The Alcatraz Outlaws put me in all the right places in all the right times. They provided the coaching, the exposure, and the advice necessary to get me where I want to be in the next chapter of my life. This advice carried far beyond what happens on the lacrosse field and had a lot to do with why I chose the University of Denver. First off, being on the Outlaws conquers everybody’s first obstacle in the recruiting, which is getting seen by coaches. Both King of the Hill and Gait Cup had more coaches lined on each sideline than one would ever expect. But being an Outlaw, did not limit me to just these events, and actually helped me get into some of the most selective camps in the country. This would not be possible without the connections available through Coach Braden, Angilly, and Grose. So after a summer spent playing lacrosse at the Denver Ascension Camp, King of the Hill, Gait Cup, and the Maverick Showtime, the stage was set for me to decide where I would go to college.
I knew playing lacrosse in college was something I wanted to do, but was clueless as to what would be the best fit for me. The coaches at Alcatraz simply said, “Make a list of your options and visit the ones where there is mutual interest.” So that is what I did. The biggest piece of advice that I received in this process from the coaches at Alcatraz, was to choose a university where I would feel at home. Find a place that I would still love to be, even if I were to blow my knee out and never play lacrosse again. I kept this in mind while walking around the various campuses, and weighed their differences in academics, lacrosse, campus feel, and city life. My decision became that much easier to commit to DU. I felt at home. And yes, playtime may be a little harder to come by with a more competitive program, but because I will be in a place that feels like home as well as a hardworking team, I will be willing to put in the work to make it happen. And that is an opportunity that I never would have had, without the help of the Alcatraz Outlaws.
-Quinn McKone, Novato High School (Verbal Commitment to Denver)
The recruiting process for lacrosse players begins right away. The idea of selecting schools, playing in front of coaches, and communicating with some of the country’s top lacrosse programs can get a little overwhelming but as someone who was recently in your shoes, I have a few suggestions that might help you through the next couple summers of lacrosse recruiting. The first and probably most important thing to keep in mind, utilize your assets. When you join the Outlaws, Braden and the other coaches will get your name on the radar of the great number of coaches that they know/have dealt with in the past. My next tip would be to be smart about which camps you attend. More and more camps are starting and it’s hard to tell which ones will have the coaches that you want to impress. If you have started to formulate a list of schools that you would be interested in (if you haven’t done this I highly recommend it as one of your first steps in the recruiting process) an easy solution is to email the coaches with your summer schedule and ask them which events they will be going to. Another way to be smart about choosing camps is to see how many attendants the camp takes. It may seem counter-intuitive, but in my experience the camps with fewer players actually proved to be the easiest for me to get myself recognition from coaches. Smaller camps (like Maverick or Bluechip) have less games going on at a given time and this allows all the coaches to watch the same games and see ALL of the kids at the camp. Bigger camps with upwards of 300 kids have many different games going on at the same time at different field locations so the coaches spread out and don’t have a chance to see all of the kids. When you do get the chance to speak with coaches, be persistent. Because of the NCAA restrictions around recruiting, you have to take the initiative in emailing and calling coaches. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t respond to an email or don’t answer when you call them. Coaches are very busy so you have to keep at them.The last thing, perhaps more important than anything else, is to keep working hard in the classroom.The first thing coaches will look at are your grades. If you meet or exceed the quota for a given school, you can increase your value in the eyes of college coaches. You will never be taken off of a coaches list for having good grades, they can only help you. Use your skills as a lacrosse player to open as many doors as possible for yourself. You may be faced with a decision between schools that differ in both academics and lacrosse success. Just remember: you will be living off of lacrosse for the next 8 years while you will be living off of your education for the next 40 years.If you are interested in my personal suggestions: I would recommend associating yourself with Braden and the Outlaw family. Braden is very connected in the lacrosse world and is willing to work tirelessly to get your name out there. In recent years, Bluechip has been the strongest camp for High Schoolers, but they expanded the camp to bring in more money and the quality of the camp significantly decreased. The Maverik Showtime camp is on the rise and ranks far above all of the other available camps.
-Joe Lang, St. Ignatius College Prep (Committed to Admissions at Harvard)
Playing for the Outlaws has been without a doubt one of the greatest experiences of my life. Every practice was fun and exciting and I always came away having learnt something new. Being a defenseman, I loved listening to Braden and hearing what he had to say. Also, the other coaches were great resources of knowledge that helped me take my game to the next level. They all help prepare you for the college coaches. I owe a great deal of thanks to the whole coaching staff. I would not be where I am today without their guidance and mentorship. From the very first day I accepted my place on the Outlaws, I was being helped in ways I could not have foreseen. By myself, I had garnered mediocre interest from coaches, I had about two schools seriously interested in me. Only a week after accepting my place on the Outlaws, I had calls with five different schools that hadn’t even seen me play!!! Throughout the entire process, Braden is by your side helping to invite and fend off college coaches, and he always does this in your best interest. He isn’t in this business for personal glory, he is in it for you. Coach Edwards has earned my utmost respect not only as a coach but as a person and I can honestly say I would not have had the opportunities I had, if I didn’t have Braden by my side! The Outlaws has been one of the greatest experiences of my life and If you want to play college lacrosse, this is the way to go.
-Aran Roberts, San Ramon Valley (Committed to Admissions at Princeton)
Describing the Outlaws experience is not an easy thing to do; the first words that come to my mind are: fun, family, LAX!!, and connection. I say fun because, honestly this was the most fun I have ever had playing lacrosse. Out of all the teams I’ve ever been on, Starz, Titans, NorCal, etc. I can absolutely say that playing with the Outlaws was by far the most fun I’ve had playing lacrosse. I choose the word family because although I knew a good amount of the kids on the team from previous experiences, I had never known them the way I do now. I consider each of my teammates as brothers, and my coaches as lifelong mentors. The word Lax came to my mind for fairly obvious reasons, simply because the Outlaws are the most competitive, well organized, and best connected team on the west coast, and one of the best in the country. Which brings me to my next point, connections. I’ve spoken already to the enduring connections that are made within the team, however the ones that are made on the outside of the team have the potential to be equally as important. It seems to me that Braden, Greg and Dave are probably the most well connected men in college lacrosse west of the Mississippi. Between the three of them, I doubt there is a single coach that they don’t know extensively. When I told them of some of the schools I was interested in, not only did they immediately reach out to those coaches, but they also contacted several other schools they thought would be a good fit. When Braden got me on the phone with one of the coaches, I was surprised by how well they knew each other. Because of that, Braden could tell the coach exactly what he thought of me and my potential, and the coach knew Braden was telling the truth. Braden, Greg, and Dave work hard to maintain their relationships with coaches, that way when they tell a coach to take a look at a player, the coach makes sure to see him play and take a very good look. Without the help of Braden, Greg and Dave I honestly have no idea where I would be as far as recruiting goes. The Outlaws have not only been the best lacrosse team I’ve played for, but the one that goes back up to bat for me time and time again. So, like I was told last winter, “If you get invited to the Outlaws, don’t wait, DO IT!
-Spencer Evans, St. Ignatius College Prep (Harvard)
Having the opportunity to play for the Alcatraz Outlaws was an incredible experience. The Outlaws coaching staff does their absolute best to put you in a position to be successful. Every practice is run in an up tempo, college like atmosphere. The Outlaws was, without a doubt, the best experience I have ever had on the lacrosse field. My teammates were great players and it was extremely competitive. On the field, each and every player forced one another to do their absolute best. Off the field, we shared great memories with each other. I have made some wonderful friends from being a part of this program. With the recruiting process starting earlier and earlier every year, the Alcatraz staff does an excellent job talking to elite college coaches about you as a person and a player. The coaching staff does a terrific job getting to know the individual rather than just the player. Just like many college coaches, Coach Edwards, Coach Grose and Coach Angilly care more about the player’s character and how they carry themselves rather than their overall skills. I had a great experience with the Outlaws and I highly recommend them to any serious high school lax player.
– Joe Reid, Casa Grande High School (Committed to Denver)
The Alcatraz Outlaws was, without a doubt, the best experience I have ever had playing lacrosse. It is difficult to explain how much fun it is to play with your closest friends, at such a high level. Every kid on the team truly belongs there, allowing for fun – filled competitive practices and thrilling games against the East’s best. While everyone’s ultimate goal was to stand out and get recruited, our team was cohesive and unselfish. Perhaps most importantly, the coaching staff was incredible and definitely elevated my game to a whole new level. They truly took it upon themselves to help us not only get better, but to find the right school for us. I can wholeheartedly say that without the help of Coach Grose, Coach A, and Coach Braden, I don’t think I would have been able to get recruited to Middlebury. If you have the opportunity to play for the Outlaws, I would advise taking it.
– Mani Ghiasi, University HS (Middlebury)
Playing for the Alcatraz Outlaws was the single best investment in my lacrosse career. From the first ever Outlaws practice three summers ago to the last game we played together during the finals of Gait Cup, the Outlaws molded me into being the lacrosse player I am today. No matter the lacrosse background that each player had (I came from a high school where lacrosse was a laughing stock as of a few years ago), each one had earned the right to play together on that field under the Outlaw name. Because of this, each practice was filled with high-level competition that both tested each player and allowed each player to develop both high-level skill and I.Q. The coaches have very creatively combined skill workouts with drills that also teach lacrosse I.Q., which is needless to say one of the differences between a collegiate lacrosse player and a high school lacrosse player. Because the three coaches have three very different back grounds in lacrosse (Angilly and Grose being on the offensive end and Edwards on the defensive) each player knows that he is getting the highest level of lacrosse coaching available on the west coast. The coaches also help create the contact between college coach and player. Coach Grose introduced me to Coach Bathory and now I am writing this having verbally committed to Haverford. Coach Grose, Angilly, and Edwards have finally developed a summer club program that seriously competes regularly against the very top east coast clubs. The very first year that we traveled back east many of our opponents went into our games thinking that it would be a walk in the park to destroy a group of west coast laxers. Two years later I saw a dream come true after we battled our way into the finals of two of the east coast’s best tournaments. Instead of being some team from California we became that team from California, all thanks to the dedication by Greg Angilly, David Grose, and Braden Edwards to develop the best lacrosse players from the west coast for the goal of one day earning a spot on a high level east coast lacrosse program. I want to thank the entire Outlaw community, coaches, parents, and mostly fellow laxers, for giving me the opportunity to proudly say that I was part of the Outlaws.
– Somer Stein, Marin Academy (Haverford)
My experience on the Alcatraz Outlaws was the best experience I have had playing lacrosse. The Outlaws became family, I had the opportunity to be seen by the top coaches in the country and my game improved dramatically. I have never played on a team as selfless as the Outlaws and my teammates became some of my best friends. The exposure I gained while playing in the tournaments and through the Outlaw’s coaches’ connections was as good as it gets. The practices and playing, with what I would consider the best players in NorCal, helped me improve greatly. The Alcatraz Outlaw coaches not only made me a better player but also guided me step by step through the recruiting process.
– Wiley Osbourne, Menlo (Dartmouth)
My experience with the Alcatraz Outlaws was outstanding. Both my sophomore and junior years were great times with two different teams. Not only were the coaches a tremendous help with the entire process, but the kids that they brought in were all awesome as well. The way that the coaches set up the team guarantees that you will be seen by a number of college coaches. My first year back east was a new experience for me and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never played back east at the high school level and to be honest I was a little nervous. The coaches assured all of us that we were just as good as anyone out there and that we were absolutely going to get noticed if we just played together and listened to their advice. Sure enough we got back there and beat the tar out of most teams that we played. This was the exact same when I played my second summer on the outlaws. When you win games at these tournaments, you get noticed. I was fortunate enough to be seen by coach Jeff Tambroni who had just moved from Cornell to Penn State. I would like to mention that in some cases you have to go outside of your bubble and introduce yourself to the coaches so that they acknowledge your interest. This is what I did to make sure Tambroni would come out and watch one of our games. He liked the way I played and that is when the recruiting process began. For me it was very easy to decide on Penn State because of coach Tambroni and the school itself. The outlaws staff was there the entire way to help me out through the process. I would highly recommend playing for the Alcatraz Outlaws to anyone that would like to play lacrosse at the next level.
– Jordan Weiss, San Ramon Valley (Penn State)