Growth of NCAA Lacrosse recruiting in NorCal

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Growth of NCAA Lacrosse recruiting in NorCal

Postby Billax » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:56 am

There are many ways to look at the growth and development of boys' Lacrosse in NorCal. To me, the growth in number of Youth and High School players is the most important. But there are other measures: number of travel teams, number of colleges in our area that offer lacrosse programs, how our High School programs stack up in National rankings, etc. By all these quantitative measures, growth and development has been rapid, though not without the occasional setback.

There are other measures as well, one of which I sketch out below. The number of players who elect to play NCAA lacrosse measures - however imperfectly - NorCal's standing in the world of NCAA college lacrosse. While there are numerous difficulties in using this metric as the determinant of improving player quality, it has the virtue of having a readily available data set - LaxPower's recruiting database. Here, for what it's worth, are the numbers of NorCal guys who have been recruited by NCAA programs, as reported by LaxPower over the life of their data set. I have only included players listed by LaxPower as recruited or early decision. Here are the numbers:

NCAA commitments by class
Class....DI..DII..DIII..Total
2007.....3....4....7......14
2008.....9....1....2.....12
2009.....8....5....8.....21
2010.....6....8....8.....22
2011.....5....8....10...23 (recruiting not complete)
2012.....5....0....0......5 (recruiting in early stages, relying on my count as there is no LaxPower data yet for this class)

For the completed Classes - 2007-2010, NorCal NCAA participation moved smartly higher. Partly, this can be attributed to more exposure through recruiting camps such as California Gold, but also to stronger coaching at the Youth and High School levels, strong summer camp offerings, and to slowly improving athlete quality as lacrosse becomes a "first choice" sport. The irregular increases in DI players from NorCal is encouraging because the number of schools participating at that level has been static. NorCal, along with other non-hotbed areas is taking market share from the Eastern hotbeds. The rise of Western DII schools has been a boon to our players, with many of our guys electing to attend college in the West. NorCal's growing participation at the NCAA DIII level is interesting to me, as this Division has not grown much in the Far West during this period. A big chunk of our DIII guys seem attracted to strong academic schools back East (e.g., Haverford, Franklin & Marshall, Williams, Wesleyan, Colorado College, etc.) that offer a balance between good lacrosse and a rigorous education. Trend for NorCal's NCAA participation? Sharply higher.

Edited to adjust 2007 and 2008 data: 11/23/2010
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Re: Growth of Lacrosse in NorCal

Postby LaxDad » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:59 pm

I believe the class of 2008 had at least 4 DI recruits. SI had 4 in Lang, Mattimore, Kaplan and Capreta (sp).
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Re: Growth of Lacrosse in NorCal

Postby Billax » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:29 pm

Thanks, LaxDad.
The number on LaxPower is nine. I've had nine stored in my brain for two-and-a- half years now, but I just couldn't find it! Failing eyesight or attention span deficit must be the culprits.

The nine are:
john Hodgkinson, M Piedmont (Avon Old Farms) Delaware
Rory O'Connor, D/LSM Saint Ignatius, Quinnipiac
Parker Brown, A University, Brown
Spencer Kaplan, D Saint Ignatius, Bucknell
Matt Weigand, A Bellarmine, Providence
Casey Abbott, A Bellarmine, Robert Morris
Thomas Mattimore, M Saint Ignatius, Dartmouth
Alex Capretta, A/M Saint Ignatius, Princeton
Roy Lang, M Saint Ignatius, Cornell

Now, that was a class!

Looking forward to seeing you this Spring.
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Re: Growth of Lacrosse in NorCal

Postby WCLLPrez » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:03 pm

Matt Weigand is now at Santa Clara
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Re: Growth of Lacrosse in NorCal

Postby LaxDad » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:57 am

Rory ended up at Fairfield. He is now playing rugby. SI's 2008 goalie, Kyle Bell,is now a goalie at Canisius.
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Re: Growth of Lacrosse in NorCal

Postby LaxDad » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:21 pm

The class of 2007 had at least 1 D1. SI's Suter at Dartmouth.
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Re: Growth of Lacrosse in NorCal

Postby Billax » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:23 am

LaxDad wrote:The class of 2007 had at least 1 D1. SI's Suter at Dartmouth.

Class of 2007 NCAA recruits, per LaxPower

DI
Miles Suter, A Saint Ignatius, San Francisco, Dartmouth
Derek McDonald, D Saint Ignatius, San Francisco, Saint Joseph's
Cooper Heifet, A Redwood, Kentfield, Johns Hopkins (now plays Football at Duke)

DII
Nick Coric, A De La Salle, Walnut Creek, C.W. Post
Kyle Donovan, D Monte Vista, Danville, Dominican
Zakkary Souza, M Monte Vista, Danville, Lees-McRae
Kevin Arabejo, LSM, Ann Arbor Huron, Hercules, Notre dame de Namur

DIII
Drew Mancini, A Deerfield Academy, Hillsborough, Washington & Lee
Peter Modera, M Piedmont, Piedmont, Wesleyan
Will Conn, A/M Piedmont, Piedmont, Trinity
Brendan Newland, M Piedmont, Piedmont, Trinity
Alex Tice, G Saint ignatius, Oakland, Vassar
Carter McClellan, A/M Saint Ignatius, San Francisco, Stevens
Alex Haggerty, D Granite Bay, Granite Bay Ohio Wesleyan

2007 was another terrific Class for NorCal. The three Piedmont guys, all of whom committed to NESCAC schools were a force! The class also contains a Close D who, some still contend, was NorCal's best ever at his position.

Thanks for the assist, LaxDad. I've updated the 2007 stats in the original post.
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Re: Growth of Lacrosse in NorCal

Postby Billax » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:13 pm

Here's some data from LaxPower's archives, which helps put NorCal's lacrosse growth in a larger context. Among other inferences, it answers the question, "Is it getting harder or easier to participate in NCAA lacrosse?"

Year............2000........2010 ... % gain
HS Teams.....1274........3095.....143%
DI teams..........55...........60..........9%
DII teams.........32...........37........16%
DIII teams......117.........166.........42%
Total NCAA....204.........263.........29%

These are disheartening numbers. In 2000, there were 6.25 times as many High School lacrosse teams as NCAA lacrosse teams. Today, that number is 11.75 times as many High School teams as NCAA teams. It is absolutely loony at DI, where a decade ago there were 23 High School teams for each DI team. Today, there are 52 High School teams per each DI school! Because of the rapid growth in High School lacrosse and the much smaller growth in NCAA lacrosse, the percentage of boys' who'll play NCAA lacrosse has gone from 16% to 8.5%. In NCAA DI lacrosse, the percentage of High School players selected to play DI went from a little more than 4% to less than 2%.

Is there any good news in this story? Yes, in the growth of college club lacrosse, particularly the MCLA. Though data for 2000 is sketchy, about 150 college club teams were organized at the turn of the century. Today, the MCLA keeps good records and they say 500 organized college club teams exist. That's an increase of 233% over the last decade - even faster than the rate of growth in High School lacrosse!

If one adds up the numbers for college club and NCAA lacrosse, we get 354 college teams in 2000 and 763 college teams in 2010. That's an increase of 115% over the decade. And, the growth rate of ALL college lacrosse is not dissimilar to the growth of High School lacrosse. That's good news for those guys who want to keep playing lacrosse after High School!
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