Editor’s note: This latest Florida Lax Report was written by our Sunshine State correspondent Ryan Cromar.
The UF Gators sealed their golden ticket to the MCLA tourney in Denver with a victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies to win the SELC championships two weeks ago.
No one thought UF could come back to beat FSU after losing 25-9 only a week prior, but somehow, they defeated the Noles by a score of 11-9 in the first round of SELC tournament play, only to continue their roll to SELC domination.
Both FSU and UF will be heading to the big dance this year, which I’m sure is great news for Gator fans, after UF was snubbed last year for a chance at an at-large bid. The selection committee released the MCLA tournament brackets this past weekend, and it looks like both teams will have a tough road to a national championship.
FSU will have to defeat a very tough Simon Fraser team after a disappointing finish at the the SELC tournament, and UF will face off against Minnesota-Duluth, both in the opening round. You can bet I will have all the tournament coverage right here for you guys. I wish the best to both teams as they represent Florida at the MCLA tournament. Let’s bring that trophy home where it belongs boys!!!
In High School news, the St. Andrew’s Scots routed the Lake Highland Prep Highlanders (sweet mascot name) 14-8 to win the FHSAA state championship. The Scots have now won the last 8 FL state championships, and look to continue their Florida lacrosse dominance next season.
This week I had a little chat with SA goalie, Chris Kelly, who will be returning next season for his senior year, and in hopes of winning a 9th consecutive title.
How long have you been playing? What got you into the sport?
Chris Kelly: I’ve been playing lacrosse since fifth grade. My dad played in college and since I wasn’t too good at other sports I figured that maybe I’d give lacrosse a try.
How was the transition from lax at Jesuit, to playing at St. Andrew’s?
CK: The transition from Jesuit to St. Andrews was actually pretty difficult. I went from playing with a bunch of kids I had been playing with forever, to a new group of kids and a new team. It was definitely a new experience but it made me a better player in the end.
How hard is it for a team like St. Andrew’s to get back to the highest level in the state/national rankings every single year?
CK: Almost every year St. Andrews gets new student athletes who better the program. A lot of them are kids like me, who wanted to seek a better education and a higher level of athletics. These kids add to the program and continue the tradition… not to mention the amazing coaching staff that works tirelessly to produce a great team every year.
What did you do last summer in terms of camps and tournaments as a rising junior? What are your summer camp/tournament plans for this year?
CK: Last summer I attended the Rising Junior Top 205 Camp at Towson and played in the Battle of the Hotbeds with Team Florida U-17.
This summer I plan on attending Jake Reed’s Nike Blue Chip, Peak 200, New England 150, and hopefully I will get the chance to play with Team Florida at Battle of the Hotbeds.
What’s your stick set up for this spring?
CK: My setup for the spring was an Orange STX eclipse on a silver Gait Vitality. Towards the end of the year I switched to a red STX eclipse because my other head was getting worn out.
Any superstitions before games?
CK: Before games I don’t have too many superstitions. I just like to focus on the game and mentally prepare to face our opponents.
What teams do you look forward to playing the most? Why?
CK: I always look forward to playing out of state teams. My favorites this year were definitely Boys Latin and Brunswick. They were both amazing teams and were the only two teams to beat us. It’s always fun to play against kids at a higher level so you can challenge yourself even more.
Are you working on a list of potential colleges, if so, where?
CK: I have not been talking to a lot of colleges. Im waiting until summer to see what my options are and if I have good enough grades to pursue those options.
A big thanks goes out to Chris for talking with us. Congrats on a state championship, and good luck this summer, you will be plenty busy reppin FL lax in club ball.
I know I said I would have some summer club team gear for you guys to peep, but it looks like you are just going to have to wait a little longer…in the meantime, in honor of the new shirts being spotted out at the Colorado Buffs campus, I have created some new hotness for all of you FL laxers.
Check it out, and if you want one, let me know, as I will be putting in an order in the near future. Flowrida lacrosse…look good, feel good, play good, get the goods.
About the author: After playing MCLA ball at the University of South Florida, Ryan Cromar spent a year in Germany playing lax, and now he coaches lacrosse at Jesuit high school in Tampa Bay. Go Tigers!