Is Division 3 The Right Fit for You? Peak South May Be the Place to Find Out
Update – Cardinal Newman is in West Palm Beach – we published this article with Boca Raton as the location. This was wrong. Sorry. When you are in the eighth grade you are supposed to want to play for Syracuse, Hopkins, North Carolina, or Maryland. But as we grow we must ask ourselves some tough questions. Questions like, “Does Hopkins even offer my intended major?” Or “Do I have the grades to get into North Carolina?” We all need to ask ourselves the big one, “Am I good enough to play there and do they want me?” If you are into your junior year of high school and haven’t made a blip on the radar at Johns Hopkins or any of the top tier NCAA D1 teams yet it is time to start thinking about your other options. There are so many opportunities to play the greatest game on earth after leaving high school that the toughest challenge is probably going to be choosing the best fit for you, not finding an opportunity. Here in Florida we have an NCAA D-1 program in Jacksonville as well as Florida for the women, five D-2 schools (soon to be six) which will all be playing in the Sunshine State Conference in 2014, and we have a multitude of collegiate club programs. What we are not often exposed to growing up down here is the Division 3 lacrosse experience. 189 colleges played D3 lacrosse in 2012 and there are more coming on line every season. Many of these schools offer elite level academics, many are affordable, and almost all of them play a very competitive level of lacrosse. One of the realities of college lacrosse that players and parents eventually come to understand is there is very little scholarship money available. Many kids don’t consider D3 because there aren’t athletic scholarships at that level. Then they find themselves paying full price to go play at a D1 school anyway where they may sit for much of their career. A D3 college career is something that many Floridians should give serious consideration. The Peak South recruiting camp is coming to the Campus of Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach November 30 – December 2nd. The camp will feature collegiate coaches from several D3 programs. Many of these coaches currently have Florida players either on their rosters or headed their way. Tufts University coach Mike Daly is making the trip down to coach one of the teams at Peak South. He already has a commitment from Benjamin’s Colby Kempe and is looking for some more Sunshine State talent. Trinity College will be at Peak South and their current 2013 roster has two Florida boys; senior Rob Nogueras and junior Nick Branholm. Trinity is also participating in the Peak South Lacrosse Camp. When asked about Tufts’ involvement with Peak South Coach Daly said, “As soon as this concept was presented to me, I jumped at it. I am excited to continue to build relationships in Florida and we are very excited about the Florida guys in our program. The growth of the game has been exciting to watch across the country but the growth in Florida has been especially fun to watch. Division 3 has the opportunity to be a perfect match for so many of Florida’s top players and I want to do everything possible to maximize this opportunity.” Peak South features several D3 coaches who will actually be coaching teams during the second day of the camp and running players through collegiate style drills on the first day. D3 coaches who are participating represent Endicott College, Middlebury College, Tufts, Bowdoin, Trinity, Springfield, and Colby. These are all well established North Eastern D3 programs and the schools run the full spectrum of affordability and academic requirements. The camp is offering a free clinic and social for all high school and club coaches on Saturday night which will provide an outstanding setting to share and exchange lacrosse ideas with the area coaches. There are also coaches from other division who will be in attendance as well. D2 coaches from Pfeiffer and Saint Leo, both programs that annually take Florida players. Princeton, Providence, and Bryant from D1 will be there and Palm Beach Atlantic of the MCLA is slated to be there.