Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Lacrosse making Manatee inroads
Bradenton Herald ^ | July 29, 2010 | Jason Dill

Posted on 07/31/2010 3:54:31 AM PDT by abb

BRADENTON — Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and you don’t have to look any further than local high schools for evidence of that.

Lakewood Ranch, Saint Stephen’s and Cardinal Mooney have started lacrosse teams over the past few years.

This week, local players have another opportunity to improve their skills at the IMG Lacrosse Academy’s Summer Camp.

The featured guest is Team USA head coach Mike Pressler, and the timing couldn’t be better.

Team USA just upset tournament favorite Canada on Saturday in the final of the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship.

The tournament was held in Manchester, England, so it’s been a long few days for Pressler, who arrived in Bradenton on Tuesday night.

But Pressler was determined to keep his commitment to Kevin Finneran, director of IMG Lacrosse.

“Kevin Finneran is the reason I’m here,” said Pressler, who has known Finneran for more than 20 years. “When he got the appointment at IMG back in the spring, he said ‘Coach, I need you to come down and spend a couple days at our camps.’”

Finneran played for Pressler on the 1989 lacrosse team at Ohio Wesleyan that reached the Division III national title game.

Pressler is doing his best to impart the wisdom and philosophy that has made him a successful lacrosse coach to campers that include rising Manatee High sophomore Griffin Stephens.

“It’s a real honor,” Stephens said about learning from Pressler.

The national team coach is enjoying his time at IMG.

“I like the fact that they have really small numbers here,” Pressler said. “Because its much more intimate that way ... they have 15 in the program this week and after one session I know all their first names already.”

Once considered strictly a northern sport, lacrosse has made inroads in the South.

Lax, as it’s often called, has spread its wings all over and spilled into Manatee with club and high school teams.

“Lacrosse is exploding nationally and at the world games,” said Pressler, who is the head coach at Bryant (R.I.) University and spent 16 years as the head coach at Duke. “While I was at the world games, there were 32 countries. ... The Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic — there’s 15,000 Japanese playing lacrosse right now — there’s a team from Hong Kong, so it’s global.”

Pressler points to Florida’s reputation as a football state in helping lacrosse’s booming popularity here.

In fact, legendary running back Jim Brown excelled in both sports during his collegiate career at Syracuse (N.Y.) University.

“People that actually knew Jim Brown would tell you that he was a much better lacrosse player than he was a football player,” Pressler said.

Read more:

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Humor; Pets/Animals; Sports
KEYWORDS: dukelax; durham; hughmanatee; nifong
Will be pinging Hugh shortly...
1 posted on 07/31/2010 3:54:34 AM PDT by abb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: abner; Alia; beyondashadow; Bitter Bierce; bjc; Bogeygolfer; BossLady; Brytani; bwteim; Carling; ..


2 posted on 07/31/2010 3:56:02 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: abb

Used to teach at a HS in Manatee County, got a transfer student from Lakewood Ranch, in on a discipline contract, he was a lacrosse player.
Biggest disruptor, didn’t care about grades, because it wouldn’t affect his playing lacrosse. He played for IMG..
Really bad attitude for a ninth grader. Eventually he was expelled.. still played for IMG. His parents had big bucks to pay for private lacrosse, but didn’t want to have public education disrupting their superstars life with things like paying attention in class and doing homework.

3 posted on 07/31/2010 4:32:18 AM PDT by Waverunner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: abb

4 posted on 07/31/2010 4:41:41 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: abb

Totally love Lacrosse!!

As a Syracuse grad, I would gladly trade a couple of our national championships in Lacrosse just for a bowl game in football. We can spare them.

5 posted on 07/31/2010 5:44:39 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Lacrosse is as close to a perfect sport as you can get. Lots of running, some hitting and it’s really fast.

My son has been playing for 8 months and is going into 9th grade. It’s a club sport in St. Louis, but I’ll bet that changes soon.

6 posted on 07/31/2010 5:54:45 AM PDT by birddog (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: abb

Yeah my thoughts also.

No way manatees survive in LaCrosse, WI.

7 posted on 07/31/2010 5:57:18 AM PDT by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Vinnie

8 posted on 07/31/2010 5:58:58 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: abb

A kid has good speed and eye-hand coordition but he doesn’t
have the size and speed for football or baseball.
or even the height and speed for B-ball.

There’s a kid just made for Lacrosse. I like to think of
it as “Hockey on the grass.” Great Game.

9 posted on 07/31/2010 8:32:15 AM PDT by Pompah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pompah

As opposed to field hockey which is actual hockey on the grass. :)

10 posted on 07/31/2010 8:54:57 AM PDT by nhoward14 (I'm starting The 595 Club... A discount from 700)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: abb
What's interesting is that lacrosse is starting to become a pretty popular sport in Japanese high schools. In the first of the long-running Pretty Cure Japanese anime series seasons, one of the main characters (Nagisa Misumi) plays lacrosse at the middle school she attends. The fact such a very mainstream anime series has one of its main characters play lacrosse tells me that this sport now has real international recognition.
11 posted on 07/31/2010 10:59:34 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pompah

Here in Washington State we just got pro indoor LAX (”Box” Lacrosse). Even MORE like hockey with the boards, numerous player changes, etc.

Their advertising campaign:

It’s like Baseball, with more hits. (Shows a big check).
It’s like soccer, with more goals.
It’s like hockey....with balls.

12 posted on 07/31/2010 11:05:59 PM PDT by 21twelve ( UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES MY ARSE: " begin the work of remaking America."-Obama, 1/20/09)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson