By True Lacrosse 02/23/2018, 1:15pm CST
By True Lacrosse 01/18/2018, 12:30pm CST
By True Lacrosse 10/16/2017, 8:00am CDT
By True Lacrosse 04/01/2017, 2:00pm CDT
By True Lacrosse 04/01/2017, 1:45pm CDT
By True Lacrosse 01/06/2017, 10:00am CST
By True Lacrosse 01/06/2017, 9:50am CST
By True Lacrosse 01/06/2017, 9:45am CST
By True Lacrosse 09/13/2016, 1:15pm CDT
By True Lacrosse 09/08/2016, 2:00pm CDT
1. New Trier
The defending champs will return multiple key players from last year's State Championship team. Until they get defeated, they need to remain at the number 1 spot. Even without the star fire power on some of the other teams, New Trier always finds a way to win.
The Ramblers underachieved last year by not winning State. Their roster features players who will be competing for a national championship in a few years. They have some of the top players in the state on their team. The question is, can they win the big one? Due to the new IHSLA playoff bracket this year, New Trier and Loyola will be playing against each other early on in the playoffs.
3. St. Viator
Most of St. Viator's current seniors have been on the varsity team all four years, resulting in a team with more depth than most. And this year, those seniors want results. They have a lot of firepower with their junior and sophomore classes, and the entire team has a great culture and play strategic lacrosse. Their Kool-Aid must taste great since all of the best players from the Northwest suburbs somehow find their way to Viator. Only one team can finish the season with a W, and Viator has all of the tools to get it done.
4. Glenbard West
This team plays with some serious attitude. They love being the underdog and will never back down. West has one of the best face-off guys in the state, which will give them the ball after every goal. If their offense clicks, they have the potential to play "make-it, take-it" for 4-5 goals. I'm not sure what is in the water in Lake Ellyn, but all of West's defensemen are at least 6'2", 185 lbs. Last year, this team played a lot of man-down, which hurt them in close games. If they clean it up, they should be the top team out of the Western suburbs.
5. Neuqua Valley
A number of Neuqua Valley's players from last year's state semi-final team return this year. They score a lot of goals and have some big boys on defense. Neuqua typically does not play the toughest schedule, so they usually get caught off guard by a local sub-par opponent. They need to stay focused and get wins against the teams ranked ahead of them.
6. Hinsdale Central
The Red Devils had an impressive 15-2 regular season record but were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. They could be a top 5 team but need to prove they can make noise in the playoffs. They have some strong offensive and defensive players, but need to get it done in big games and get the W when it counts the most.
7. Lake Forest
The Scouts have continued to reload every year. They have strong players in all positions and will challenge NT and LA in the playoffs. For some reason they always have a shaky start at the beginning of the season. Once they figure out what works, they usually roll through teams in the second half of the season. They have the talent but need to stay consistent. You never know which team will show up.
8. Lyons Township
LT has some of the best players in the state but struggle with depth. They will be relying on some young players to step up this spring. They should be able to get a lot of wins this year but will struggle against strong defensive teams.
9. Grayslake North
Always a strong team out of the North. They lost their top scorer from last year but return their goalie, face off specialist and defensive unit. Much like Lyons Township, Grayslake North will ask for their younger players to step up this year, which will test them but also prepare for the future.
10. South Elgin
This team won the B Cup last year and deserve some love this year. Recently, this team did some damage to a few opponents in a preseason tournament. They know how to win and should be strong again this year.
Watch List: Naperville North, Glenbrook North, Evanston, Stevenson
True Lacrosse Welcomes Four New Full-Time Members to the Staff
True Lacrosse is pleased to welcome several new members to our full-time staff as our program continues its rapid growth throughout Chicago and its suburbs. Peter Murphy and Jack Malone are the new co-directors of the downtown Chicago program; Jason Rozembersky joins the Northwest suburbs staff as co-director, and Chris Button is the new co-director of the West suburbs. Each new member to our staff brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in the game, and will help players grow their skills, lacrosse IQ, and love of the sport.
Peter Murphy is co-director of the True Chicago Downtown teams, the newest addition to the True Illinois program. When he isn't working as an equity sales trader, Peter is dedicated to service, volunteering his time as a youth lacrosse, flag football, soccer, and baseball coach, and den leader for the Cub Scouts. He has coached with OWLS Lacrosse and with the True Lacrosse U8-U17 teams; he has coached at a number of lacrosse camps, and he previously served as defensive coordinator for the undefeated New York State Champion Garden City Trojans (2000). Peter is a certified coach by U.S. Lacrosse and the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).
Peter attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a three-year starter on the men's lacrosse team. During that time, he achieved the following honors: helped the team to become two-time ACC champions; team captain, senior year; All American, All ACC, Honorable Mention All ACC honors; 3rd all-time in takeaways; and he was awarded the Jay Gallagher Memorial Award for the Team's Most Outstanding Freshman.
Growing up on Long Island immersed Peter in the game from a young age. He attended Garden City High School, where he began his lacrosse career with many awards and honors: he was inducted into the Garden City High School Sports Hall of Fame; was named Athlete of the Year his senior year; two-time Long Island Champions; two-time All American; two-time Nassau County Defenseman of the Year; two-time All Island and All County selection; three-year starter on defense; two-time Bernard Moline Award for Garden City High School's MVP Lacrosse Player. He was also a two-time starter on Long Island's Empire State Lacrosse Team, and he was selected to play in the North-South All-Star High School Game.
Additionally, Peter was an accomplished football player in high school. He was team captain senior year, All-State Safety and a three-year letterman. He helped his team to a county record of 30 consecutive wins, and earned the Rutgers Cup Award for the top team in Nassau County. Peter was a finalist for the Jim Thorp Award for the most outstanding player in Nassau County; and he was the winner of the Warren King Award for Garden City's Most Outstanding Back in Football.
Jack Malone will be working alongside Peter Murphy as a co-director of the True Chicago downtown teams. By day, he is a commodity broker, but is eager to grow the True Chicago program. Jack was a three-year starter at Wheeling Jesuit, and achieved two seasons of 50+ points. Originally from Michigan, Jack lead the state in points during his senior year at University of Detroit Jesuit.
Jack has been coaching lacrosse for 10 years for club teams including NXT and Titanium, and he coached for one year at St. Ignatius.
Jason Rozembersky comes to True Lacrosse after coaching club and high school lacrosse for the last five years in New Hampshire. He spent one year as an assistant varsity coach at Bow High School, where he helped his team to the State D2 semifinals; one year as an assistant varsity coach at Windham High School, and two years as their head coach. While at Windham, he took the team from winning only five games in the year prior to his arrival, to winning 38 games over the last three years. He coached one Academic All American and 16 All State selections.
Jason served as a coach for the New Hampshire Tomahawks for the last five years. The Tomahawks are the premier team in New Hampshire and one of the top teams in New England. He was head coach of many of their youth and high school teams.
For the last two years, Jason has played for the Hungarian National Team, and has participated in the International Lacrosse Showdown. He lead his team in goals in 2017.
A native of Roxbury, New Jersey, Jason began playing lacrosse in the 7th grade. He attended Roxbury High School, where he played lacrosse, football, and hockey. He then went on to attend the University of New Hampshire, where he played attack for three years for the UNH men's lacrosse team while pursuing a degree in chemical engineering.
Chris joins True Lacrosse after working in Massachusetts for 3D New England. He is also beginning his first season as offensive coordinator at Benedictine University. Previously, he served as assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Mount Ida College in Newton, MA, where he helped the team to the GNAC Championship in 2017.
A 2014 graduate of Lemoyne College in Syracuse, NY, Chris earned his bachelor's degree in Sociology and Elementary Education and was a four-year letterman for the D2 men's lacrosse program. He was a member of the 2013 Division II National Championship team and won two NE-10 Conference Championships. Chris graduated as the 8th all-time leading scorer for the Dolphins.
Chris attended Fairport High School in Fairport, NY, where he lettered in hockey and lacrosse and earned a sectional championship in each and a state runner-up in lacrosse.
Rick and Tracy Ulmer’s house is quiet these days, as all three of their sons are out pursuing their education and career goals. Their youngest, Blake Ulmer, is away completing his high school education at Wilbraham and Monson Academy in Massachusetts, as he prepares for the next step: playing Division 1 lacrosse at Syracuse University, his dream school.
While cleaning out closets one day in her now empty nest, Tracy found a paper Blake had written in middle school called My Future Plans. “In it, he says, ‘My dream is to go to Syracuse and play lacrosse.’ I couldn’t believe what I read,” she said. Contributing to the shock of reading her son’s childhood dreams was the fact that Blake’s dad was recruited by Syracuse in 1979, bringing the Ulmer family’s college lacrosse story full circle.
What seemed like a lofty goal for a middle school student has since become a reality for Blake, as he recently announced his commitment to play lacrosse for famed Head Coach John Desko and his D1 program at Syracuse University.
Blake’s lacrosse career began when he was in the 2nd grade. The youngest of three boys in his family, Blake followed in the footsteps of his big brothers and his dad, who was a goalie in high school and college, and stepped into the cage as a goalie, too.
He played in a league in his hometown of Lake Forest before playing for True Lacrosse and Lake Forest High School. He then headed to the Culver Academies to compete for the #1 high school program in the country, where he was grateful for the opportunity to be coached and mentored by Head Coach Jon Posner.
According to the new NCAA recruiting rules, college coaches can only contact players beginning on September 1st of their junior year. Just a little over a month ago, Blake had a number of D1 schools that were interested in getting him on campus. But when Syracuse called, he immediately booked his trip. And the rest, as they say, is history.
“The minute I stepped on campus, it felt like home to me. Syracuse has a great business school and one of the best lacrosse programs in the country. The athletic facilities and the support for athletes are great,” he said.
Although Blake comes from a long line of lacrosse players, he trained with True to help set him apart from the pack, and clearly the training paid off. “Coach Gabel and Coach Deane were very supportive of me,” he said. “They helped me throughout the entire process. They coached me on how to talk to coaches and what questions to ask. They shaped me into the player I am, and I believe that is why I got the looks I did from college coaches.”
The difference in the way True’s coaches trained as opposed to other club teams, for Blake, was the intensity. “Every practice, they push you to your absolute limit; they train really hard and expect the best out of you.” It was through that training experience that he forged some unbreakable bonds. “I feel like I made some lifelong friendships at True. I play with really good guys and the coaches are awesome.”
Tracy echoed those same sentiments. “We believe the True work ethic was a driving factor in Blake’s motivation to really push himself to be the best, and we think the #1 ranking has a lot to do with True.”
Blake also credits his success with one final important factor: believing in himself. “I believe in all of my hard work,” he said. “I always believed I could do it and nothing was going to stop me. When I was living at home and my mom couldn’t find me, she would look all over the house and eventually find me in the basement doing footwork and playing wall ball on the unfinished basement wall. My hard work became real when I was ranked the #1 2019 Goalie by Inside Lacrosse this August.”
Tracy has proof that dreams do come true with Blake’s middle school paper now among memorabilia of his recruiting success story, and Blake can go confidently in the direction of his dreams, knowing he did everything he could to fulfill his childhood ambition. “Playing at Syracuse has been a lifelong dream, and it will be really cool to step on the field at the Carrier Dome for the first time.”