******* Cascade Announces Solution for Cascade R Helmet See news below **********WE ARE VERY EXCITED TO BE BACK AT OUR HOME FIELDS AT PATCH REEF PARK**********
BOCA JETS 2015 IS HERE
REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED
We are so excited about the 2015 season.
There is nothing better than a Saturday filled with lacrosse and fun at Patch Reef Park!
We can't wait to share the excitement with you.
2015 US Lacrosse Age Grouping Quick Reference Table
Born on or after 9/1/1999
Born on or after 9/1/2001
Born on or after 9/1/2003
Born on or after 9/1/2005
Born on or after 9/1/2007
The 2015 Boca Jets Lacrosse Season starts with Player Evaluations or Practices (depending on your age division ) beginning on the week of January 12th at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton after which there will be a draft to determine teams. The first practices will start the week of January 19th . All practices will be held at Patch Reef Park and/or South County Regional Park. Generally your team will practice two nights per week.
The first games are scheduled to be held on Feb 7, 2015. All of our home games will be held at Patch Reef Park. We will have away games as well to play the other recreational teams within the South Florida Youth Lacrosse League (SFYLL). Away games are generally within a 15 minute to 1 hour drive from Boca Raton.
They Are Off To Play College Lacrosse-But Will They Stay?
Above – Conor Peaks (Ponte Vedra- Delaware) took over the starting job midway through his freshman year at Delaware
Blake Mulligan is set to begin his junior year at Holy Cross. He is one of about 7 2012 Florida High School grads still on their original college rosters.
By Brian Davis
It’s that time of year when we begin to send another crop of soon-to-be college athletes off to college. This year at least eighteen Floridians will be making their way onto Division 1 college campuses. Many more will arrive at D2, D3, and non-NCAA campuses and begin the process of figuring out exactly what role lacrosse will play in their lives as young adults. What many of them will learn is that it’s a grind at the college level. It’s often cold, stressful, long, and dull. It’s not for everyone. Many of those who do stick it out toil away in anonymity rarely seeing the field on game day and never playing on television.
It works out great for some. The Bernhardts won conference championships and played on the big stage in the NCAA tournament. We all enjoyed watching Eric Cantor play with the Thompson brothers on national television in the 2014 NCAA tournament. Lee Coppersmith had a great career at Hopkins and we have goalies in starting positions on several big time programs. Florida also has guys rounding out the rosters at places like Mercer, Young Harris, and Coker. These guys, as well as all of the young men and women who stick with it and continue to play at the highest level they can deserve to be commended.
Tyler Black of Jupiter (2010) played for JU for four seasons.
We did some research to see how some of our recent classes have done. The current crop of kids heading back to college for their junior year graduated from high school in 2012. In 2012 Florida had a total of 19 players who signed letters of intent or made verbal commitments to Division 1 programs. Of those 19 players, 7 were on the the school’s roster to whom they originally committed during the 2014 season. Fewer still will return for their junior season. Soon to be college seniors, our high school class of 2011, had 7 of 20 players (Division 1) still rostered at the end of their junior year. By contrast we took a random sampling of 20 graduates from Maryland for the high school class of 2012 who went to Division 1 programs. Of those 20, 19 were on their original school’s rosters in the 2014 season with only 1 no longer on the roster. While these samplings are way too small to be considered scientific in any way, they do give us, as parents and coaches, something to think about.
D-1 Transfer Jake Rooney (Hofstra) teamed up with fellow transfers Connor Whipple (Georgetown) and Mike Morris (Johns Hopkins) to take Tampa to the DII final four
The reason for this attrition? It is as personal to each player as their choice of major. We looked at the data from 2012 and 2011 and found nothing that would project future success or failure. We looked at public vs. private high school education. One year more private school kids left the programs. The other year was exactly reversed. Some top-tier D1 programs have seen Floridians leave the program while other Floridians remained on the roster. It’s the same with the lower tier and start up programs. So there is no correlation that would lead us to believe that our kids are more or less prepared to play in one type of program versus another.
St. Andrew’s Chris Kelly (2011) has been on the Detroit roster for three seasons and has started at least one game each year.
We spoke with Florida Southern head coach Marty Ward. Marty is an upstate New York native, played DII at Limestone in Gaffney, SC, and now coaches players from all over the country at FSC. He has an interesting perspective. He pointed out that when a kid grows up in a hotbed area they go watch big time lacrosse live and in person. It’s “ingrained in the culture.” They know how big, fast, and deep those teams are. “Those kids had to compete every day. They have had to try out for a spot on the JV team without being sure he was going to make it. A talented Florida kid probably scores 40 goals on the varsity team his freshman year.” He went on to say that “Florida guys” have a stigma attached when they go up north to play. Coaches will say, “I’ve got a couple of Florida guys coming in this year.” They don’t say they have “New York guys” or “Maryland guys” but they do tend to point out the “Florida guys.” It will just take time before coaches see our kids a just lacrosse players and not “Florida guys.” The kids who stay close to home and go to one of our Florida DII schools find that it’s still a battle and difficult to go right in and become a four year player. Most end up doing some time on the bench waiting for an opportunity. A kid coming down here from up North has a much easier time than one of our Florida kids going up North to play.
Dan Krispinsky (Bishop Verot 2010) is one of the few Florida players who was able to make a solid contribution all four years of college.
But should we be disappointed for the ones whose lives take them in a different direction? If you take some time to speak with the kids who end up on a different path you will find that most of them are doing just fine, are happy with their decisions, and wouldn’t change a thing. Speaking with several of these players I have learned one very important lesson. The pursuit of a roster spot on a college program teaches people how to pursue excellence. This is an valuable lesson learned by every athlete who engages fully in recruiting system. Once they have achieved that particular goal they quickly learn that they haven’t really finished the pursuit, they simply now have a spot at the starting line of the next stage of the race. A race that’s not always what it’s cracked up to be.
Many of the players who are no longer at their original schools are still playing and doing just fine. Coach Rory Whipple and his UT Spartans made the Division II final four with D1 transfers Jake Rooney (Timber Creek – Hofstra) and Connor Whipple (St. Andrews – Georgetown.) Both had All-American seasons. One player in the class of 2012 committed to one school, withdrew his commitment, went to another school, transferred to a third school, and is now very happy and doing well. Sometimes it just takes a while to find the right fit.
The kids we have spoke to have offered a wide variety of reason for ending their careers or transferring. Some kids get injured. Once they finish rehabbing they often find that they have fallen behind the curve and just don’t have the drive or time required to do what it takes to get caught up. More than one player we spoke with was disappointed in the lack of professionalism of the coaching staff at their chosen programs. Others have realized that they can’t commit the time required for lacrosse and make the grades required to get into grad school etc. Other young men and women don’t realize this, of course, and they end up with academic situations that prevent them from returning or from playing when they do return.
St. Thomas’ Chris Selva (2012) went from seeing limited action in two games his freshman season to 2nd team All Conference Honors as a sophomore. He appears to be on his way to becoming another successful Florida lacrosse story
Many college coaches approach their programs as a business. They let their players know it and keep the pressure on. That’s what it takes to win. However, most players don’t get any scholarship money at all, or their scholarships come from academics, military, or other programs. They have obligations to meet to keep these scholarships and they realize that being the unpaid intern in somebody else’s business just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. If they’re not on any type of scholarship then the family is probably paying some steep out of state tuition. When playing time looks like a it’s still a couple of years away, and they could be paying $5000 per year for a great education in the Florida’s university system with a Bright Futures Scholarship, the value in paying $50,000 a year to play lacrosse doesn’t seem like such a great idea anymore. So they leave D-1 lacrosse behind and move on with the next phase of their lives. We spoke with one player recently who left Florida to play on a big time D1 program. He played one year and is now a student at back here at home. He said he is glad he did it, doesn’t regret doing it, but Division 1 sports was just not for him. He is very happy where he’s at now.
There is just no way for a kid to fully grasp what he or she is getting into from the overnight visits, the sales talk from the coaching staff, and the meet and greats with the boosters. One phrase I have hear over and over from both players who enjoyed a successful college career and players who decided it’s not for them. They say, “It’s not what you think it’s going to be.” It is only after they become fully immersed into the life of a college athlete does everything become crystal clear. I once attended a panel discussion for aspiring college athletes where one of the panelist was former Florida Gators’ punter/kicker, Eric Wilbur. He said to the group, “There are three things available to you in college. The chance to play your sport at the highest level, the chance for a great education, and a chance to have a great social life. You get to choose two of the three.” It’s pretty easy for a 15 or 16 year old kid to make the choice when it’s only hypothetical. But the 19 year old version of that same kid who rode the bench all fall in the freezing rain, missed every party on campus, and just saw a JUCO transfer come in and take his spot may start to see the world a little differently.