A/B Boys Teams. Our Policy and Philosophy
Seniors for Northport High School's 2015 team in their Northport Lacrosse Club days. They went 17-2, their Senior year and the team was ranked as high as #7 nationally. 12 of these boys went on to play college lacrosse. Among them are 2 high school All- Americans, 6 All-County/All Conference players, a Suffolk County Attackman of the Year, a Suffolk County Defensman of the Year, a Member of the U19 USA Team, a Suffolk County Rookie of the Year and multiple Inside Lacrosse "top recruits."
We've recently received emails from concerned parents and coaches regarding whether or not they should continue to play for Northport Lacrosse Club in the 5th grade. Opting instead to play for a separate Northport team or just play for their club team. We wanted to make sure you understood the Northport Lacrosse Club Policy and Philosophy as it relates to "A" and "B" lacrosse teams and stress the importance we place on playing with other Northport players and the Northport Lacrosse Club organization.
Beginning in 5th grade, we split teams into A and B levels and enter those teams into the A and B divisions of PAL lacrosse. We wait until this grade for a number of reasons.
First, with the ever-improving skill-set of the youth lacrosse player, we find it essential that the more highly-skilled lacrosse player be able to play with others of similar skill sets. It's amazing to see the skill-level of many 5th grade lacrosse players ... let alone some of the 2nd and 3rd grade players we are now seeing in Northport and across Long Island.
Please note we are talking about lacrosse skills -- not necessarily athleticism. That is why we also want to provide an environment for good athletes with limited lacrosse experience an opportunity to join the sport of lacrosse at a relatively later grade. By having B teams, we believe it provides a good environment for the "new-to-lacrosse" player ... as well as the late bloomer ... to have success.
In the coming weeks you will receive information about player evaluations. These evaluations will be used to form our A and B level teams at the 5th and 6th grade level. For grades with more than 2 teams, we will not create a C team. Instead we will create two even B teams.
Each team will be entered into appropriate PAL divisions and we will work closely with PAL directors to ensure that all teams have a competitive schedule.
Our policy is designed to keep Northport players together -- we definitely see a connection to grades that play together at the youth level to our best High School lacrosse teams. For example, the 2015 Northport Boys lacrosse team went 17-2 and was ranked as high as #7 in the country. We can also tell you that the group of 17 seniors on that team had 3 teams when they played for Northport Lacrosse Club and played together from the clinic through 8th grade. The same could be said for the 17-3, 2013 team.
With the ever-growing world of club lacrosse, it is becoming more difficult to find the will and the time to do keep town players together. Having A and B teams is one way to keep our most skilled players engaged, give evolving-skilled players a longer chance to develop and leave the door open for new players to join the ranks of the hundreds of Northport youth lacrosse players -- all with the end goal of feeding the Northport High School lacrosse program with the most dedicated and skilled lacrosse player possible.
We understand there are many opinions on this topic -- ranging from having A/B teams begin at the 2nd grade level to not having A/B teams at any level. Our board has spent countless hours over the years putting forth thoughtful debate on the subject. We believe keeping teams even at the 2nd/3rd/4th grade level and going to A/B at the 5th/6th grade level is the best option at this time. We will re-evaluate and debate this decision every year.
We hope this provides clarity on our policy and philosophy.
Sincerely, NORTHPORT LACROSSE CLUB BOARD OF DIRECTORS