By Seth Tow
Lax World Lacrosse Club merged with the Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club earlier this summer, and the two Baltimore-area youth lacrosse programs are set to play under the Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club umbrella this fall.
Lax World Lacrosse Club president Stephen Jones said his program merged with the Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club because the Lax World program didn't have an executive director who had the time available to run the club. He also said the clubs merged because of shared philosophies.
"I was very comfortable with the Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club," Lax World Lacrosse Club president Steve Jones said. "My son actually played there, years ago, when he was probably 10 years old. Their philosophy mirrors our philosophy, their family atmosphere was very similar to ours, and I felt that that would be the perfect fit to try to move our teams under their umbrella."
Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club president Steve Vaikness also felt the clubs shared the same values.
"We kind of do things the same way," Vaikness said. "We're not really running the club as a business, we're running it more as a club for the kids, about the kids, for the kids, and it's not done as a business like some of the other clubs in town. So we try to operate on a much tighter budget than what you might see with some of the other clubs."
The merger is completed, and players will try out for the teams under the Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club name starting Aug. 15. Both Jones and Vaikness said the merger was smooth and doesn't create many challenges. The only challenge Vaikness pointed out is from an administrative standpoint.
"More people to manage," Vaikness said. "There's more things to do. More administrative stuff because there's more kids. I think we add three teams from them, that's about 60 kids, times two parents per, so you got 180 more customers to answer to. Along with that, you have to make sure you have enough fields for practice and stuff. You need space for the kids to practice. But other than that, it's the same thing. We're doing things the same way.”
Vaikness is happy the Lax World kids won't have to shop around for a new club. Several LaxWorld teams will remain completely intact with players and coaches, just in a different jersey.
Despite the additional players, the talent level of the club may not noticeably increase. Both Jones and Vaikness mentioned how the number of clubs in the area can wash out the talent level a little bit.
"There's so many clubs competing for players, and unfortunately ... some parents point at you as if the grass might be greener someplace else, and they move and there's a lot of club-hopping back and forth,” Jones said.
"There's families that jump around a lot. And that just makes it tough to build a roster and keep a team together because you might very well lose your best player to a high-profile club that gets more national recognition and plays in more national-level tournaments. That's the hardest thing about keeping strong teams together."
Vaikness acknowledged there could be some on-field adjustment necessary, but said it would likely be minimal.
"I'm not exactly sure what offenses or defenses they're coaching," Vaikness said. "But everybody's similar, doing the same things from an X's and O's standpoint. Philosophically, all of our coaches ... I've met the coaches from their club. I know all the guys at the Greene Turtle already. We're all already on the same page with what we're trying to do."
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox