The 2017 season will be the final time Rick Brocato strolls the sideline as head coach of the St. Paul's boys' lacrosse team.
During 16 years at the helm, Brocato's helped the Crusaders maintain their reputation as one of the nation's top programs. However, he decided the time was right to step down, spend more time with his family and pursue other interests.
Still, there are more milestones within grasp this spring.
Brocato is seven wins away from tying George Mitchell for most in school history, with many expecting him to eclipse the mark during the upcoming season. Brocato would also like nothing more than to bring home another Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A conference title in his final year.
"I was always honored and humbled to be the head coach at St. Paul's," Brocato said. "Howdy Myers, Ace Adams, Gene Corrigan, George Mitchell, Mitch Whiteley -- these former St. Paul's coaches are legends in the game. St. Paul's is one of the best high school jobs in the country, for any age or any level coach. It's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. I always kidded with folks by saying, 'There's no pressure; just don't lose.'"
Brocato has led St. Paul's to the MIAA playoffs in 14 out of his 16 years, making the MIAA title game four times, winning in 2010. He was named US Lacrosse Baltimore Chapter Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2010.
In addition to his work at St. Paul's, Brocato was the head coach of the South team for the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's (USILA) North-South Senior All-Star Game in 1996, and he led the South team in the 2011 Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic game.
He was part of the coaching staff for the selection of the 2015 USA U19 team that eventually won the FILA world championship in British Columbia. While at St. Paul's, he coached four Hall of Famers, 19 Major League Lacrosse professionals, two U.S. World Team members, 17 NCAA Champions, 44 All-Americans and three Kelly Award winners.
"Broc, as he is known to all, exemplifies the very best of the teacher-coach model," St. Paul's headmaster David C. Faus said. "He has prepared athletes to achieve the very highest levels -- college All-Americans, professionals and even the national Hall of Fame. At the same time, he is a deeply engaged, empathetic educator who makes every one of his middle school students feel valued and supported."
For more on Brocato's legacy, read the full article here.
NCAA Considering Two-Point Goals For Lacrosse, Among Other Proposals
The NCAA is considering several proposals to alter the game of lacrosse, most notably implementing two-point goals.
Under the plan, teams would be awarded two points if they score within 30 seconds of gaining possession. However, the potential new rule would be limited in scope because after 30 seconds have elapsed, the two-point goal opportunity would no longer be in effect.
Furthermore, if either team calls timeout, the offensive team will not be awarded two points. This potential new rule includes a variety of timing options, including a visible shot clock, rather than simply depending on the game officials for guidance.
Bob Shriver, the legendary former lacrosse coach at Boys' Latin, said the new rules would alter the overall strategy and in-game management. Inevitably, coaches would adapt to the new rule and find ways to use them to their advantage.
"How would a team approach each and every end of a period?" Shriver said. "Teams would figure out mathematically how many attempts versus successes they have if they shot within 30 seconds of possession versus how many if they just played it 'normal.' The computations and permutations would be daunting, but coaches would figure the best strategies for their team based on the talent level, the opponents. Coaches' jobs are to figure things out."
Traditionalists might be opposed to the different rules. However, the NCAA is constantly looking at ways to improve all sports. Shriver said a two-point goal could benefit the game if coaches are able to effectively execute the strategy.
Lacrosse Spotlight: Calvert Hall Attackman JT Bugliosi
Calvert Hall senior attackman JT Bugliosi is one of the most dynamic scorers in high school lacrosse and is a four-year varsity player for the Cardinals. Last season, Bugliosi finished with 46 goals and eight assists, along with 33 ground balls. He scored three goals during a 12-6 victory against Conestoga of Pennsylvania at the PNC Lacrosse Invitational at Loyola University's Ridley Athletic Complex April 1. Bugliosi has committed to Ohio State.
Are you playing club ball this fall? If so, are you able to compete with any of your Calvert Hall teammates?
JT Bugliosi: I am not playing fall ball with a club team this fall, but I am playing in a tournament with Calvert Hall. This will allow me to play with some teammates and improve our chemistry as a team. With the practices and workouts Calvert Hall does, I will get to be around teammates a lot this fall and hopefully create better bonds with them.
What goals have you set for yourself for next season?
JTB: I've set many goals for myself next season, with the most important being able to bring home an MIAA Championship to Calvert Hall. I want to continue to improve my game in every way, especially my feeding, and keep working to be able to be ready for the transition to the college game next year.
Where does Calvert Hall need to improve as a team to make a run at the MIAA title?
JTB: I think our team is set for a good season and we have a good foundation to make a run at a MIAA championship. We really need to come out every game and play fast and have confidence. With so much talent as a team, working as a unit will be the difference in big games. If we do that consistently, I think we will have a good chance at bringing home a championship.