commitments in the 2019 and 2020 recruiting classes. That’s an unbelievable number for a club program based out of Atlanta, Georgia. It’s a testament to what we do and how we do it. Great families and hard working kids are the backbone of our program. #moretocome, #boxisfakenews,#embracethegrind

“Long Live the King”

 

ShrivesIn a prior post, I mentioned I will be recognizing some characters in the game of lacrosse. I would like to mention yet another character or “cowboy”. Robert Shriver is one of the best. Coach Bobby Shriver or “Shrives” is a coaching icon in the Baltimore lacrosse community. After a distinguished career at Washington College, Coach Shriver migrated back to Baltimore landing at Boys’ Latin.  He was the  head coach at Boys Latin School for 34 years. Thirty four years is a ton of years surviving in the best league in the country. It will never be matched or broken.

Check out these unbelievable numbers from Coach Shriver:

507 wins

6 MIAA titles with 3 National titles

245 Boys’ Latin players went on to play college lacrosse

43 high school All Americans

75 First team All Metro selections

85 College All Americans including 3 Player of the Year Award winners in  John Glatzel(Syracuse), Ryan Mollett(Princeton) and Pat Spencer(Loyola). Glatzel and Mollett were on the same Boys’ Latin team. Spencer did not play varsity at Boys’ Latin until his junior year and was  behind guys like Wells Stanwick(Hopkins), Kevin O’Neill(Villanova), Shack Stanwick(Hopkins), Pat Foster(UNC), Colin Heacock(Maryland). Pat Spencer also coached our Thunder LB3 2020’s to the Naptown championship this past summer.

Not too bad for a school that has 280 boys in the high school.  Homecoming games at BL are during the spring, not fall. A legendary place to watch and play lacrosse where Friday afternoon crowds can top 3,000 for a big MIAA game down in the gully. Lacrosse really matters at Boys’ Latin.

One the best traditions in high school lacrosse also involves “Shrives”. Started years ago with a coaches argument about being late for a bus, this tradition will occur on the bus after every road win.  After Coach Shriver finishes his t.v interviews, signing autographs, he will board the bus to head back to BL.   As soon as he enters the bus, one captain stands up and yells, “Long live the King”, Coach Shrives just sits back with his silly grin then acknowledges his supporters with a “hang loose” gesture followed by a team “Hip Hip Hooray, Hip Hip Hooray” . Example is on clip 2 at the 7:04 mark after his last championship which was in 2014. Classic stuff.

Kids love Coach Shriver and always played hard for him. He created a legacy at Boys Latin that will last a very long time. I first met Coach Shriver  when he approached me at a middle school game about moving my son over to BL for his 9th grade year. After 4 great years, 75 wins and a ton of great memories, we never looked back. After retiring from coaching in 2015, he still plays a ton of golf, counts his money from his high school summer tournament and follows Georgetown lacrosse where is his son, David, is an assistant coach. I often run into the  vet at one of the local establishments in the summer with his poise of old players, aging Baltimore beauty queens, and the rest of Baltimore establishment elites. It’s quite the crew of characters. Sometimes I am even  lucky enough to get the invite to his member course, The Baltimore Country Club, on caddie day.

Over 100 years of playing St Pauls is a special rivalry.

 

 

 

 

Nice work, Coach Shriver .  You are one of the BEST!  A great example and role model for us coach’s out here still doing what we love to do!!!

 

Parents Role in the Recruiting Process

I get a ton of questions from parents asking what their role should be in the recruiting process. I know parents always want the best for their children,  it is an inherent quality we all have being a parent. There are 5 major questions you need to answer that will help guide the college selection process. I would put these in the order listed.

1)Does your son  really want to play in college?? Does he know what it takes, the time commitment and hard work required to play college lacrosse?? Everybody needs to take a hard look at themselves to see if the desire is really there. We do not want kids coming back after one year.  In the south it’s definitely tougher than other places. All your high school buddies are headed for Frat Row at Ole Miss, Bama, UGA or Auburn. Johnny Lacrosse is headed up North to play ball. First home football game, Freddie Frat is with all your high school buddies in the Grove at Ole Miss. By looking at Instagram, it looks like Freddie is pledging Sigma Chi.   Johnny Lacrosse is rounding lap 2 in the mile run test in a light rain. Week 2 Freddie takes a roadie to Auburn with 8 of his best friends who he just met two weeks ago. Johnny Lax wakes up at 7:00am to head to a fall practice.   Coach brings in 3 former marines, who throw him around in a pool for 3 hours, as part of a team building event. It’s hard work and players that want to play in college need to understand this.

2) Get an honest, unbiased evaluation, on the playing ability of your son. This is one of our roles as a club. We sit down with each family to make sure everybody is on the same page.  We develop a list of potential schools that will fit and then come up with an action plan. Now that the recruiting calendar has slowed down, it’s much easier to focus on the one recruiting class.  Is your son or daughter a D1, D11 or D111 player?  Too many recruiting mistakes are made during this step which results in unreal expectations. Be realistic.

3)”What kind of student is my son/daughter”.   A 4.0 at Super Smart Community school is the same as a 4.0 at any other high school. No college is going to give a student extra points coming from Super Smart Community school. AP classes are important especially if you are looking at any Ivy’s or high end academic schools. Whats his/her GPA, ACT, SAT scores???  Does he/she spend a lot of time at home on school work?? How motivated is your son/daughter in school. This one is pretty easy because it’s all subjective numbers. A parents role here can be very influential. Tutors, class schedule, planning with  a guidance counselor, and ACT training classes are good strategies here.

4) Does you son/daughter want a big school, small school and how far away from home??Go up early or stay later to visit some schools in the geographical area we will be playing.  Philly, Baltimore, Washington DC, Long Island have a ton of schools within 3 hours of our tournament venues.   You can can start to narrow your focus on colleges.  Parents can provide great guidance in researching colleges once some schools have been identified. A great deal of additional information can be done online as well. As a program, we will also reach out to these schools on your behalf.  Our Thunder Lb3 YouTube page has been great to point out to coach’s so they can see highlights.

5) The final question is finances. Does a school offer athletic scholarships?? If so , are they fully funded? Can they stack merit money on top of athletic scholarship money??  How much financial aid is available for our family? These questions are typically answered on the visit. However, you need to know a couple facts here. Most D1 programs are not fully funded. That does not mean that those programs have no money to give out. Often, merit money can be found based on GPA’s, ACT scores etc. A fully funded Men’s Lacrosse Program has 12.6 scholarships. The first thing some schools will do is have the family complete the FAFSA(Free application for Federal Student Aid). This will give the coach and financial aid office at the college an idea on what financial aid the student athlete would qualify for. Based on the FAFSA results, a coach can decide how to package a financial aid award to the family. I have included a pretty good article I read last year published in US Lacrosse.

https://www.uslaxmagazine.com/college/men/the-lacrosse-scholarship-myth-dont-be-fooled-by-the-full-ride

As a recruiting adviser for Thunder Lb3, I am here to help.  Please reach out if you have any questions.  It’s an exciting time.

Some real characters in Lacrosse

Having spent over 30 years in lacrosse, I have run across some real characters or what I like to call “cowboys”. Over the next couple posts, I would like to give some “shout outs” to some of  these cowboys who I have crossed paths with over the years.  These guys and gals are truly genuine people who make the game fun. Big personalities who love to tell stories all night long.  One of the best things about playing this great game are relationships formed over the years with some very special people. It’s always fun to spend some quality time with them when we head up north. Lacrosse has always been a very tight knit community despite the tremendous growth of the game which makes it special.

My first character is Scott Booker Corrigan. The “Bookman” is a true gem in and around the  Baltimore lacrosse community. A product of the hard streets of Radnor, PA, Booker has coached high school ball in Richmond, Philly and Baltimore. Instead of going into the family profession of college athletics, the “Bookman” has forged his own path. Nobody really knows on what that path is but he has forged it. He is one of the truly entertaining guys I have been around over the years. More recently, he has been a lacrosse commentator for ESPN and Corrigan sports. His work can also be heard on the UA All-American Game broadcast every July. His play by play on the high school MIAA  Game of the Week is legendary. I have included a couple examples below.

Booker’s best call.  BL playoff win at McDonogh. Boys Latin big number 36 is Greg Pyke. Any Georgia Bulldog fan should recognize Greg.   He ended up being a  four-year starter at Georgia on the offensive line. He was a beast attackman for Boys Latin back in the day.

Thunder LB3 parents and players should recognize a bunch of laxers here. Some of these guys have migrated to the ATL. “Not up in here fat Jesus”

Nice work, Bookman!!!