A few weeks back, Connor over at Lacrosse Allstars posted an article asking if New England is a lacrosse hotbed. I would have to agree with Connor’s article. I have been coaching high school lacrosse in Massachusetts for the past ten years. In those ten years, I have seen the level of play increase tenfold; the skill level of the players has also increased. Many high schools have expanded and added new teams, and have had great success right away. I have also seen lacrosse players regularly recruited from Massachusetts high schools. Even when I played in college at Salem State, the sport was still growing. We would notice, when we were going over scouting reports, that the teams we played had New England talent. These players were staying and playing at the more established D3 teams and new upstarts.
I believe some of the exposure for New England kinds has to do with the explosion of summer club lacrosse. All of these tournaments during the summer have shown college coaches outside of New England that our kids can play. Some of the top club teams in Massachusetts that are helping these players are the Top Gun Fighting Clams, NESLL,Laxachusetts, Raptors and Team Central. We can’t forget the Tomahawks out of New Hampshire. The Fighting Clams were one of the original club teams, and have produced numerous college All-Americans. Most recently the NESLL and Laxachusetts club teams have been making waves on the summer tournament scene. All of these teams give kids the opportunity for exposure, and also drives them to become better lacrosse players. Kids that play in the summer lead to college coaches that come to watch them play in the spring; and it helps other players gain college exposure.
I know that New England hasn’t produced any stud lacrosse players since Max Quinzani., but we have produced numerous college All-Americans at all levels of college play in the mean time. I also feel that a lot of New England lacrosse players seem to stay put in New England. They choose to play D3 in the NESCAC, or one of the numerous top 25 programs in New England; or they choose to play D1 at the IVY League, or other local programs throughout New England. I feel as though New England is a lacrosse hotbed. I guess we will need a New England native to win a major college award for the region to be locked in as a hotbed in the mainstream lacrosse media.
Photo courtesy of Joe Panepinto’s Picasa Album