Yesterday I spent the day in South Jersey at the South Jersey Saints lacrosse College Prospect Day. Kyle signed up for the event, which included three hours of instruction, drills, and scrimmages in front of an audience of college lacrosse coaches. There were schools from Division I, II, III, and a junior college in attendance for Kyle to impress.
Now, I am brutally honest about my kids’ talent levels. Kyle is a very good lacrosse player – he’s been playing since first grade – but he is not a Division I quality prospect. He can, however, be competitive in a Division II or III school, and this was a nice event to show scouts what he can do.
Kyle, being my son, was a bundle of nerves the entire drive, and through the first half of the day. He was worried he wouldn’t impress anyone, and worse still, his favorite coach – from his freshman year of high school – was in attendance. Kyle did not want to disappoint him especially…
The first drills were for face-off specialists. Kyle was one in a group of six, and did very well for himself. Fast on clamps, fast on clears, and good ball control. Shooting drills followed, and while Kyle is a fantastic passer, his opposite (left) hand shooting needs work. It showed.
The last hour was spent on scrimmages, with the scouts looking on and taking notes. Kyle won a lot of face-offs, made some terrific passes, but was otherwise not outstanding. Toward the end of the last game, however, he intercepted a pass in the defensive zone, sprinted eighty yards to the opposing goal, and fed an attacker for a goal. It was a nice topping on a decent performance.
Kyle’s high school coach – who I coached with for a year – pulled me aside afterward and said, “Kyle did well. He didn’t hurt himself, but we both know he can play better.” I agreed. “Thee nerves got to him, but I figured if I talked to him, Kyle would have been even more stressed. ” I also agreed. I thanked his former coach, and before we left, we were introduced to the coach of the South Jersey Saints, who ran the prospect day. He told Kyle he heard a lot of good things about him, and asked him to play summer ball for him. Score.
We arrived home around 4pm, and Kyle fell asleep until almost 7. Three straight hours of working will do that to a kid. While he was sleeping, his former coach called, and this was his end of the conversation:
“Hey, I was out to dinner with some of the college coaches, and one of the Division II schools is very interested in Kyle. I guess he did better than we thought. The coach said he had Kyle listed at the third-best face-off guy there, and he wants to take a few more looks at him. It’s a newer program, and they may not be very successful for a while, but he’ll be playing Division II ball. I think this would be a good fit for him.”
I didn’t want to mention the university because a thousand things can still happen, but having Kyle play college lacrosse would be the thrill of a lifetime. Wish him luck.