Checking in Coaches Darren Reisig, Chris McKay, Jesse King and Gina Jung Photo Cheryl Brown
The Top 151 field lacrosse players in the province started arriving at Topaz Park in Victoria at 8:30 on Wednesday morning. They were travelling from all over B.C. to showcase their talents to 38 College and University coaches from the U.S. at the BC’s Best Showcase. The BC’s Best Field Lacrosse Recruiting event is the premiere camp in Western Canada. Claremont High School coaches Darren Reisig and Chris McKay started this event 6 years to showcase the talent of not only the Claremont Lacrosse Academy athletes but of the top players in B.C. who are seeking an athletic scholarship.
Princeton Assistant Coach Dylan Sheridan Photo Cheryl Brown
The showcase staff was made up of 2015 Claremont graduates (red shirts) who have signed with U.S. Schools and on hand to assist with whatever the college coaches needed throughout the day and recent alumni (grey shirts) who were back to assist with coaching the various teams. The alumni do not have to be persuaded to volunteer at the showcase. All Claremont grads look forward to the day that they can come back as alumni, to assist Coaches Reisig and McKay. This event was an integral part of many of the alumni securing a spot on a U.S. College or Lacrosse team.
Tusculum Head Coach Richard Carrington Photo Cheryl Brown
You could easily identify the first time attendee ninth graders as the athletes walked up to the check -in table manned by Coaches Reisig, McKay and Ohio State player and Claremont alumni Jesse King. The future 2018 grads would return to the table to make sure they had the right pinnie number and to confirm warm up time. They did not want to make even a single mistake, as they knew this was a huge opportunity for them so impress the attending coaches.
The grade 10’s (2017 grads) knew what was at stake. The Division one coaches from schools like Princeton, Cornell and Ohio State were here to watch them. Grade ten is the big year for recruiting as the coaches are looking to fill spots on their rosters three years from now when they lose graduating players. The players had been briefed before hand to stand out as an individual while being an unselfish team player. A very hard task to accomplish when you are competing for a position on a Division One team that has much sought after scholarship money attached
2015 Claremont Grads Eddie Smith, Tyler Mace, Marshall King and David Byrne Photo Cheryl Brown
The coaches started arriving and were all in great spirits ready to watch the showcase of talent who were warming up to perform for them. Coaches picked up their packages and made their way to the centre of the two turfs where they would take their seats and wait for the young men to show them what they were made of. Many of the parents were nervous wrecks. I think more so than their sons. Parents of athletes have invested many hours supporting their children whether it be financially, transporting them to and from practice and games or with constant encouragement and they want their child to have to best showing possible at events like B.C.’s best so their children are acknowledged for all of their hard work.
The grade 11 &12’s were being watched mostly by Division Two Schools like Tusculum who are looking for players who were not snatched up or missed by Division One schools in their grade 10 year. Tusculum Head Coach Richard Carrington currently has 5 Canadians on his roster including Claremont grads and cousins Nate and Dallas Wade. The benefit of attending a Division two school is that quite often you walk on to the field in a starting position. “Dallas was a starting attack for us while Nate was our top scorer for the season as well as being named “All Conference”. Tusculum is in Tennessee about three hour of Nashville and has an indoor facility which sets it apart from other schools boasted Coach Carrington, Tusculum now has their players practicing box lacrosse once a week to introduce them to the game. The Canadians are able to assist the program greatly with the box lacrosse introduction.
Coaches assessing the B.C. talent Photo Cheryl Brown
I spoke with Kevin Glanfield a 2014 Claremont grad. He recently arrived home from his first semester as ASU a junior college in New York. Kevin told me that he wanted to strengthen his grades before looking at a Division One School so he spent a semester at ASU doing just that while playing lacrosse. He said that they offered support in the way of tutoring every day if you needed it. He said the college genuinely wanted to see all of their students accomplish A’s. I asked him how his experience was and he said it really was like living in a movie. I would go to my classes on campus and when I walked off Campus I would be looking directly at the Empire State Building and the worlds largest Victoria’s Secret. What young man wouldn’t love that!!
When asked what he likes about Canadian players Princeton Assistant Coach Dylan Sheridan stated that he had gone to high school at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson Ohio (www.wra.net) for lacrosse where he played with several Canadians one being Steve McKinley-attended Ohio State) so he has always been in tune with the Canadian style of play and says Canadians are a welcome addition to the Princeton lacrosse program. Coach Sheridan acknowledged that Princeton is more difficult to play for because of the academic requirements but they do have several Canadians playing for them currently (Zach Courier, Riley Thompson, Dawson Mackenzie and Luke Keenan). Talent is a key factor in securing a scholarship but it is very important that you have a strong academic component as well.
Kevin Glanfield Photo Cheryl Brown
I watched several of the games while keeping an eye on the coaches who were watching closely. In one of the grade 10 games I watched goalie Parker Tuefel make an incredible save. . He went down into the side splits saved the ball and hopped up so effortlessly that it was almost like he had been practicing that move for days on end. All of the coaches heads went down and they all made note of it in their books. There was a lot of chatter amongst the coaches. They were discussing players and what positions they were looking for. I don’t imagine it is an easy decision when choosing players that are the right fit for a team. Ohio State Head Coach Nick Meyers said that he will look at 6000 players this summer but is only looking for 10 young men. The competition is fierce so showing well at events such as BC’s Best and being strong academically will go a long way at earning a spot at U.S. School.
At the end of the day once all of the games and All Star games were complete Coaches Reisig and McKay addressed the very attentive and very tired group of participants. He told them that it was very important that they follow up with the coaches and keep in touch letting them know what tournaments or events you would be attending. They have to take an active role in the recruitment process.
Then it was “swag” time. All of the participants received a training shirt and lacrosse head from sponsor Under Armour as well as a back pack bag from Headcase Sportz ((they are on facebook. There were a lot of tired but happy boys leaving the field at the end of another very successful BC’s Best.
Since I started writing this article I have heard that may of the participants have received interest from schools in attendance. A huge congratulations is in order to participant Thomas Semple of Coquitlam who just signed with Denver.
For more information on BC’s Best follow the BC’s Best Field Lacrosse Recruiting Camp on Facebook.