By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/7/19
Philly clubs may vie for players on the field, but for the second year a large group of these travel programs combined to arrange a major informational event Wednesday at the 2nd Annual College Recruiting Summit at Harriton High.
Several hundred players, parents and lacrosse fans attended as two Philly coaches that enjoyed banner seasons in 2019 – Jeff Tambroni of Penn State (Division I semifinalist) and Gary Mercadante of Ursinus (Centennial Conference champion) – discussed the recruiting landscape for their respective divisions.
The Summit was organized by Duke’s Lacrosse Club Director Ebe Helm and NXT President & Executive VP of Boys Lacrosse Peter Lawrence. Other clubs that sponsored the event were PA Roughriders, Rising Sons, Mesa, Team 11, Tri-State, and South Shore while Chosen also participated. Victory Events and Phillylacrosse.com also sponsored the event, which was taped by Next Level Video (see below).
The beneficiary of the event was the HEADstrong Foundation. HEADstrong Chief Development Officer Pat Colleluori spoke about a special program players can participate in to fundraise for the Foundation.
“I think we heard it from coach Tambroni, Coach Merc and also from Ebe – they said it well – let’s educate the kids more about the process,” said Lawrence. “There are always so many misconceptions.
“We wanted to do something for the community, help HEADstrong, which is based out of the community – and bring in people from different clubs that compete against each other. Why can’t we come together for the common good.
“The hope is that it will continue to grow.”
The coaches spoke about recruiting rules and recommendations specific to Division I and III. They also focused on how players can develop at different times and noted players such as Chris Sabia (Haverford School) – who didn’t blossom fully until he made it to Penn State where he emerged as an All-American defenseman after not being as highly recruited as others.
Tambroni and Mercadante also spoke about the great talent being produced by Philly clubs, but said academics, being a good teammate and having a positive attitude and a strong work ethic play perhaps even bigger roles when being recruited.
“The 2nd Annual College Recruiting Night Summit was a huge success,” said Helm. “The collaboration and combined ffforts of so many local lacrosse clubs and entities was fantastic.
“The recruiting messages by Jeff Tambroni and Gary Mercandante were excellent in both delivery and content; while HEADstrong Representative Pat Collelori provided a simple and easy forum for players and families to give to the Foundation’s initiative and do so in a simplistic and natural way.
“Overall, it was a night of excellence and goodwill that I was proud to be a part of it.”