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Fall Lacrosse Represents Shift For Modern Athlete
Fall lacrosse has become a microcosm for how modern high school athletes are evolving.
There is a shift toward focusing on a primary sport to give a better chance of earning a college scholarship with a competitive program.
Lee Corrigan, president of Corrigan Sports Enterprises, operates a top-ranked boys' club lacrosse program called the Roughriders, which consists of about two-dozen teams (based in Maryland and Pennsylvania) ranging from youth to high school seniors. He said the level of competition has forced players to try and stay ahead of peers fighting for the same potential spot on a top-tier high school or college program.
"It has become the way of the world at this point," said Corrigan, who coaches the Roughriders' elite team (class of 2017) and owns and operates the Under Armour All-American and IWLCA Recruiting Tournaments. "If a kid wants to excel -- i.e., play high-level high school and college lacrosse -- they really need to dedicate themselves to that sport, because so many of their competitors are doing it."
Gene Ubriaco was a standout player for Boys' Latin and Loyola University with extensive coaching experience at the college, high school and club levels. He currently works with the Crabs Lacrosse Club and is the associate head coach at Boys' Latin. Through the years, he too has seen the game of lacrosse change.
"What I've noticed at BL during my 20 years is a shift away from the 'three-sport' athlete to the 'two-sport' athlete," Ubriaco said. "As a small school, we have always needed kids to play multiple sports to be competitive with the larger private schools. However, what I've noticed is that more kids are playing two sports -- lacrosse and soccer, or lacrosse and football -- and taking a season off to workout. The Crabs' 2018 kids I coach all play multiple sports, but most of them play two.
"Our Crabs teams typically play a couple tournaments in November and then three tournaments in the summer. The youth teams have a much more extensive practice schedule during the spring and fall. Lacrosse still seems to be the sport that 'butters the most bread' around here, so there definitely is an emphasis."
Tammy Coccagna, a coach for the Sky Walkers Lacrosse Program, has seen female players step away from all other sports to focus on lacrosse. However, she said it's in the best interest of the player to stay involved with other sports, even if their preference for college is lacrosse. Many coaches on the professional and amateur level agree.
"This enables the player to be more well-rounded, helps them to become more competitive and certainly keeps them in condition while not in lacrosse season," Coccagna said. "They develop better [one versus one] defense and learn how to 'help' defensively from basketball. Field hockey and soccer help them to understand the importance of spacing on the field, and soccer, especially, helps them to read interceptions better. Playing multiple sports is the mark of a true athlete: someone who is hungry to compete and be physically active."
John Carroll Midfielder Charlotte Haggerty
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John Carroll midfielder Charlotte Haggerty is a talented athlete who plays field hockey, runs indoor track and excels in lacrosse. This summer, she scored three goals for Team Baltimore during a 10-3 win against Washington in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Tournament. The rising senior was named to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland All-Conference Team and was a second-team All-Metro selection by
The Baltimore Sun. Haggerty has committed to play lacrosse at James Madison University.
As a three-sport athlete, how do you effectively balance your time between academics and sports?
CH: Balancing athletics and academics has really taught me how to manage my time. During season[s], whether field hockey, indoor track or lacrosse, I get home late, so it is imperative that I have a daily plan and stick to it. I feel that when I am involved in a sport, it helps me manage my time better. I make sure to write everything down and cross it off the list as I finish.
What are your goals entering your final high school season?
CH: My goals for entering my final high school season are pretty simple. My goals include being a leader, both on and off the field, grow as a player and, ultimately, making it to the IAAM championship and to come out with a win!
How has the high level of play in the IAAM helped you improve as a player?
CH: The high level of play of the IAAM has had a huge impact on me as a player. Being in this conference has allowed me to play with the best of the best. It has really pushed me into becoming a better and all around stronger player and athlete. This conference is a huge challenge, but I love that no game is ever an easy one.
For more from Haggerty, including her experience playing in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Tournament and her decision to commit to James Madison, read the full interview here.
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