EG Lacrosse Helps 2 Students Aim For College Play

Carolyn Cruise and Max Gessman use money received from EG LAX to attend tournaments attended by college scouts and college-prep camps.

Max Gessman, a lacrosse player at EGHS who got a $500 scholarship from EGLAX to help him gain a spot on a college lacrosse team.
Max Gessman, a lacrosse player at EGHS who got a $500 scholarship from EGLAX to help him gain a spot on a college lacrosse team.

Former board president Dave Locke started a fantastic tradition during his tenure as the leader of the East Greenwich Lacrosse Association. Each spring, a $500 scholarship is awarded to one player from each of the high school teams. A scholarship recipient must be a student athlete in good standing who demonstrates leadership in the areas of academics, sports, and community involvement. He or she must be recommended by his/her coach, recognized as a clear leader amongst his/her peer group and aspire to play lacrosse after high school. The scholarship is provided to help pay for a showcase or other college prep camp. 

Last spring, the scholarships were awarded to Carolyn Cruise and Max Gessman.  Following their whirlwind summers, filled with lots of lacrosse – I was finally able to catch up with the two of them to find out what they have been up to since their lax budgets increased by $500!

With her scholarship money, Carolyn participated in four tournaments this summer: IWLCA Capital Cup in Richmond, Va., Lake Placid Summit Tournament in Lake Placid, N.Y., Spring Into Summer Lacrosse Tournament in Portsmouth, and MASS Lax Classic at UMASS Amherst. She was also invited to a camp at Williams College in Mass.

She not only enjoyed the lacrosse games – she was able to sightsee as well.  Carolyn toured the campuses of University of Richmond and University of Virginia. She also traveled to Washington D.C. during the Capital Cup tournament to take in the National Monuments and Smithsonian museums. While in Lake Placid, she stayed right in the Olympic Village and saw the National U20 Hockey team play against Finland at the Herb Brooks Hockey Arena (for those of you non-hockey fans – he coached the men’s gold medal 1980 Olympic team). She played lacrosse on picturesque fields surrounded by the 1980 Olympic ski jumps and the torch. Carolyn found that EGLAX provided her with a solid foundation of skills that allowed her to compete at these high level tournaments.

Since these tournaments, Carolyn has been contacted by more than 20 college lacrosse coaches from Division I, Division II and Division III programs from across the country. Many of these coaches scouted her at these tournaments.

Carolyn is the youngest of four children. Her three older brothers also went through the EGLAX program. She was on the very first girl's EGLAX team at the age of five and has played ever since! Lacrosse has become a true passion of Carolyn's and she sees herself helping out as a coach one day.

For now, she has elected to pursue a business degree at a college in New England, depending on which program is academically the best fit. She will then see if she has the ability to play lacrosse at that school.

Max Gessman was just as busy this past summer! He put his scholarship money toward two recruiting camps – Good to Great Lacrosse at Amherst College and New England Top 150 at Portsmouth Abbey. Throughout both camps, Max not only improved his game but also realized that he could play with the competition and subsequently proved that he can and will play at the Division III level in college. 

By receiving this generous gift from EGLAX Max was able to take the first step in accomplishing his life dream of being a NCAA athlete – something he has dreamed of since his first practice at Goddard Park on a chilly Wednesday night in third grade. Max points out that he has had all amazing coaches while playing for EGLAX. Coach Desimone taught him the basics and rules of lacrosse, Coach Jordan taught him how to be a defender and Coach Soule brought his game to peak performance in his later years as a lacrosse player. Max says, “EGLAX has TRULY taught me not only how to play lacrosse but the life values that go along with the "fastest game on two feet" and for that I am forever grateful.”

Max is already giving back to our program. This fall, he coached our U-13 boys’ team and his enthusiasm was infectious! His support and encouragement was evident both on the field during games and off the field in his weekly recap e-mails to parents.

East Greenwich Lacrosse Association is so proud to have contributed to the success of Carolyn and Max, in addition to the many players who have gotten their start through our program! 

Registration is now open for our spring season. Our Little Avengers program provides a great foundation for our youngest players and is offered to pre-K and kindergarten kids. We also offer recreational programs for both boys and girls in age groups U-9, U-11, U-13 and U-15. On the boys’ side – there are also competitive teams at the U-11, U-13 and U-15 levels. Simply go to www.eglax.org to get started!




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