OCEAN CITY- With top-notch coaching, deep talent and an impressive track record of success, the Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club is seeking to expand its presence in the sport’s rapidly growing popularity on the Eastern Shore.
The Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club, formed years ago by Steve Pappas and now led by head coach Matt McGinnis of Salisbury University and his talented group of coaches, many of whom are former All Americans and national championship winners, is seeking new players for the 2012 summer tournament travel season and beyond. The club has a remarkable record of success in terms of wins and losses with just six total losses in 90 games over four years with a rigorous tournament travel schedule that takes the team all over the eastern U.S.
More important than the wins and losses, however, is the Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club’s amazing success rate in placing its players in some of the best college programs in the country. Under McGinnis’ direction, the club prides itself on teaching lacrosse fundamentals and the skills for the players to succeed on their high school prep teams and prepare them for playing at the next level.
“For the kids we have at the eighth-grade level, we try to get them ready to succeed on their freshmen teams or junior varsity teams,” said McGinnis. “For our junior varsity kids, we try to get them ready to move up to varsity and thrive, and for our varsity kids, we try to teach them the skills and dedication they need to go from being the third, fourth or fifth on their team’s depth chart to being a starter. From there, we’ve had great success in presenting them with the opportunity to play at the next level in college.”
The club has had great success in the latter as evidenced by the high percentage of former players now playing at the college level, many on some of the best Division I and Division III teams in the country. With McGinnis’ impressive resume and vast number of connections in the college ranks, the Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club’s players gain the skill and commitment to thrive at the next level along with the exposure to some college programs.
For example, according to McGinnis, all of the high school seniors and juniors from last summer’s team are now being recruited by top college programs and even some of the team’s sophomores are getting a look from some of the sport’s elite. Teaching the game to its young players and creating a path for success for them is at the heart of the program.
“We’re trying to continue to have a club team on the Eastern Shore that gives any high school player an opportunity to get top-notch coaching and play in some of the best summer tournaments in the country,” he said. “With my past experience, I’m able to connect the players with some of the top college programs and place them in situations where they can thrive.”
Lacrosse has grown by leaps and bounds on the Eastern Shore over the last decade or so from the youth club level to the elite travel club level to the high school level and, in the process, has closed the gap with the tradition-rich areas on the state’s western shore. From a just handful a few years ago, dozens of highly successful youth programs have blossomed across the Eastern Shore, creating vast feeder programs for the growing number of public and private high school teams.
The Greene Turtle Club presents an opportunity for its young players to make the transition from the youth programs, such as the Beach Lacrosse and Coastal Lacrosse Clubs, to their high school teams, and from their high school teams to the next level.
“We’re basically a summer club that plays in some of the best tournaments against the best young players in the country,” said McGinnis. “We don’t want to interfere with the spring seasons for the youth clubs and the high school teams, but rather compliment them with an outstanding summer program that allows the kids to play all year.”
To that end, the Greene Turtle Club, which has an outstanding reputation as an elite travel team, is expanding offer an opportunity for players of all skill levels and all backgrounds to take advantage of all the club has to offer. Several new clubs have sprouted up in recent years, but the Greene Turtle Club is hoping to bring them together under one umbrella to create a unified Eastern Shore presence on the summer tournament scene.
McGinnis said the club will be hosting tryouts at Salisbury University on February 19 in advance of the spring high school and youth program seasons. The club is open to rising high school freshmen through rising seniors. For more information about the club, its mission and its track record of success, along with specific information about the scheduled tryouts and the upcoming season, visit www.gtlax.com.