**FOR UPDATES AND SCHEDULE**See Croatan HS Lacrosse tab in left column and click Schedule/Updates
Croatan Lacrosse Mission Statement:
The mission of Croatan Lacrosse mirrors the greater Croatan High School Athletic mission – to develop a rich tradition of competition by promoting the physical, mental, emotional, and moral well-being of each participant. We hope that the lacrosse program will serve as a positive force in shaping well-rounded, productive citizens.
Goal of Croatan Lacrosse:
The goal of Croatan Lacrosse is to provide an opportunity for student-athletes to excel in teamwork, sportsmanship, self-discipline and character. The purpose is to provide each participant with experiences that will be positive and memorable.
About the Program
On 26 August 2014 Croatan High School submitted its Declaration of Intent to compete in Conference 2 for the 2015 NCHSAA Lacrosse season. Croatan Lacrosse is a school sponsored, independently funded, volunteer-coached program. Commonly referred to as “club programs,” Croatan Lacrosse is maintained through volunteers and fundraising. Club programs are a growing national trend as local governments and school systems balance fiscal challenges. Club programs aim to help outstanding schools like Croatan maintain and grow extracurricular programs without sacrificing additional resources. Club athletic programs are particularly appealing in North Carolina where the governing body of athletics, the North Carolina High School Sports Association (NCHSAA), bases participation on compliance to their rules and school sponsorship (vice funding and staffing method). Croatan Lacrosse receives its support from sponsors, volunteers, and the local youth lacrosse program – Carteret Youth Lacrosse Association.
About the 2015 Season
The first allowed practice/tryout date for the 2015 season is 16 February. The team will roster 25 players. Conference 2 consists of JH Rose HS, Jacksonville HS, Northside HS, Havelock HS, West Carteret HS, First Flight HS, and New Bern HS. Under NCHSAA rules, no more than sixteen regular season games are allowed and no more than three games are allowed per week. Each conference school will be played twice – once home and once away. The season begins on 2 March and all regular season games must be complete by the state playoff declaration on 4 May. Myriad opportunities will exist for voluntary skill development, open field, and conditioning prior to the start of the regular season. These opportunities are discussed in later sections.
Coaches and Staff:
George Benson, Head Coach
Brian McIntosh, Assistant Coach (Defense)
Joe Smith, Assistant Coach (Support)
Amanda Waltrip, Team Manager
Amy Quinto, Fundraising and Volunteer Coordinator
These policies and documents are required in order to participate:
Open Field: Throughout the off-season opportunities will exist for prospective players to utilize the practice lacrosse field. These “open field” opportunities will be supervised by coaches but will not involve any instruction. It is a violation of NCHSAA rules for coaches to provide instruction or anything beyond simple safety supervision during these sessions. Typically, open field will involve “pick up” games and drills randomly chosen among those that show up. Open field times and dates will be published on the Croatan Lacrosse Calendar (attached). Cancelations will be announced on the Croatan Lacrosse Facebook site and via email distribution.
Individual Skill Development Periods: NCHSAA rules allow individual skill development to occur during the off-season as long as they occur outside prescribed “dead periods.” Dead periods require off season sports to cease any and all activities. Outside these dead periods, individual skill development periods allow coaches to work with individual players. For any sport, these periods can involve the total number of players on a standard game field for that sport minus one. Therefore, lacrosse skill development sessions can involve 9 players per day. For Croatan Lacrosse, we will use October as an opportunity to help those who have never played before but would like to learn before determining whether to commit. In December, these individual skill development sessions will shift toward more experienced players and focus on specific position work – attack, midfield, defense, goalie. These opportunities are voluntary, will be offered to all eligible students. These sessions will be structured toward the position play. Thus, we will randomly select nine students to participate based off the positions students write on their Croatan Lacrosse Prospective Player Information Form. This list will be emailed to selected players prior to the Individual Skill Development session occurring.
Preseason Conditioning: As we come off the Christmas and New Years holiday break, Croatan Lacrosse will start its preseason conditioning. This will not involve lacrosse specific instruction but rather help players get in proper shape before starting practices on 16 February. This is both a performance and safety measure as the practices and games will be exceptionally demanding and require top shape from student athletes. Players that show up out of shape and lacking muscular flexibility will find it difficult to keep up and will increase their potential of injury. Look for additional information on the Croatan Lacrosse Facebook site.
Fundraising and Volunteer Opportunities: Because Croatan Lacrosse operates as a club program, fundraising is critical to program success. Additionally, every dollar raised helps offset registration costs. Fundraising events will be announced via the Croatan Lacrosse Facebook page and we ask everyone to spread the word, encourage participation, and volunteer. Fundraising, event support, field work, transportation, and many other requirements will be satisfied by volunteers. Mrs. Amy Quinto is the Team’s Volunteer Coordinator and would greatly appreciate any and all volunteers. She can be contacted at
Communication and Information: See the Athletics link on the Croatan High School website. Information will also be posted to the Croatan Lacrosse Facebook page and within the CYLA website.
Notes from Coach Benson:
This is an especially exciting year for all of us involved with lacrosse. Amid all the excitement, let’s remember to temper expectations and focus on our near term goals – promote the development of our students, build a strong, competitive, sustainable lacrosse program, and represent our school and community with dignity.
I ask that you recognize the unique challenges of our first year. First, our team will be young – very young. Many, if not half of our players will be freshmen. My first obligation is the safety of your son. Lacrosse has inherent risks associated with it and at the high school level there is a significant difference between an 18 year old senior and a 14 year old freshman. To that end, players not engaged with other sports should be gaining strength, maintaining cardiovascular fitness, and increasing flexibility. We will be smaller and consequently slower than many other teams we play. I would ask that you discuss whether your son is physically ready to play against bigger and faster players. My first criteria for determining any required cuts will be safety. Those who are not physically or mentally ready for the intensity, size, and speed of the high school game should consider another year of CYLA U15 lacrosse if still eligible to do so.
Second, we have an abundance of players that are within their first couple years of playing. For social reasons, your son may desire to be on the Croatan Lacrosse team, but find that he is not growing as a player due to limited, if any, play time. This is a hard problem to avoid as high school athletics are not youth recreation league athletics and there is no guarantee of any play time during games. If your son is still developing basic lacrosse skills and qualifies for U15 lacrosse with CYLA, I recommend that you encourage them to gain one more year of experience with Tomahawks CYLA U15 Lacrosse. The increased game experience, accompanying skill development, and confidence will benefit them in their sophomore year at Croatan High School.
Our third biggest challenge is appropriately helping older high school student athletes integrate into the sport – or at least make the right decision before committing to a heavy time and financial investment. Before a student “ditches” baseball or another activity they enjoy in the spring, I would encourage them to participate in skill development sessions, open field and other off season lacrosse activities. I am more than happy to provide a direct recommendation based off my observation as to whether I think this is the right year to commit to lacrosse.
Lastly, please help. This will be a difficult inaugural year. Aside from the above challenges, there are myriad obstacles to overcome for the coaching staff. Please be patient. Avoid comparing programs – we are a first year program with a very young group of athletes – many of whom are still learning the game. We are not a nationally ranked program with kids who were born using lacrosse sticks as forceps. Let’s grow the game in a mature, appropriate manner and not put undue expectations and pressure on our kids, team, or coaches. If ever there was a “team effort” required – this is it.
Thank you all for your sustained support,
Coach George Benson