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FUEL


GROWTH continued from page 15


guidelines, an online age verification system, an event sanctioning program and the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model (LADM). Our NXT partnership provides a powerful and growing platform to expose and deliver these strategies to the national lacrosse community.” NXT, one of the largest youth tournament operators in the country and one already recognized for its commitment to safety, will follow the protocols of the US Lacrosse event sanctioning program at its own events. “We can set an example by following the US Lacrosse sanctioning guidelines,” said Joel Zuercher, president of NXTsports. “By encouraging other event operators and clubs to do the same, we can make a big impact.” The 2018 US Lacrosse Nationals will feature bracket play at the older age levels (14U, 13U and 12U) and younger age divisions that will fully incorporate the principles of the LADM. It’s a chance to showcase the sport in the best light. Under the model being developed by NXT and US Lacrosse, teams will qualify through a series of events over the course of the previous playing season. It’s an open and inclusive process that welcomes all existing event operators to participate. Rankings will be published based on those results to determine the teams invited to Nationals. The summer of 2017 will be a pilot phase for the process with the full program launching in 2018. “The most common reaction we’ve heard is excitement,” Zuercher said. “People think that with us working with US Lacrosse we can standardize a lot of this and clean it up. Most people do a good job, but there are too many people doing things in too many ways. We can level the playing field and make things safer and fairer.”


16 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE March 2017


LIFE AFTER LAX NO WEEKEND WARRIOR


How would you describe your lacrosse journey — VSHFLFDOO\ WKH ULGH WR WKH 1&$$ FKDPSLRQVKLS in 2012?


We didn’t know any


better. We didn’t even know we were that good. We just had so much fun. It started in fall ball with the rule changes, specifically the quick whistle. For me and Scott Ratliff, it was a game changer. We couldn’t wait for the season, so we could just run on everyone.


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LSN has been an awesome opportunity for me. I’m able to stay involved with the sport at all levels, both male and female, while also pursuing and growing a career as an on-air talent. It’s a very unique situation where I’m an analyst for a league that I’m currently playing in, which has been both fun and interesting at times. Professional lacrosse is growing, and to grow with it as an athlete, you have to be a “full-time professional lacrosse player,” no more of this “weekend warrior” stuff. LSN has allowed me to be the former.


It’s been


something I’ve wanted to be a part of since hearing Mark Million talk about the men’s national team at one of his UMass camps back in fourth grade. My goal is to be a part of that 2018 men’s national team that brings the gold back to the U.S.


USlacrosse.org


As LSN host, the Boston Cannons’ Josh Hawkins makes lacrosse a full-time endeavor BY MEGAN SCHNEIDER


Josh Hawkins, best known as the runner and gunner on Loyola’s famed rope unit that led the Greyhounds to an NCAA title in 2012, has found a calling as an on-air personality. When he’s not making plays for his hometown Boston Cannons, he’s analyzing his own teammates and opponents as a Lax Sports Network host. We hit up Hank in between segments.


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©LAX SPORTS NETWORK (JH); ©GEORGIA SWARM (JH); ©DAVE ANDERSON (CW)


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