Daily Archives: March 28, 2009

California High School Lacrosse: Is It The Next “Hotbed” For Top College Lacrosse Talent?


(From LaxPower interview with Brett Manney)
Lacrosse has been growing immensely out West, and I envision the great state of California as the next hotbed. The Golden State is catching up to its East Coast counterparts and it’s evident when I travel to the Silicon Valley region every weekend as a member of the San Jose Stealth. Furthermore, I have attended clinics in Pleasanton and Scotts Valley, where the age of participants ranges from 7 to 17. Now in California, kids are playing just as early as the traditional lacrosse regions. Over time, it will only continue to grow.
…California has talent oozing all over the state, not just with one team. Granted, California is much larger than Florida, but look at this year’s recruits for example: Will Fredericks (Loyola), Billy Mattimore (Bucknell), Spencer Peterson (Duke), Carlton Fisher (Lehigh) and Noah Molnar (Lehigh). Three of the players (Mattimore, Fredericks, and Fisher) attend St. Ignatius Prep located outside of San Francisco. Soon, Southern California should catch up with the north and its athletic powers like Mater Dei, Mission Viejo and Santa Margarita Catholic.
Additionally, California always produces some of the best high school teams in the country, whether it’s baseball, basketball or soccer. I believe lacrosse will flourish because athletes are able to practice outside for 12 months of the year. On the East Coast, players are limited in the winter months because of the weather, except in a few states like Florida. In due time, all indications point towards California being the next hotbed.
…California will continue to grow even more with the addition of many former lacrosse players residing in the Golden State. For example, Coronado — which recently upset St. Ignatius Prep — is coached by former pro lacrosse player and Notre Dame standout Alex Cade. Many former Division I players are coaching at the high school level. This will provide the kids with more experience and knowledge than a coach who has barely played the game.

In 2000, California had 40 high school teams. In 2007, there were 173, with more schools are adding the sport every year. The state is known for its great athletic programs and lacrosse is surely to be the next one added to the list.

Brett Manney was a four-year varsity lacrosse player at the University of Delaware before graduating in 2008. He now plays professionally for the San Jose Stealth.



Lacrosse Injuries: Ligament Injuries To Girls In Lacrosse Due To Lack Of Neuromuscular Development That Accompanies Increase In Testosterone In Boys

Much of the problem simply comes down to anatomy. During puberty, boys experience a growth spurt that is accompanied by a spurt in neuromuscular development, apparently spawned by an increase in testosterone. Girls, however, don’t have the increase in testosterone, and the increase in estrogen seems to do nothing to aid in that neuromuscular development.


Thus, girls who have yet to reach puberty are often stronger than those who have yet to reach that stage of development, she said.

The result for post-pubescent girls, Ramus said, is that instead of the knee being held in place by the neuromuscular system, the joint is being held together by the ligaments when the athlete lands, twists or suddenly changes direction.

“The ligaments should work 10 percent of the time, at the very end,” Ramus said. “The other 90 percent of the time, it should be the neuromuscular system — the muscles and mind.”

The ligament system works slower than the neuromuscular system, and when Ramus sees an athlete’s knees cave inward upon landing, she knows the ligaments are getting overworked.

“If you’re a ligament-dominant athlete, you’re going to hurt your knee, she said. “If you’re relying on that system, it’s too slow.”

To combat the problem, Ramus suggests a three-pronged approach including balance training, strength training and some old-fashioned lessons on how to jump correctly. That means plenty of squats, single-leg squats and multiple directional squats.

Many athletes, she said, have never been taught the proper technique for jumping, and with the proper training an athlete can not only guard against injury but also boost performance.

After years of treating athletes, first as a physical therapist and later as a certified athletic trainer, Ramus developed a passion for educating others about the dangers.

“As soon as Title IX passed, we started seeing these injuries,” Ramus said. “I had a real good idea that this was a real problem, and nobody was doing anything about it.”

Fueling her passion was her personal experiences of treating inner-city youths whose only opportunity to get to college and thus out of their poor environments was through their chosen sports. But Ramus has seen that without proper training an ACL tear can put an end to their promising futures.

“I’ve seen so many girls and so much devastation,” Ramus said.

Even those who make it into college can be in danger, Ramus said. Not all athletic trainers have shifted to the trend of neuromuscular training.

“When I get athletes who were at high-level Division programs it’s amazing to me that there are some still trained in the same traditional big-power strength programs,” Ramus said. “Some of them have some pretty bad knees.”


California High School Boys Lacrosse: Top Teams Play At Mid-Season Including St. Ignatius, De La Salle, La Costa Canyon, Amador Valley, And Foothill (Santa Ana)



March 27
This must-see match-up in California has two top-ranked teams battling for state supremacy. Head coach Robert O’Meara’s Spartans are athletic and can produce goals in bunches against any opponent. The Spartans are looking to move up in the rankings and could do so by defeating the fifth-ranked Dons. The Dons are a defensive-oriented squad and allowing just five goals per game. They also feature a phenomenal man-down defense and an outstanding goalie in junior Chris DeLuca. The contrasting styles of play by both teams should make for a thrilling affair this Friday.
March 28

The Knights have had some tough luck so far this season, losing two of their seven overall games by a combined four goals to exceptional squads Corona Del Mar (PR: 96.8) and Los Alamitos (PR: 96.0). A win over the Mavericks would likely boost the Knights in the rankings, but they will need to play as a team against a La Costa Canyon squad just oozing with talent.

Headed by Spencer Peterson and Cameron Revere, the Mavericks feature an experienced group of seniors and will be counted on for guidance when the whistle blows against the Knights. Mavericks have arguably the toughest schedule in the Western Region and face their toughest foe yet on Saturday. 


March 31

The Knights are out to prove their lofty record is not a fluke against the No. 1 team in the state. The Knights’ lousy strength of schedule prevents them from being in the top ten, but a quality win over the Wildcats will surely change that. “Mr. Everything” midfielder Nick Maruyama won 80 percent of his face-offs and scored five goals in a 14-7 win over Burlingame (PR: 87.2) on March 23.

Maruyama will likely need similar production in this one for the Knights to come out on top. On the flip side, the Wildcats now appear beatable after the squad’s 43-game in-state winning streak was snapped by Coronado (PR: 94.7) last week. Bucknell-bound attacker Billy Mattimore has elevated his game this year and should be a focal point of the Knights’ defense.