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Subject: Re: Returning to topic

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Date Posted: 20:27:06 06/12/17 Mon
In reply to: An Observer 's message, "Re: Returning to topic" on 16:44:50 06/11/17 Sun

Without getting into the significant public policy issues being raised, and dealing only with the mundane question of comparing current sports teams, I don't agree it is completely apples and oranges in favor of privates.

A private school can "recruit," but (and depending on the institution) there is at least some academic gate keeping; also, there are caps on class size (in Landon's case, about 100-125) and the schools must allocate spaces among all constituencies accordingly. Sometimes kids don't play as well as you hope, but you can't tell them to leave to open up a slot. Also, there are competitors for players - not only numerous private schools, some of which are equally, or nearly so, accomplished on the sports and/or academic front. And private schools cost money. In Landon's area, you can attend a good parochial school for less than half the cost, for example Gonzaga HS (which has about 300-350 kids per class) which has recently had just as good a record and even defeated Landon occasionally.

In contrast, public schools draw from a much wider pool; students cannot opt to attend a school outside their district. Also, numbers mean something. I gather that Darien has at least 350 students per grade and that Darien has an extremely large and active youth program that feeds into the HS from an early age.

None of this is to denigrate Darien's accomplishment, just to point out that the "David v. Goliath" meme may be overstated.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Darien refuses to play Top 25 Teams

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Date Posted: 07:26:50 06/16/17 Fri

There are several Top 25 rankings in the country for lacrosse. Brunswick School is universally ranked 4th in all of these polls. USA Today shows Darien ranked 5th. It is sad for the boys that Darien decides not to play Brunswick School, a team that is about 15 minutes from its campus. Also, to my knowledge, and depending on which Top 25 list you use, Darien does not have a win vs. a Top 25 team. Brunswick, by contrast, has 4 wins vs. Top 25 teams, and 1 loss on opening day to then #1 ranked Landon on the road down in Maryland where the Bruins were beaten fair and square by a fine Landon team. Brunswick has 19 D-1 commits on the team and a D3 faceoff guy going to Wesleyan.

Darien does not play Brunswick because adults get too involved in youth sports. Each kid on the Brunswick and Darien team want to play a legit game. They all play with each other during summer circuit. Many of them will play together in college. Many of them are good friends, and hang out together. But the adults (not saying who) get in the way.

In contrast to Darien, New Canaan plays Brunswick in lacrosse. This year’s game drew 3,000 fans at New Canaan. Great spirit and fun for all in a showdown won by Brunswick. Last year New Canaan came to Brunswick, and soundly beat the Bruins in an equally exciting environment. The point is that the best should play the best. Darien simply has not done that, and I think every kid on Darien regrets that fact, as I think they would give Brunswick a great game, and maybe beat them, and beat other Top 25 teams, but the adults restrict the Darien kids from earning a top ranking.


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[> [> [> [> Subject: not sure why

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Date Posted: 09:38:02 06/16/17 Fri

they don't play Brunswick, as you said 15 mins away and NC plays them. I know one of the ass't coaches pretty well I will ask him

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Zena Edosomwan and Lacrosse at Landon

An Observer
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Date Posted: 17:18:24 06/19/17 Mon

Sparman, I'm sure that it varies from private school to private school but, in general, they seem to have bought into the concept that, just like colleges do, they can use winning sports teams to advertise and market their academic institutions. So more and more of them are recruiting great athletes, some with remarkable aggressiveness.

Look at the journey of one of our most well known Ivy athletes, Zena Edosomwan. I don't mean to pick on him for any reason other than the fact that his personal story is so well known. By all accounts, he is a great young man, filled with intellectual curiosity and an engaged member of the community. The guy speaks Mandarin, for crying out loud. Now what are the odds he is recruited or admitted to Harvard Westlake School if he is 5'8" and Caucasian or, worse yet, Asian or Jewish?

Similarly, Northfield Mount Hermon fell all over itself to host Zena for a PG year after he did not clear the minimum AI score to be admitted to an Ivy. Again, he's a great prospect for any school, but if he's 5'8" and can't play basketball, does he get in? Does he get as much financial aid?

The same phenomenon takes place across other elite schools like Landon. And Landon places a special emphasis on lacrosse. So you tell me, if a kid like Zena can be admitted to and probably granted generous financial aid at prep schools ranging from Los Angeles to New England, what are the chances that Landon turns down a promising lacrosse prospect regardless of his grades or other qualifications?

These expensive elite private schools have turned into feeders to Division I and Division III lacrosse programs. Once you recruit on a national scale, the sky is the limit for how good you can become. Or, as MJ says, the ceiling is the roof.

A public high school is constrained to the kids who live in the school district. Even if it's a lacrosse hot bed like Baltimore or Long Island, that's a limiting factor. The only limiting factor at a school which recruits aggressively is its own ambition. Look at Harvard.

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