H.I.T. Academy Returns to SoCal in November

West Coast Lacrosse has partnered with the Maryland-based H.I.T. Academy to create a fall lacrosse recruiting event that is part instructional camp, part informational seminar and part get-to-know-you sessions with college coaches. The recruiting happens naturally.

West Coast Lacrosse co-director Steve Lane, who also coaches at Chaminade College Prep, said, “It’s still such a new event that people don’t get what it is.”

The second California H.I.T. Academy takes place Nov. 20-22 and is open to boys in age groups from U13 to U19. Lane said he expects this year’s event to be twice as big as last year, when it attracted roughly 75 participants, along with coaches representing 16 different colleges in NCAA D-I, D-II, D-III and the MCLA.

So what makes this any different from other “recruiting showcases?”

“All the coaches are hands-on for the entire weekend,” Lane said, “versus, you go and play in the tournament and hopefully the coach who you want to see you is watching you, and you have a good game. It’s an opportunity to develop a relationship with that coach, and for a coach to see who you really are. Players don’t always show up and play with their A game every single game.”

This year, the event moves to Santa Barbara, but it still features a three-day training camp run by actual college coaches. That, Lane said, can make a huge difference for some kids.

“You can tell your kids the same thing 10 times and they don’t get it,” Lane said, “then these college coaches come and tell them the exact same thing, but maybe in a different way, and it clicks.”

H.I.T. Academy is operated by former St. Mary’s College (Md.) head coach Chris Hasbrouck, who now coaches high school lacrosse in Texas, and Salisbury University lead assistant Justin Axel. According to the organization’s website, H.I.T stands for how they will train players: To play Hard, to play Intelligent, and to play with proper Technique.

The event also includes a recruiting symposium, with coaches from all levels of the college game discussing how the recruiting process works at their level. Held Friday, Nov. 20, after the day’s training sessions, the recruiting symposium is free and open to the public.

The entire three-day event, though, costs $350 and requires registration. More details and a link to the registration page can be found on the West Coast Lacrosse website.

Lane said this year’s program also will feature a presentation from former Tesoro (Rancho Santa Margarita) star Knute Kraus, who wrapped up his collegiate career at Salisbury last spring by being named the best D-III close defender in the country. Now coaching at Concordia-Irvine, Kraus will discuss what it’s like to be a West Coast kid going back East to play.

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