HS Elite 2018/19
Thank you for your patience as we put together the logistics of our 2017/18 Elite program. We had intended to get specifics out sooner, but we are in the process of building for both the short- and long-term. Our goal is and always has been, to provide the best training, team environment and recruiting support possible.
To that end, we’ve made some very significant alliances with Long Island Sting and Lacrosse Masters. Alliances that will help our sons in the months and years ahead. All those took a lot of time and effort in the past months, which hindered our ability to get information about the upcoming season out in a timely fashion.
Our success in the summer was built in large part on the fact that we trained a lot and came together as a team. We didn’t want to enter the Fall/Winter as just another tryout-based All-Star team. So the ability to provide sufficient practices, while giving our participating school programs the necessary breathing room to run Fall Ball, combined with the inherent lack of field space at this time of year, made it difficult to put together a consistent practice schedule. But other programs only just held try-outs last week and haven’t started either.
With all that said, we are ready to go, and we hope you are too. This is a rather long e-mail, but we want to give everyone a full overview of the year to come.
Dragons HS Elite Seasonal Outline
Big Picture: We would like to reiterate that Dragons HS Elite is a year-around effort. Our seasons for 2017/18 are:
- Fall Ball - October & November
- Winter - December & January
- Summer - June & July
Dragons teams have strong bonds and an intimate, family setting. We reinforce that through high-quality core programming. But we also know that everyone has their own recruiting schedule to follow, so we want Dragons to have a “just right” footprint to leave room for the individual recruiting activities.
Team Structure & Philosophy: We like to keep teams together. Especially when the chemistry is as good as it is now. Our teams are able to play at higher levels because of how comfortable the boys are with each other. In 2017/18 we will be fielding 2 HS Elite teams:
- HS Elite 2018/19 - Returning players from the 2017 summer season plus new additions.
- HS Elite 2020/21 - Returning players from 2021 (8 Blue), core Dragons from 2020 and new additions.
(This section pertains only to HS Elite 2018/19.)
Tryouts: New players wishing to join the team will need to attend the first two practices to be evaluated by our coaching staff. For more information on the tryout process please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coaching Staff: We believe we have one of the best coaching staffs in the state and if you played Denver with us, you saw how many coaches pitched into our Elite effort. Coaches will support each other at games when schedules don’t conflict.
- HS Elite 2018/19 - Kevin Donovan (Lehigh/McGill) & Will Manning (Colgate/Whittier)
- HS Elite 2020/21 - Erik Krum (Salisbury / MLL) & Riley Lasda (Albany/Penn State)
- Specialty D coach - Hank Williams (Notre Dame)
- Goalie coach - Wade Winebrenner (SCAD)
Fall 2017 Outline
2018/19 HS Elite Fall Tournaments: The design of the Fall tournament schedule is to provide a major recruiting opportunity and a tune-up tournament prior so everyone is on the same page.
The combination of both tournaments allows us to get the most out of our trip. FLG is a big-time East Coast event with 140 college coaches and 80 teams in 4 divisions. King of The Mountain provides a more intimate setting to allow our players to shine in front of another incredible list of college programs. We will also hear from Lehigh Head Coach Kevin Cassese about the recruiting process, what college coaches are looking for in a player, and he will describe the overall college lacrosse experience!
Between the two events there be over 200 DI, DII and DIII schools in attendance, giving our players unprecedented exposure and maximizing our trip. Driving distance between the two events is approximately 2 hrs. which is closer than Santa Monica to San Diego. We are going to get the most out of this weekend!
Travel Information: Details on logistics and travel will follow shortly. We want to allow ample time, options and specific details for all our players to be able to attend comfortably.
2018/19 HS Elite Fall Practice Schedule: The intent of the practice schedule is to provide the maximum number of sessions, while being mindful of everyone’s busy Fall schedule.
- Thursday, September 28th, 6:00-8:00pm - Penmar Rec Center
- Thursday, October 5th, 6:00-8:00pm - Penmar Rec Center
- Thursday, October 12th, 6:00-8:00pm - Penmar Rec Center
- Thursday, October 19th, 6:00-8:00pm - Penmar Rec Center
- Sunday, October 22nd, 5:00-7:00pm - Pali Baseball Field
- Thursday, October 26th, 6:00-8:00pm - Penmar Rec Center
- Sunday, October 29th, 5:00-7:00pm - Pali Baseball Field
- Thursday, November 2nd, 6:00-8:00pm - Penmar Rec Center
- Sunday, November 5th, 5:00-7:00pm - Pali Baseball Field
- Thursday, November 9th, 6:00-8:00pm - Penmar Rec Center
Winter 2017/18 Preview
2018/19 HS Elite Winter Tournaments: We are keeping the winter tournament schedule light by design because our recruiting trip is in mid-November, we’d like for as many players as possible to attend the Lacrosse Masters Camp, and we want players to be free to play for their school starting in January.
Winter Practice Schedule: A winter practice schedule will be released as soon as we have more information from the City of Santa Monica on field availability.
Optional Fall Showcase & Winter Prospect Day: We have a new partnership with Lacrosse Masters that will provide our players with excellent training and access to college coaches. And Dragons coaches will be in attendance to support our players at the event. If you are targeting Ivy or NESCAC schools, this event is the perfect fit for you. And if you're interested in the Air Force Academy, or Navy, you need to be attending the Service Academy Prospect Days.
Summer 2018 Preview
2018/19 HS Elite Winter Tournaments: In 2018 we will be repeating our successful summer schedule, combined with the same number of practices for maximum training.
- Denver Shootout, Denver, CO - June 15 - 17, 2018
- Riptide at Oceanside, SoCal - TBD (June 2018) - the event is moving to a new venue
Summer 2018 East Coast Trip: This summer we tested a new recruiting trip format in which we chaperoned players to games with the Long Island Sting. This proved to be very beneficial so we will be adding a 7-10 day training and recruiting trip to the tail end of our summer 2018 schedule.
The trip will include participation in Hotbeds with Long Island Sting, and we may enter a full team into an additional event. Players will be chaperoned by Dragons coaches and staff.
Invitations & Registration: All HS Elite registrations are private. You will be receiving an invitation from your coach in the next few days via e-mail.
Team Meeting: We will host a team meeting to preview the year and to answer any questions on October 10th at the Capital One Cafe in Santa Monica from 7-8:30pm
Uniforms: Players will continue to use their Dragons uniforms for Fall and Winter. We will roll out a new look for the summer of 2018.
In closing we want to thank everyone for their patience, support and effort. The High School program was created in Winter 2015 and success just doesn’t happen overnight. At the same time, creating a high level elite program in 2 years, is quite an accomplishment. It speaks volumes about the type of players, parents and coaches we have in the program. We are all very excited to see the continued growth and success that we have all created together and we look forward to helping our boys accomplish their goal of playing at the next level!
If you have additional questions, comments or concerns please contact Kevin Donovan, who is coordinating communications for Elite 2018/19 (
/ 310-699-9505). We want to make sure everyone is on the same page and ready to continue the rise that is Santa Monica Dragons.
HS Elite 2020/21 - 9th & 10th Grades
The HS Elite 2020/21 schedule mirrors that of the older team. Players are exposed to the highest level of competition both on the West Coast and East Coast. The intent is to give the younger high school players a feel for the competition in the recruiting environment, as well as to better prepare them for their upcoming Varsity season.
OCBLL, August 28 to October 29
Santa Barbara Showdown, October 14 & 15
OC Fall Brawl, November 18 & 19
Oceanside Hustle, December 2 & 3
Lacrosse Master Camp, December 16 & 17 - optional individual training camp
The Challenge, January 6 & 7