On May 3, 2014, the Nevada-Reno Wolf Pack won their first ever WCLL Division II championship with tight wins over last year’s champion UC Santa Cruz and San Jose State University. A unique characteristic of the Nevada-Reno team is that Coach Chris Tatro recruited six former California community college players, five from Diablo Valley College and one from American River College. Tatro indicated that he received great contributions from the community college players, specifically naming former DVC goalie Eddie Conley and defenseman Brandon Hall. Conley tied for top save percentage (69.8%) for MCLA Division II programs nationwide and earned WCLL All League honors, while defenseman Brandon Hall was the team leader in securing ground balls.
Tatro indicated that he loves recruiting from the community college programs because he has found that the young men are more mature and are better versed in the expectations of college-level lacrosse.
Given Nevada-Reno’s and Sierra Nevada’s recent, documented success and their emphasis on recruiting high quality, mature California community college players of the California Junior College Lacrosse Association (CJCLA), other MCLA and NCAA lacrosse programs could soon follow suit and pay much more attention to evaluating and recruiting the talent in the rapidly expanding community college programs
To date, Diablo Valley College, the longest running community college lacrosse program in California (started in 2008) has transferred over 50 players to MCLA Division I and II programs as well as NCAA Division I and II teams. With more and more community colleges in California coming on board with successful lacrosse programs full of talented athletes, it is becoming clear to lacrosse coaches around the region and, in fact the country, that CJCLA programs are important “hunting” grounds for their recruitment efforts. It is without question that the additional years which California community college lacrosse players can grow their games at the community college level without losing athletic eligibility in MCLA or NCAA programs, will contribute to the continuously rising quality of west coast lacrosse.
Congratulations to the Wolf Pack on their championship season!