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Staff

Mike Gabel, Founder and Co-Owner

Mike Gabel is founder and co-owner of True Lacrosse. From the time he first picked up the sport as a child in Massachusetts to his professional experience playing Major League Lacrosse, Gabel has dedicated himself to mastering the game. Gabel and his fellow MLL teammate Jake Deane founded True Lacrosse in 2008 to provide their vast experience and knowledge of the game to young players across the country. In that time, Gabel and Deane have helped countless young people improve their skills and continue playing the game at the collegiate level.

Gabel, a goalie, has played for the Chicago Machine, Rochester Rattlers, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks throughout his professional lacrosse career in the MLL. A 2005 graduate of the University of Vermont, Gabel was the 2003 NCAA Division I record holder for saves. He was also named the defensive MVP in 2003 and 2005 at the University of Vermont. 

Jake Deane, Founder and Co-Owner

Jake Deane is founder and co-owner of True Lacrosse. Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, Deane was introduced to the sport at a young age and dominated as an LSM and face-off specialist throughout his collegiate career at the University of Massachusetts. The All-American holds the single season ground ball record at the Division I school. In 2008, Deane and his fellow MLL teammate and friend Mike Gabel founded True Lacrosse with the clear vision and mission to help young players in the Chicago area improve their skills and knowledge of the game, and continue playing the game at the collegiate level. Since that time, Deane and Gabel have brought True Lacrosse to young people across the US and Canada.

Deane has been playing professionally in the MLL since 2006. He has played for the Chicago Machine, Toronto Nationals, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks. 

Ingrid Burchfield Latham, Academic Adviser

Ingrid has been tutoring students for over fifteen years in math, chemistry, and standardized testing.  She also helps with course selection, college applications, and résumés.  Ingrid has an engineering degree from Northwestern University and worked in environmental remediation and information technology before becoming a full-time tutor.  Originally from Ohio, Ingrid was the captain of her varsity swim team, a newspaper editor, and a baton twirler, which is how her son George got his stick skills.  George has been playing lacrosse since third grade and is on True Illinois State 2020.  Ingrid’s hobbies include reading, walking her dog, floating on a raft, giving test prep books as gifts, and being a soccer/football/basketball/lacrosse mom.  

Ingrid Burchfield

Tom Wood, Director of Recruiting

Tom Wood is the director of recruiting for True Lacrosse. Wood is responsible for ensuring all high school players within the True Lacrosse regional program are educated on the recruiting process. Wood meets with each player individually to identify schools that will meet the player’s needs in both academics and athletics.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Wood also played lacrosse for the Midshipmen and has since gone on to create opportunities for young people to play and grow as lacrosse players. Wood is deeply committed to the growth of lacrosse in Illinois and helped create the Fox Valley Lacrosse Club. 

Katie Grafton

Katie Grafton

Director of Programs/Payroll Practitioner

Phone: 630-519-4680

Alex Buetikofer

Alex Buetikofer

Illinois West Co-Director

Phone: 630-204-9349

Cody Bludorn

Cody Bludorn

Illinois West Co-Director

Phone: 206-321-4127

Kevin Finn

Kevin Finn

IL North Director

Phone: 847-274-7304

Geoff Harty

Geoff Harty

State Team Junior Director

Phone: 847-471-1048

Chris Kochajkiewicz

Chris Kochajkiewicz

IL Northwest Director

Phone: 630-519-4680

Devin Cruz

Devin Cruz

IL Northwest Co-Director

Phone: 631-747-7265

Eric Orndorf

Eric Orndorf

IL Southside Co-Director

Phone: (815) 666-8537

Phil  Vertin

Phil Vertin

IL Southside Co-Director

Phone: (630) 777-5562

Cody  Trella

Cody Trella

IL North Co-Director

Phone: (480) 433-9290

Suzanne  Rich

Suzanne Rich

Illinois Girls Director

Phone: 410-916-1516

Graham Rouse

Graham Rouse

IL Office Administrator

Phone: 630-519-4680

Adam Woodward

Adam Woodward

Kansas Director

Phone: 913-206-6212

Phil Dodson

Phil Dodson

Pittsburgh Boys Director

Phone: (847) 431-7886

Jen Perestock

Jen Perestock

Pittsburgh Girls Director

Phone: (724) 713-3292

Mason Poage

Mason Poage

Utah Director

Phone: 573-268-5724

Giuseppe Palermo

Giuseppe Palermo

Wisconsin Director

Phone: (651) 269-4137

LC  Moerschel

LC Moerschel

Minnesota Director

Ryan Polak

Ryan Polak

Idaho Director