“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!!!

Showcases/Prospect Days

I am a big fan of showcases and prospect days as long as they are done the right way.  No need to chase prospect days all over the country in lieu of missing valuable practice time. When done the right way, they become an added benefit which compliments our club tournament schedule. Anybody that thinks they can land at a school by substituting club tournaments for prospect days is foolish. Coach’s want to see your skills vs. the best players in the country in a super competitive environment.  The club tournaments we go too provide this. Our kids are competing against the best kids and clubs in the country.  Since prospect days are open to anybody, they can be watered down. The biggest advantage that a prospect day provides is the ability to be coached and evaluated by the current staff in a controlled environment.  Sometimes it helps, other times coach’s come back and say “no thanks”. I was talking to a current head coach last week who told me they had a kid out on campus that was rated very high. Two drills into the first session, the kid was dogging it and acted like he was “too cool for school”. They dropped the player from their list. When you go out to these prospect days, play hard, play fast, and always show respect for the game.

Side note- Any local prospect day that will have more than 5 D1 coaches is a must. No flights, no hotel expense and no lost bags. Everybody should be signed up for next weeks Inside Lacrosse Showcase and the 1-77 South event in Charlotte. Our Orange 20’s and 21’s will be at another great event at Towson U during the I-77 south event.  It’s also a great way to showcase Atlanta lacrosse.

 

Coach P

Great Grub on the Road in Philly

 

What a city!!!! The best food city in the country is ready for the Thunder LB3 laxers in November. Here is a list of good grub spots to hit when we head up to Philly. First of all, we need to understand the attitude of Philadelphia. I have spent alot of time in and around Philly over the years. It’s a gritty, tough place where their sports icon, Rocky, is a guy that never really existed. They love being the underdog and don’t really care what you think. It’s a pro sports town.  It’s also a place where everybody has a nickname. Once you get above the Mason- Dixon Line, nobody is called by their god given name.  You have guys walking around calling each other, “Joey Banana’s”, “Little Nicky”, “Fat Tony” “Stinky Pete”. If our kids lived in Philly, a couple nicknames might be:

Gerard Kane “Pork Chop”

Drew Pritts “Jersey Kenny”

Tate Harran “Knee High”

Brooks Baro “Chatty”

Alex Gekas “Tommy the Greek”

John Z- “Nine Lives Johnny”

Alex Haskins-“Roadkill”

 

My food recommendations are as follows:

Pats/ Geno’s- 1219 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Legendary steaks in south philly. No frills, cash only.  Be specific and be prepared for the order.  “One whiz with, one provolone without.” Or, you can keep it simple and order a matching pair of cheese steaks: “Two Americans with”. If you freeze up, shout out these three words, “Fly Eagles Fly”.  See above. A special shout out to the guy in full “bat man” attire playing the banjo.

Tony Luke’s 1250 Baltimore Pike, Springfield, PA 19064

Go with the Pork Sandwich hots broccoli rab and cheese. A sandwich with no nutritional value but voted best sandwich in the country.

Leo’s Steaks 1430 Chester Pike, Folcroft, PA

Home of the 18 incher. Enough said.

Fellinis Cafe of Media, 106 West Street, Media , PA –  South Philly

Italian food is a must in Philly. We will be so close to south philly, our group needs to  experience true Philadelphia food.  Either go to Fellinis or any Italian restaurant in South Philly which will be very close to our hotel. Highly recommended. Fellinis is BYOB. South Philly joints include Ralphs, Popi’s, Scannocchio’s, Mr Martino’s Trattoria. Any spot in South Philly should blow away any italian place in Atlanta. It’s just different.

 

Happy eating!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Coach P’s picks for Great Grub on the Grind in Baltimore

GM

Coach loves to find great eats. Being born and raised around Baltimore aka “Charm City” I know all the local spots.  Applebees, Outback, Red Robin are not bad spots but do not give our families a true flavor of the city or region. My recommendations will always be local haunts that have been tried and tested many times.

Sandwich Place on the Go-

Wine Merchant, 10741 Falls Rd, Lutherville, MD

Best sandwich spot in Baltimore. Close to Towson but also closed on Sundays. Go with the Ragin Cagin, The Bomber.

WAWA

WAWA Multiple locations.  Don’t be fooled by the gas pumps. WAWA is a great deli with a wide mix of subs, soups, breakfast items. Great spot for a quick gas stop for rental car and sub in between games or heading to airport.

Crab Cakes

Anyone coming into B’More needs to experience a crab cake. Depending on where the tournament is and where we are staying for the weekend, there are many options listed below:

G/M Lounge, 804 N Hammonds Ferry Road,   Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090

Legendary spot near the BWI airport. Easy ride to Annapolis or Towson. Big crab cakes and local B’more culture. Double down on crab and get the crab cake platter with a bowl of Maryland crab soup.

Box Hill Pizzeria, 2915 Emmortan Rd, Abingdon, MD 21009

Close to the Cedar Lane, Carsons Run Complex outside Bel Air. Great spot, super busy so carryout is the play here.

Corner Stable, 9942 York Rd, Cockeysville, MD

Close to Towson. Small hole in wall spot with great crabcakes and ribs. Go with half a rack and crab cake. Gurr still says its the best place in Baltimore.

Good people watching spot after a long day on the fields

MaGerks, Steelfish Grill, Bel Air, MD

Bel Air stalwarts. Both spots have a nice patio scene with tv’s, cold refreshments and live music. Both haunts are in Coach P’s neighborhood so be careful throwing my name around. It’s hit or miss on the reaction from the locals.

Valley Inn- 1501 Falls Rd, Lutherville, MD

The patio is the place to be seen within the lacrosse community. Go back and shower first. Bring your “A” game. Recommended more for the ITP folks. Alot of popped collars, Vineyard Vines and Peter Millar. Just tell any local you either know Hilgy, Shrives or Jenny.  It’s your ticket to the cool club.

Green Turtle- Towson, MD

Great roof top deck owned by my man, Billy Packo. John Z is the play here. A true legend who has spent many hours with Billy P.

Bonus Pick

Towson Hot Bagel for a quick bagel sandwich. Two locations around Towson. Best bagel shop in Baltimore.

Happy Eating!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace the Grind 2020’s

Here we go. Our 2020’s are about to start the 3rd quarter of the recruiting process. My suggestion is to embrace it. The fall November recruiting period has become  a very important evaluation period for college programs.  College coach’s will get to see our 20’s one last time before they dive head first into their college season.  I would anticipate a second wave of commits after November. With no urgency from the college coach’s, it’s a great chance to show improvement from the last summer tournament in late July. Get prepared now by training hard at Sunday practices, kicking some butt in the classroom and getting bigger, stronger, faster. PLAY WITH GREAT ENERGY and leave all the excuses in Atlanta.

Excuses that need to stay at home:

Weather is bad

Fields are in bad shape

My  flight is delayed

Delta lost my bag

I just played a  playoff football game Friday night

College Coach’s Do Not Care. Be ready, play hard and prepare now!!!!!!

You worked too hard.