Fifteen lacrosse players with hopes of continuing their playing careers at the next level tried out Sunday for the Denver Outlaws in the first such event the team has ever held in Southern California.
Held at Trabuco Hills High School, the tryout was one of two tryouts the team is holding this year before training camp in early April. The Outlaws open and the 2018 season April 21.
Head Coach BJ O’Hara, assistant coach Jon Cohen and current Outlaws midfielder Nick Tintle were in attendance Sunday, looking to evaluate the talent pool the region has to offer. A two-time All-American at North Carolina, Tintle originally joined the MLL through an open tryout, the team said, as did Corona del Mar and Lehigh alum Noah Molnar.
Fifteen players of all ages gathered Sunday to showcase their skills and possibly earn a chance to compete at the highest level. The tryout lasted two hours under the warm California sun and consisted of fundamental routines like passing, shooting, two-on-three and one-on-one drills.
Tintle — owner of the Athletes Choice training facility and a MaxLax sponsor -– said these aspiring professionals must be ready to play at faster pace than they ever have before. He also said that while athleticism and lacrosse IQ are very important traits for a player to display, the scouting process mostly comes down to what the team actually needs.
Attendee Thomas Muldoon traveled all the way from Colorado to put his skills to the test at the open tryout. The 30-year-old was a four-year starter at Brown University and then continued to play in the LXM Pro Tour after graduating. He is currently an assistant coach at Colorado College.
The attackman/midfielder said his biggest strength is probably his shooting and his ability to make big-time plays. However, Muldoon said this tryout made him realize he’s rusty when it comes to dodging in one-on-one situations.
Among other notable players in attendance were Grant Kaleikau, who played at the University of Delaware and then had a stint with Chesapeake Bayhawks, and Los Angeles native Kristufur Williams, who currently plays for the Portland River Monsters in the Interstate Box Lacrosse Association.
Williams, who played at Hartwick College in New York and then transferred to Marymount California University, said he heard about the tryout when scouring the Major League Lacrosse website to see what opportunities were out there to take his game to the next level.
Both Tintle and Muldoon felt the turnout for the event was very solid considering this was the first time the Outlaws held a tryout in the state. Muldoon also believed that the small turnout worked in his favor, since he managed to stand out more as opposed to a 50-man tryout he went to in Denver.
The Outlaws will hold their next open tryout in Denver on Feb. 18 at the Denver Broncos UCHealth Training Facility from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.