Article on 2017 SI Lacrosse

Article on 2017 SI Lacrosse

Postby Billax » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:38 pm

Here's an article about SI and its Boy's Lacrosse program which, in one end-of-season poll this year, was ranked #5 in the nation. It was published in GENESIS, Saint Ignatius' Quarterly Magazine, sent to parents and alumni of the School.

Top 10 reasons for success of boys’ lacrosse program, ranked fifth in the U.S.

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The boys’ varsity lacrosse team finished the season with its eighth-straight WCAL title and an overall record of 19–2. The boys also earned the highest national ranking the team has enjoyed since the sport began at SI in 1979. US Lacrosse Magazine ranked SI the fifth best squad in the country and the only West Coast school in its top 25 list. In addition, SI was ranked first in the West by Inside Lacrosse.

SI’s success comes, in part, from an East Coast tour that saw two victories (Garden City and Chaminade) and only one loss to Landon of Washington, D.C., ranked first in the nation.

Four seniors on the team were recruited to play for their respective colleges, including Patrick Brosnan for Bryant University, Nick Clarke for Bucknell University, Hall Peters for the University of Virginia and Bryn Evans for Harvard. Evans was selected as the National Player of the Week by LaxRecords.com for scoring three goals against Landon and six against Chaminade. Evans and Peters were also selected for the July 1 Under Armour All-America Game that aired nationally on ESPN, featuring the 60 best players in the country.

For Head Coach Chris Packard — now in his 16th season with the team and ninth year as head coach — this year’s victories have much to do with the long-term success of the program. “Once again, I feel fortunate to be part of SI and to be able to lead the young men during the spring. I’m humbled to coach an awesome group of kids at a great school.”

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Head Coach Chris Packard

Here is Coach Packard’s top 10 list for why SI lacrosse has been so successful over the years:

1. The Alumni: SI has one of the most supportive alumni networks in the U.S.

2. The School: SI supports our program in ways that go beyond what other schools do, from allowing us to fly to the East Coast, to assisting us with a top-notch Athletics Office.

3. The History of Success: We have molded our teams on the dogged determination of the players who have come through our program. We try to emulate them while constantly raising the bar to be the best team we can be.

4. The Coaches: The coaches we have are the best in the country. The coaches who ran the program while I was involved — including Dave Giarrusso and Greg Angilly — are two of the finest men I know, and those who preceded Dave and Greg were men of character and integrity.

5. The Players: The athletes who come through our program have expectations that set the standard for excellence. This has been passed down through the generations since the birth of the program in 1979.

6. The Pride: There is no institution that instills more pride in its student body than SI, and I know of no prouder group of athletes than those in the SI lacrosse program.

7. The Murph: Is there any better home field on God’s green earth than J.B. Murphy Field? I have yet to find one.

8. The City: San Francisco is our community, and our community is San Francisco.

9. The Fans: The Bay Area has the best sports fans in the country. They pack our stands and follow us around the country.

10. AMDG: Playing for a higher purpose gives athletes a unique advantage, as they all have faith in the process and in the people.

JV Head Coach Dave Bowe ’96 added the following: “SI lacrosse’s success comes from our expectations to be good based on our hard work. We are privileged, and we honor that privilege by working hard, playing fair and competing. Some of our players are fortunate to possess God-given talent. We try never to squander that talent or feel entitled to something that we haven’t worked for. That understanding makes good teams into great teams. That’s what we try create every year, and that’s why so many players return to us as coaches.”
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Coaches: Chris Packard, assisted by Michael Abou Jaoude, Ryan Carter and Julian Gunter; JV: Dave Bowe, assisted by Ethan Vedder and Peter Langkammerer.

JV Highlights: The JVs went 19–0 for another undefeated season.

Awards: League player of the year: Hall Peters; All league first team: Hall Peters, Bryn Evans, Mac Gates, Patrick Brosnan, Peter St. Gem, James Gilfillan; All league second team: Nick Clarke, Christopher Bligh, Hobby Lynch, Payton St. Geme; John M. Senyard Award (MVP): Bryn Evans and Hall Peters; Most Improved: Michael May.

Graduating Seniors: Patrick Brosnan (Bryant), Nick Clarke (Bucknell), Bryn Evans (Harvard), Hall Peters (U. of Virginia), Robert Reutiman, Payton St. Geme, Finbarr Murphy, Matthew Dixon, Jonah Schieber, Thomas Finnegan, Oliver Taylor, Connor Reed, William Myers, Richard McDonough, Casey Merryman, Patrick Oven, Alexander Lynch and Charles Sinclair.
Sports don't build character, they reveal it. - Heywood Broun
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Re: Article on 2017 SI Lacrosse

Postby Billax » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:59 pm

As an SI fan, I'm very happy for their success. I am also a fan of several other schools in NorCal who have good coaching, strong fan support, and allure to student-athletes. These schools are on the same trajectory as SI, they just started later.

Who are these other schools I root for?

With one exception, they're East Bay schools. Here they are, in no particular order:
• Acalanes
• Bellarmine
• De La Salle
• Monte Vista
• San Ramon

Who a guy roots for isn't rational – it's emotional. The reason I root for these teams is, likely, goofy. Either I knew the coaches or I knew a player, or I liked the team play and coordination I saw while watching a game ••• but I liked what I saw!

As I often say, GO NORCAL!
Sports don't build character, they reveal it. - Heywood Broun
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Re: Article on 2017 SI Lacrosse

Postby sionjy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:19 am

I grew up playing lacrosse in the same Darien program that produced many greats, I played at Deerfield Academy with some of the best to ever play, I have now coached in the PAL, WCAL, NCS, college lacrosse in the PNW and New England (d2 & d3), and now ISL lacrosse. I have coached many travel teams too. Drawing from my own personal experiences, I can confidently say that the Bay Area has better lacrosse coaching than most of the country. The hardest I have had to work as a coach was coaching in the Bay Area. I have found college and ISL/Founders lacrosse relatively easy considering. The big difference I have noticed is the caliber of coaches in the Bay Area, the willingness to adapt, be creative, and knowledgeable about the sport of lacrosse. I know that I can walk up to any of the Alcatraz Outlaws offensive player and ask them to tell me the difference between a pick versus a screen and he will answer without a problem, I know that I could ask any of the Alcatraz Outlaws defensemen to tell me three different types of slides and they will tell me. I also know I could walk up to any of the ISL players (besides my players) and ask the same two questions and get no answer... and surprising ask a lot of d3 or d2 players, many would have some idea but no strong understanding.

When game planning against teams in the WNESSLA or Founders or ISL it isn't about what offense are they running or what are their slide packages. It doesn't matter because they all run the same offense and the same defense. All that matters is the talent that has transferred into the program, if you have more d1 commits than the other guy, you will win if you have more talent regardless of how you use that talent. I took the same coaching that I had to use to be competitive in the Bay Area to the ISL, in one season we had the top defense in the league and New England while starting two freshmen and one sophomore on defense.

I'm not sure if you will ever truly change the minds of players and coaches on the east coast, for every "upset" SI has on the east coast you will hear the same excuses: "It was a meaningless game," "We are focusing on the league games or playoffs," "Our best players didn't play," etc. But I hope more teams decide to take the trip to the east coast and expose to people the high standard of coaching that is going on in California.

I'll be happy to schedule games for you if interested! I'm sure St. Sebs, Belmont Hill, Nobles, Governors, & Roxbury Latin would all be happy to host a game or two!
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Re: Article on 2017 SI Lacrosse

Postby Billax » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:12 pm

Thanks for your post and perspective, sionjy!
Sports don't build character, they reveal it. - Heywood Broun
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