The simple answer to a question we hear often. Yes, players from Gorillas teams are playing and have been recruited to play on college teams.
With that in mind please take a moment to read and understand our philosophy. It is important to educate yourself and understand the differences in the promises made to you by us and other programs.
Club Lacrosse is BIG business with big profits. Many of the programs make promises and all promote their better system over another. All of this in order to get an athlete "seen". Is it all necessary? The answer simply depends on what you want. We believe it is important to look at the numbers and facts to understand this.
According to the NCAA 2016 numbers, there are 108,450 male participants in US high school lacrosse and 13,165 collegiate players. So 12.1% of high school players will continue on to play in college. Further broken down 2.9% to DI schools, 2.1% to DII and 7.1% to DIII. These numbers do not include MCLA (College Club Lacrosse). Also not specified is the number of foreign (Canadian) players involved. Many NCAA programs have lots of non US talent on their rosters. So we believe the number of US high school athletes playing is less than 12.1%. So take a realistic approach to playing in college.
Over the years we see the trend and how it happens. Younger athletes, first through sixth grade, play the game because of the fun and action. (the right reason) As the players get older around 6th through 8th grade the pressure to be a one sport athlete begins. (bad idea) Kids start talking about star players from NCAA, MLL and NLL. They rightfully have idols and role models they want to be like. This is when the pressure starts to play for the "cool" club team or one that will get you "seen". Parents want to make their kids happy and will do anything to see this happen. The BIG clubs know this and market it with words like "Elite" and "Advanced Curriculums". In the Pittsburgh market, there are too many programs to have promised a true all-star team or recruiting team. Every program will have filler players to make their budget work. They work at getting their coaches into the larger youth and HS programs. Regardless of your child's skill level, recruiting programs need your money to survive and many will tell you what you want to hear. So the hot action for athletes wanting to play in college is seventh through ninth grade. If you asked a middle school team 90% of the kids are playing DI college.
So how do we go through most kids wanting to play in college in middle school to only 12% at the end of high school? We call it "Life." Most players have a continued passion and desire to play. They just start to realize that lacrosse is not going to pay the bills someday. We see a number of kids get jobs when they turn 16 and really like to have that extra cash to buy a new stick or go to the movies. Maybe they want to save for a car or need to help to pay for car insurance. They develop a sense for academics and future career choices. Girlfriends fold into the mix. Lacrosse is still important, but so are other things in life. When players get to the junior and senior season its back to being about the game, the team and having fun for most players. Most players begin to recognize lacrosse will end for them after the senior season.
So for those that want to still play in college, the good news is if you possess the talent you can. The route is pretty simple and not as complicated as you would be led to believe. You have to have the skill and want to do the work. Start by being honest with yourself/child. Where do you see yourself in the future? Do you like big, medium or small schools? Are you really that good? How are your grades? What's your SAT/ACT scores? Would they accept you? Do not pick a school just because the lacrosse coach wants you. Pick a school that you feel is right for you and your life/career path! From our area, only a few players go on to play at a DI college.
So if you like a big school and are not one of those top players from the region, you are probably not playing at a DI college. Maybe their club team would be a better fit. If you are a good player and like a smaller school your chances are much better. Start looking for colleges that match you and your family budget. Is it worth going to a school for lacrosse and figuring out in four years you can't pay your student loans? These are the real questions about playing in college. Also, keep in mind at DI playing lacrosse is a full-time job, along with school. The time commitment lessens at DII and DIII programs. DI schools are limited in scholarships and typically the best of the best get them. DII and DIII do not offer athletic scholarships but have different aid packages that can lower the cost of attending. Usually, this assistance is in the form of merit scholarships and grants. Good grades get rewarded. Do good on SAT/ACT tests and have above a 3.0 GPA and they will give you assistance.
Playing at school recruiting events or showcases is more important than tournaments! At these events, coaches are there to specifically look to recruit. At tournaments, they watch players but also can be easily distracted running into colleagues. Have your profile and film links ready to give to interested coaches. Remember not every school might need your position. We can help you put a game plan into action and have the resources to do that.
Do you have to want to be recruited to play for Gorillas? The answer is no. Can you play Gorillas if you want to be recruited? The answer is yes and we will help you through our experiences, contacts, and associations. We have successfully placed athletes on college teams. We will help players and families with honest and down to earth approach. Oh, and we don't need to brag on social media to be cool for placing kids. We do this for the love of the game and not the dollar, our satisfaction comes from the athletes' satisfaction.