PressBox's high school lacrosse email, written by Tom Peace, brings you all the best in local lacrosse -- boys and girls, private and public schools, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Check it out, pass it on and tell us what you think.
Sal Picataggi Ready To Lead Hereford Boys' Lacrosse
In September, Hereford High School addressed its head coaching vacancy for the boys' lacrosse team by hiring from within -- naming former assistant coach Sal Picataggi head coach.
Picataggi replaces Brian King, who left to coach at John Carroll in Bel Air, Md.
Hereford won five Class 3A/2A state titles from 2009-13 during King's era, but lost to Kent Island, 8-6, during the 2014 title game to finish the season, 17-4.
Picataggi is from Long Island, N.Y., but has experience coaching at the public school level in Maryland. He had head coaching stints at Liberty (1997-2002) and Winters Mill (2002-12).
"Getting hired as head coach was a great moment for me," Picataggi said. "Hereford High School, the lacrosse program, the community, is such a wonderful place and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I come from Long Island, where public lacrosse is much more prominent than private, so I'm familiar with how things are done. Being an assistant last year brought me into the Hereford community, and it was nothing but a huge positive for me and my family."
The new head coach hasn't wasted any time. His team is already participating in preseason workouts.
"I learned, over 20 years of being a head coach, how to build a program from the bottom up," Picataggi said. "[I learned to] help make all the student-athletes better players through planning, commitment to each other, bringing in the families to help us along, and how to bring good coaches with me in the process to achieve our ultimate goals."
Hall Of Famer Mac Ford Named Head Coach At NDP
Notre Dame Preparatory School has concluded its search for Mary Bartel's successor by naming U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Famer Harry "Mac" Ford as head coach of the girls' lacrosse team.
Bartel stepped down as head varsity lacrosse coach last season after coaching for two decades at NDP.
The Reisterstown, Md., resident will become the first male coach at the all-girls school. The hire has come as a shock to some, but the credentials Ford brings make him a formidable replacement.
A standout attackman at Gilman in the 1980s, Ford become a two-time All-American at the University of North Carolina. Ford was also a member of the championship U.S. Men's National Team in 1990. He was voted best attackman and named to the All-World team.
Ford was an assistant coach for the 2009 USA Women's World Cup championship team, and an assistant coach of the U.S. Elite Women's Lacrosse Team from 2006-08.
Ford has also served on the U.S. Lacrosse Women's Games Committee. Plus, he has helped coach his daughters (Abigail, 2008) and (Molly, 2006) during their playing careers.
NDP went 10-5 this past season and have a solid team coming back for the 2015 campaign.
Q&A: Strength And Conditioning Coach Jay Dyer
Local strength and conditioning coach Jay Dyer has become the go-to trainer for many athletes. Players, male and female, from all ages and levels, go to Dyer's gym in Cockeysville, Md., and train to be better lacrosse players.
Local high school teams have Dyer help get their players in shape during the offseason. And pro lacrosse players, such as Steele Stanwick and Tucker Durkin, also rely on Dyer to get in shape.
PressBox caught up with Dyer to get his thoughts on what makes his training successful and how he feels about athletes playing year-round.
PressBox: What do you enjoy most about training the best lacrosse players in the game?
Jay Dyer: I enjoy working with the athletes, getting to know them personally and watching them be successful on and off the field.
I have been fortunate to work with some athletes long enough to see them graduate high school, college and start a family.
PB: What goals do you set for the people you train?
JD: Most athletes have their own goals they would like to attain. My job is to give them the tools to accomplish those goals. There is an understanding that they will show up to work and an exceptional effort is expected of them
I will tell athletes that my goals for them should never exceed their own.
PB: Do you take pride in being the go-to guy to train local high school teams in the area?
JD: I take pride that athletes have a desire to train with me and the trainers that work with me. We are constantly evaluating and designing ways to make our program better in order to provide the best results for our athletes.
I am appreciative of the efforts and accomplishments of all the athletes that have trusted us to help them improve. The positive results the athletes achieve are what bring other athletes to the program.
PB: Should high school players be playing lacrosse year-round?
JD: It is my experience that this generation of athletes does not play a sport that they wouldn't have the opportunity to play year-round -- lacrosse or not. I would never discourage an athlete from participating in another sport. High school athletes need to understand that when they play in college, their sport becomes a year-round commitment, so beware of burnout.
PB: Can anyone train in your program or is it just lacrosse players?
JD: We work with athletes that play numerous sports, so no, it is not just for lacrosse players. We train athletes in high school and college that play football, soccer, basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, baseball and lacrosse.
Featured College Commitments
Notre Dame Prep attacker Hannah Mardiney -- University of Florida
Our Lady of Good Counsel midfielder Mackenzie Carroll -- Penn State University
Our Lady of Good Counsel midfielder/defender Halle Graham -- University of Virginia
Dulaney goalie Hannah Slomkowski -- United States Military Academy at West Point
Notre Dame Prep midfielder Keegan Barger -- Johns Hopkins University
Glenelg Country attacker Alyssa Arnold -- Jacksonville University
John Carroll midfielder Meghan Hoffman -- Temple University
John Carroll defender Anya McSorley -- Coastal Carolina University
Boonsboro goalie Alexander Pizarro -- Ohio Northern University
Broadneck long-stick midfielder Connor Ellis -- United States Coast Guard Academy
Howard defenseman Michael Patton -- Cabrini College
Saint John's Catholic Prep attackman Jimmy Russo -- Goucher College