Welcome to the Spring 2020 Season for the Manheim Township Boys Youth Lacrosse Club. We are excited to start yet another season in the long tradition of success this club has enjoyed. It is the purpose of this letter to prepare you, the parents and players, for this upcoming season.
7U Team (K- New 2nd Graders)
Head Coach: TBD
8U Team (2nd Grade - New 3rd Graders)
Coaches: Ryan DeLutis and Phil Soto Ortiz
10U Grade Teams (3rd Graders - 4th Grade)
Head Coach: Aldo Romano
Assistant Coach: Robert Fletcher
Coach Romano has been coaching lacrosse for 7 years, most recently as the MT 10U Head Coach and previously as the MT 14U Head Coach. He played high school lacrosse on Long Island and continued playing on the Binghamton University Club team. Coach Romano is a US Lax CEP Level II Certified Coach and the current President of the MT Boys Youth Lacrosse Association.
12U Teams (Previous 5th and 6th Grade)
Head Coach: Eric Graupensperger
Assistant Coaches: Russ Miller and Marc Eckert
We have been very fortunate to have the services of Eric Graupensperger as the Head Coach of the 5/6 team. Eric is a MT graduate, playing lacrosse at MT and then continuing at Washington College in Maryland. He has been a Coach with us for the last 10+ years as well as many local clubs including Low and Away Lacrosse and IM3. Eric is a US Lax CEP Certified Coach.
14U Teams (Previously 7th and 8th Grade)
Head Coach: Jim Sponaugle
Assistant Coaches: Connor Buccilla; Rich O'Brien; Chad Rice, Jason Crane
As you now have heard multiple times, we have switched to a new website (TownshipLacrosse.com). This is hosted by LeagueAthletics through US Lacrosse and is specifically designed to facilitate communication within a youth athletic setting. This will be the primary form of communication within the club. All schedules will be posted here. Rosters, coaches contacts, club contacts, and additional information is also available. The website is easy to navigate, but additional guidance will be coming in the form of a Tuesdays Tips new article posted every Tuesday. The functionality includes (but not limited to):
Informational Links – drills, videos, tutorials
Pictures – please forward to Aldo Romano for posting to the website
An Equipment Exchange – members can sell/donate old equipment to other members
Field Locations and Directions
Links to Summer Clubs
Apparel Store Link
Additionally, there is an app for phones (under LeagueAthletics in your phone’s app store) that allows you to quickly check schedules, receive notifications, and see rosters.
If there is a logistics issue, please email the team manager or head coach. If there is an issue that you cannot find an answer to on the website, please contact Aldo Romano, our Parent Communication Director.
I have attached/included a link to the Manheim Township Athletic Department Parent/Communication Guidelines (https://www.mtwp.net/download?d=4271) . Please review this to allow a common understanding of effective communication policies within youth lacrosse.
Coaching Philosophy and Team Values
The Manheim Township Boys Lacrosse Club is an inclusionary non-profit organization that promotes the sport of lacrosse to youth residing in or attending a school located in the Manheim Township School District boundaries through grade-level programs open to all interested participants, by teaching good basic fundamentals, by developing players through game skills, by promoting good sportsmanship, and by respecting all participants and focusing on teamwork.
Our goal is to promote skill development, sportsmanship, team play and love of the sport.
To create and maintain grade-level programs focused on teaching fundamental skills and providing challenging competition appropriate for the players' skill and athletic level, while maintaining focus on team concept and individual leadership development.
To create a challenging, engaging, learning environment where players of differing levels of skill and physical development can learn and enjoy the game of lacrosse.
To foster a love of the great game of lacrosse.
To prepare individuals to continue to play lacrosse at the high school and college level.
Goals for the Season
The team goals will vary depending on the age group as the boys move from being introduced to the game to developing their skills to preparing for high school lacrosse. Each coach has sent out an email with his specific goals for the season. They will vary from introduction of basic skills at 2/3 to introducing team play at 3/4. At 5/6 more advanced fundamentals of positioning, offensive and defensive philosophy, and clears will be introduced. By 7/8 the basic fundamentals should be in place and the focus is on more advanced play development and the progression of lax IQ necessary to play at the HS level.
We have the wonderful opportunity to be participating with US Lacrosse in the development of standard of play and skill development. They have developed a matrix of skills that are expected at each age group of play, starting with introduction to developing to mastery. Ken Fox is on a US Lacrosse committee that is reviewing this. It is expected to be released to the public soon. This will allow us to develop age based norms of expected skill development to produce a coherent Club plan for progressing skills from early introduction at FiddleStix all the way to High School. We are presently using this as coaches and will make this available to all club members once cleared by US Lacrosse.
All schedules and communication will occur via the website. Please get into the habit of referring to the website regularly. There will be both email and text reminders of each event (practice/game). These are automated and controlled via your account. You can receive as many/few as you would like. You can link the schedule to your Gmail or iCal calendars as well. Information on how to do this will come in an additional news article posting.
Presently the teams are all scheduled as one team for each age group on the website to allow everyone to receive communications and notifications. The teams will be split once the practices start. Uniforms will be handed out once teams are determined.
10U: We usually have two teams. The first few weeks will be for evaluating players so we may divide into 2 teams( MT Blue and MT White) equally divided by skill level. Teams will be determined one week prior to our first game. All players will participate in all scheduled league games. We may schedule a non-league game where only 4th graders and some kids we feel can compete safely will be asked to participate. Other leagues are aged based which potentially could match an 11 yr old against against an 8 yr old. That can create quit a unsafe size discrepancy. Your child's SAFETY is always our first concern. We also will participate in this year's Clash for the Cup Tournament where all will be asked to participate.
12U: This season we expect to have about 40 players participating and 2 teams within league play. Teams will be balanced and will be determined after about 2 weeks of practices. If Coach Graupensperger feels that there has been a misjudgment and an adjustment needs to be made he may ask a player or two to move to the other team on a permanent basis, not game by game. We view and teach that all 40 players are still 1 team. Practice are run together and many of our drills are run as a whole.
14U: We expect to have enough players to create two complete teams. The LL League is divided by an A/B team format. The players will be split into a Blue team and a White team based on evaluations performed in the first week of practice. This split is expected to be based on grade and skill level. We have learned that with hold backs in many of the schools in preparation for HS play, there is a very large size, age, and pace of play difference between the 7th and 8th graders.
Practices are scheduled on the Master Schedule. Your child’s safety is our primary goal. As the weather changes, please be aware that practices may be cancelled on short notice. As the season starts, please dress your son’s warmly (layers can always be removed). Please provide hydration for them for every practice and game. The boys are expected to be ready to practice at the time practice/games start. Please have them there 15 minutes before practice and 45 minutes before games so that they can get their gear on and be ready. The Coaches will not leave until every child is picked up. Please be sensitive to the non-lacrosse schedules/responsibilities of the coaches and make sure that you are prepared to pick up your child at the scheduled end of practice.
Practice and Game Schedules
7U: Tuesdays at MTHS Field J from 6:00 - 7:00 PM
8U: Tuesdays at MTHS Field J from 6:00 - 7:15 PM
Select Sundays Weaver Road Fields from 4:00 - 5:00pm
Select Saturdays Weaver Rd Fields 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
10U: Mon, Wed Thurs at MTHS Field J from 6:00 PM to 7:15 PM
League Games are Wednesdays starting at the end of March. Out of league games may be added to the schedule.
12U: Tues, Thurs at Weaver Road Fields from 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Saturdays at Weaver Road Fields from 10:00 AM to Noon
League games are on Tuesdays beginning last week of March. Out of league games may be added to the schedule.
14U: Monday through Thursday at MTHS Field I from 6:00 to Dusk
Coach Optional Practices Friday at MTHS Field I from 6:00 to 7:00 PM
League Games will be Thursdays starting at end of March. There are multiple out of league games to be scheduled.
10U: Clash for the Cup Saturday May 16th
12U: We do have several tournaments throughout the season and there are different criteria depending on the tournament. The Hopewell Invitational for example is a select team tournament and about 20 players are selected. Players not selected for these tournaments will still have practice at Weaver and will also have an additional game scheduled. All players will participate in the annual Clash for the Cup that we host at Manheim Township but we will have an "A" division team and a "B" division team. Players will have ample opportunity in practices and games to display their abilities and improvement in order to provide themselves with the best opportunity to play in the select tournaments.
14U: We typically have 3 tournaments and several play days scheduled for the 7/8 team. At least one Tournament will be for select players only the others will have an A and B Division. We will participate in the annual Clash for the Cup with an "A" division team and a "B" division team. Players will have ample opportunity in practices and games to display their abilities and improvement in order to provide themselves with the best opportunity to play in the select tournament(s).
Raffle information will be posted on the website under the Fundraising tab. It will be coordinated on a team by team basis with a Coordinator assigned to each team. Once this coordinator has been assigned, you will receive emails explaining the process and timing of the fundraiser.
Running a large club such at the MTBYLA requires a great deal of time and effort. We are always looking for volunteers to assist with events. Please reach out to the team manager if you are available and willing to assist.
Manheim Township School District
Parent/Coach Relationship Guidelines:
Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the other and provide greater benefit to children. As parents, when your children become involved in our program, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on your child. This begins with clear communication from the coach of your child's program.
Communication you should expect from your child's coach:
1. Philosophy of the coach.
2. Expectations the coach has for your child as well as all the players on the squad.
3. Locations and times of all practices and contests.
4. Team requirements, i.e. special equipment, off-season conditioning.
5. Procedure should your child be injured during participation.
6. Discipline that results in the denial of your child's participation.
Communication coaches expect from parents:
1. Concerns expressed directly to the coach.
2. Notification of any schedule conflicts well in advance.
3. Specific concern in regard to a coach's philosophy and/or expectations.
As your children become involved in the programs at Manheim Township, they will
experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is important to
understand that there also may be times when things do not go the way you or
your child wishes. At these times discussion with the coach is encouraged.
Appropriate concerns to discuss with coaches:
1. The treatment of your child, mentally and physically.
2. Ways to help your child improve.
3. Concerns about your child's behavior.
It is difficult to accept your child's not playing as much as you may hope. Coaches
are professionals. They make judgment decisions based on what they believe to
be best for all students involved. As you have seen from the list above, certain
things can be and should be discussed with your child's coach. Other things, such
as those listed next, must be left to the discretion of the coach.
Issues NOT appropriate to discuss with coaches:
1. Playing time.
2. Team strategy.
3. Play calling.
4. Other student-athletes.
There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and the
parent. These are to be encouraged. It is important that both parties involved
have a clear understanding of the others position. When these conferences are
necessary, the following procedure should be followed to help promote a
resolution to the issue of concern.
1. Please encourage your child to speak directly with the coach. Many times the
matter can be taken care of at that time.
2. If #1 does not result in resolution, please call or email the coach to set up an
appointment with the parent, student-athlete and coach.
3. If you are having difficulty reaching the coach, call or email the parent communication director
4. Please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest, or a
practice. These can be emotional times for both the parent and coach. Meetings
of this nature do not promote resolution.
Since research indicates a student involved in co-curricular activities has a greater
chance for success during adulthood, these programs have been established.
Many of the character traits required to be a successful participant are exactly
those that will promote a successful life after high school. We hope the
information provided makes both your child's and your experience with the
Manheim Township athletic program less stressful and more enjoyable.
Wall Ball is the quickest way to establish the proper fundamentals of throwing and catching. Many kids practice well but it does not translate to field play. A large part of the reason for this is that they have to concentrate to perform the basics of throwing and catching. Wall Ball takes these fundamentals, and through allowing for a large number of repetitions in a short time, makes these skills automatic. This allows the players to focus on game strategy, lax IQ, and situational awareness.
The use of Wall Ball is a critical component to advancing stick skills in every player, regardless of level of skill or age. It is promoted as the most important practice tool of every professional and college coach/player. To see what it entails, I have included links (such as the one below) to multiple Wall Ball programs touted by many different professional players in the instruction section of the website. You can access these by hovering over the Home tab > Instruction > Wall Ball Programs.
We look forward to improving the stick skills of all of our players through this extremely beneficial program.