The SoCal Express National Team leaves for Denver this week to play in the World Series of Youth Lacrosse. The Express earned a No. 1 seed after they defeated Team Colorado-Outlaws in overtime in the championship game of the WSYL qualifier that was held at the Great Park in February. To add to the hype, the Express were named the second best U13 team in the world according to the inaugural Inside Lacrosse World Rankings .
The WSYL will be played over the July Fourth Weekend in Denver, with the championship game being broadcasted live on ESPN 2. As the excitement towards this weekend accumulates, I was able to talk with the Head Coach of the Express, Adam Guy, who reflected on the journey leading up to this point and expressed his expectations heading into the tournament.
Coach Guy said that the process towards getting his team prepared for the World Series of Youth Lacrosse began back in the fall, when the Express attended a 2-day, team intensive training program at the Sports Academy in Calabasas. The program entailed a taxing conditioning program run by former special forces members, yoga, mindset training, and practices.
Since then the team has been practicing as well as conditioning at Athletes Choice in Rancho Santa Margarita. As far as competition goes, the SoCal Express have seen no shortage of success after going undefeated at both the ADRLN Vegas Tournament as well as the WSYL Qualifier. At the Vail shootout, the Express competed against older and larger opposition and ended the weekend with a respectable 4-2 record.
“Our strength is that our players know and trust each other, we play for one another and work hard for one another,” Guy said. “We share and move the ball very well and aren’t concerned over who scores and gets the glory, so long as the team is successful.”
Considering that their is no lack of talent within the field of competitors at this year’s World Series of Youth Lacrosse, the team-first personality of the Express could be what catapults them above similarly skilled teams.
“Our boys will go into the tournament expecting to win each game, but beyond that I think it’s just about having with their best friends, making memories, and enjoying the experience, Guy added.
Ultimately, the World Series of Youth Lacrosse is just that: a memorable experience. Aside from playing against the top teams from all over the world, the players will be attend talks given by members of the Denver Broncos, clinics ran by members of the Denver Outlaws, and a banquet located at the club level of Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Best of the luck to the Express 2022 National Team representing Southern California!
Players to watch:
#7 Zach Zahr – Face-off specialist
#5 Sebastien Chicas – Goalie
#10 Drew Tyson – Goalie
#27 John Culley – Attack
#6 Radyn Badraun – Midfield
#22 Hayden Chester – LSM
#21 Connor Guerrero – Defense