Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/21/14
Registration is now open for The Match (www.matchlax.com), a novel recruiting showcase/skills clinic that made its successful debut in 2013, focusing on elite players targeting Division III colleges. The event, open to all boys players, will be held on Sunday, October 19th at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA.
The Match is specifically designed for players (2015/2016/2017 graduation years) who are or have the potential to be strong Division III candidates – athletically and academically. Participating players must be nominated by a high school or club coach. They will have a chance to showcase their skills in drills, in 7v7 short-sided matches and several full field games before an impressive array of coaches. The novel 7v7 format is designed to maximize player touches and give participants a meaningful chance to showcase their skills on offense, defense, in transition and in the goal in a fast-paced setting.
The event will be run again by Heritage Lacrosse, whose founders include Chris Bates, Pat Carney and Scott Growney. Bates, the Head Men’s Coach at Princeton, is a director of the King of the Hill Tournament — one of the top team recruiting camps in the country. Carney and Growney, together with Bates, also run The Patriot Games, which features travel teams from around the country each summer. They are also coaches in the highly-regarded Mesa Fresh Lacrosse club program. Dave Webster, Head Coach at Dickinson College, has joined the Heritage team as an adviser in connection with The Match.
The Match, because of its unique design and more focused approach, attracted 160 players from 7 states in 2013, who were selected from over 300 applicants. Close to 30 colleges coaches from top notch Division III colleges and programs attended the event in 2013, including Bowdoin, Dickinson, Drew, Eastern, Franklin & Marshall, Haverford, McDaniel, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus, Williams and York. As word spreads, the list of participating schools is expected to grow. Feedback from last year’s event was glowing, with players, coaches and parents commenting on the format and the event’s contrast with the many recruiting events that are significantly less participatory.
According to Growney, the name “The Match” is in recognition of the realities of today’s harried recruiting world and a reminder to student-athletes to be diligent and strategic in their search to find the right fit. Many players dream about playing Division I lacrosse, but the truth is that spots are limited, the competition is intense and not every great player will find his way onto a Division I roster, or even onto the field if he does. Some prospects recognize these realities late in the pursuit, but not until after devoting time, emotion and resources and sometimes experiencing a level of frustration in the process, said Growney.
Meanwhile, Growney says another truth is that players can find outstanding lacrosse, happiness as a player, and great academics at schools in the Division III world. Strong players, in particular, have the opportunity to leverage their lacrosse talents to get the best education they can, while competing at a very high level.
Heritage has scheduled The Match to precede the established Division I recruiting events and the hype of the November circuit. Participation in those events may still be a part of a player’s game plan. The Match, however, gives serious college lacrosse prospects the chance to acclimate themselves to the competition while showcasing their talents in a concentrated fashion before an attentive audience of Division III coaches.
The Hill School is excited to host the event, which will feature its two new turf fields on its Far Fields Complex. Heritage looks forward to featuring The Hill’s athletic facilities, which provide for an intimate, convenient and efficient setting.
Interested participants are encouraged to register soon as space is limited.
For more information about The Match, to register to play, to nominate one or more players or to confirm your attendance as a college coach, please visit www.matchlax.com. If questions remain after visiting the website, please e-mail Carney at firstname.lastname@example.org.