Skip to comments.Lacrosse making Manatee inroads
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 dont have to look any further than local high schools for evidence of that.
Lakewood Ranch, Saint Stephens 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 Academys Summer Camp.
The featured guest is Team USA head coach Mike Pressler, and the timing couldnt 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 its 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 Im 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.
Its 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 its 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 theres 15,000 Japanese playing lacrosse right now theres a team from Hong Kong, so its global.
Pressler points to Floridas reputation as a football state in helping lacrosses 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: http://www.bradenton.com/2010/07/29/v-print/2466741/lacrosse-making-manatee-inroads.html#ixzz0vFvYiR00
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.
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.
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.
Yeah my thoughts also.
No way manatees survive in LaCrosse, WI.
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.
As opposed to field hockey which is actual hockey on the grass. :)
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.
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