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NC Lacrosse News:

Cockerton inducted into the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame - Friday, October 31, 2014

Stan Cockerton was inducted into the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame this October.  The story of one of college lacrosse’s most prolific players goes back to the ‘70s in North Carolina.  The prelude to this story could begin in 1970 when East Carolina University (yes, ECU had a varsity team) played UNC each season until 1975 but then  NCSU  begins varsity play in 1973, losing each year to UNC until 1978 when this story of Stan Cockerton begins.

Led by Stan Cockerton and goalie Bob Flintoff, NCSU beats UNC each year from 1978 – 1980.  Stan led the Wolfpack to its only NCAA Tournament appearance in 1979.  UNC snapped NCSU’s winning streak in 1981 on their way to UNC’s first NCAA Division 1 National Championship.

It is worth pointing out that the 1980 and 1981 NCSU vs. UNC games were two of the most exciting games played in NC or anywhere. 

The 1980 shoot out at NCSU left NCSU standing in the smoke of a torrid 20-15 conflagration.  One particular play stunned the crowd.  Goalie Flintoff made a save, immediately dashed upfield about 15 yards before discharging a 50 yard laser to attackman Cockerton who caught the ball on the dead run, turned and fired a goal.  The next year, NCSU traveled to one of the largest crowds (approx. 8,000)  ever to witness a UNC lacrosse game as UNC escapes the barn burner with a 19-17 win.  These historic games combined for 71 total goals scored between the same two opponents in just two games over two years!   Makes one wonder where NC lacrosse would be now if the UNC – NCSU lacrosse rivalry continued . . . but back to Stan!

A four-time All-American and four-time first-team All-ACC honoree, Cockerton finished his Wolfpack career first all-time in goals per game with 4.39, second all-time in points per game with 6.36 and third all-time in NCAA Division I history with 193 career goals.

A native of Canada, Cockerton was named Player of the World in 1978 when he led Canada to the lacrosse championship at the World Games, scoring the game winner in overtime. He was also selected to the ACC's 50th Anniversary Lacrosse Team in 2003.  He has previously been inducted into the North Carolina and Canadian Lacrosse Halls of Fame and now serves as president of the Federation of International Lacrosse and executive director of the Ontario Lacrosse Association.

North Carolina State running back Willie Burden (left) with lacrosse players Bob Flintoff (center) and Stan Cockerton (right)

 
Interview with Ni​kki​ Lieb Schwob - Thursday, August 14, 2014

Two years ago, Ni​kki Lieb Schwob ​came from spectacular high school (Radnor, PA) and college (UVA) lacrosse careers to​ "lacroseeless"​ Pinehurst, NC.​​  Here is what happened next!
 
1. ​Nikki, ​What were some of your first impressions about the "state of girls' lacrosse" in Pinehurst when you arrived in 2012? 

When I first moved to North Carolina, I was excited about spreading the love of the game in this area.  I knew lacrosse wasn't very well established yet, and looked at it as a great opportunity.  Whenever you coach in a "non-traditional" or "developing" lacrosse area it is refreshing to see players who soak up everything you say because it is all new to them. However, it has proved to be a little more difficult than I anticipated to grow the game.  Here we are 2 years later and while lacrosse has come a long way, I'm still waiting to see the explosion in numbers that I'm hoping for.  It is very difficult in North Carolina because so many great female athletes play soccer for their High Schools, and girls soccer season is in the Spring here (the same as girls lacrosse season).  While I love to see female athletes playing any sport, selfishly I'm still waiting to see some of those better athletes try lacrosse.  That has been and continues to be a very tough challenge.  

2. Now that you have built impressive girls' lacrosse opportunities in the Sandhills, look back at some of the "landmarks" in developing these opportunities.   What were the events/activities that made you discouraged as well as those that made you think that "yes, lacrosse IS going to happen here?"   Biggest surprises?
 
Right away I think about the first camp I ran here with Davidson's Head Coach Kim Wayne. In the summer of 2012, we advertized for a summer girls lacrosse camp in Pinehurst thinking we would get a decent turnout.  We only got 10-12 players to sign up - which was somewhat discouraging, but at the same time, you have to start somewhere!  As it turned out, some of the girls that attended that camp became leaders on the Pinecrest High School team in the 2 spring seasons that followed.  In the spring of 2013 I volunteered to help coach the girls Club Team at Pinecrest.  Although the team was about 3 years old, in 2012 they only had one game.  That 2013 season was tough - it was hard to schedule games and our overall record ended up being 1 and 5 - but again it was something!  We had enough for a team with 23 on the roster which was encouraging, and we won at least one game, so it was a start!  One really encouraging event that took place in the summer of 2013 was the first lacrosse camp I ran with my organization, Shine on Sports.  I had 30 campers come out and brought in some great coaches for them to learn from.  The camp was a great success. I think parents and players really started realizing how great the sport is and the potential we have for it to grow in our area.  Campers received some great leadership training and learned about the college recruiting process - something many of them had never even considered before.  Many of the campers also participated on my AC Sandhills Club team that summer and fall.  Again, this was another encouraging sign - to have enough girls to create a club team and attend some tournaments and get exposed to the talent outside of our area.  And today, I am very proud to say that one of our own players received an opportunity to play lacrosse at Meredith College in Raleigh!  I am thrilled to have Lynsi Beers as the first ever girls lacrosse recruit to come out of Pinehurst - she is a perfect fit for Meredith College l and think she will be a great addition to the program there.  I'm also thankful that coach Scott took a chance on a new player from a developing area.  This event was definitely one of those things that made me think, "Yes! Lacrosse is going to happen here!"

 

3. Talk about the development of "Shine on Sports."  Where did this inspirational approach come from?  
 
Like many coaches, I see sports as a perfect platform to promote leadership qualities and teach life skills to young people.  I created Shine On Sports to provide more opportunities for kids to be exposed to the wonderful game of lacrosse and learn all the valuable lessons it has to offer.   The name was chosen to honor my cousin, Max Brindle.  Max was a phenomenal athlete and unforgettable, charismatic person who left his mark everywhere he went.  He really found his place to "shine" on the lacrosse field and went on to attend Drexel University in Philadelphia.  In June of 2008, Max left this world to Shine On in another.  Though family, friends, and anyone who knew Max miss him every day, we know that he lived each moment to the fullest.  He taught us not to wait to leave our mark on the world - life is too short. We were all made to shine, it is up to us to determine how and when.  My hope is that Shine On Sports will give as many people as possible the opportunity to SHINE - on the lacrosse field and in life.  

 

4.  Finally, the Future!  The Pin​ecrest​ Varsity Girls' lacrosse team debuts next year!  What other high schools in the Sandhills region (Britt, Terry Sanford) do you expect to form girls' lacrosse teams and by when?  Will Nikki Schwob be Pine ​crest'​s first Girls' Varsity Lacrosse Head Coach?
 
We cannot wait for Pinecrest High School Girls Lacrosse to be Varsity in the spring of 2015!  The girls have certainly earned it and deserve to be a Varsity program.  Ideally, at least one other school in Moore County offers girls lacrosse in the near future (i.e. Union Pines or North Moore High), but as of now the problem is finding coaches and enough student interest at these schools.  However, I would expect that other nearby schools like Terry Sanford and Jack Britt will offer Varsity Lacrosse programs in the very near future.  I have been coaching a lot of Fayetteville athletes over the last 2 summers as they have come out for our AC Sandhills Select Club team and I know the interest is there.  They have great lacrosse enthusiasts in the area who are doing everything they can to get the sport into the high schools.  For example, Wes Davis, father 3, has gotten the sport established in the Cumberland County Parks and Recreation program and he is making every effort to get lacrosse in the high schools next so his oldest daughter (still in middle school) will have a place to play.  As of now, the plan is for Jack Britt and Terry Sanford to at least have club programs this spring (2015) and hopefully they will quickly move to Varsity status.  As for me coaching at Pinecrest - though I am due with our first baby at the end of August, I hope and plan to coach at Pinecrest this spring and cannot wait to see what we can do!

 
Grant and Scholarship Program - Friday, August 1, 2014

US Lacrosse's Diversity National Grant and Scholarship Program

US Lacrosse is committed to improving, encouraging and empowering the development of lacrosse participation in underrepresented communities. This commitment includes NEW GRANT OPPORTUNITES as well as Education Advancement Scholarships.

New Grant Opportunities:

  • Girls of Color Initiative
  • Urban Outreach
  • Community Impact Programming
  • Event Support
  • Disability Access Opportunities

 

There are scholarships available called the Educational Advancement Scholarships.

For more information and applications (available soon), see the USL website:

Diversity National Grant & Scholarship Program

 
North Carolinian to play for Team Turkey in the World Games - Saturday, March 29, 2014

NC Chapter of US Lacrosse Webman Beau McCaffray recently played Q and A with Caner "Jon Jon " Newton, possibly the only NC native playing in this July's Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Lacrosse Championships (38 nations) in Denver and definitely the only NC native playing for Turkey!

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NC US Lacrosse Grant Winners! - Monday, November 25, 2013

 The following NC organizations were awarded Soft Lacrosse equipment this past fall by USL:

  • Communities in Schools of Moore County - Pinehurst, N.C.
  • Lawndale Swim & Tennis Club - Greensboro, N.C.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Wake County - Wake Forest, N.C.
  • Davie Family YMCA - Mocksville, N.C.
  • AH Bangert Elementary School - New Bern, N.C.
 
Congratulations to the NC organizations which won First Stick grants from US Lacrosse this past fall:
 
NC Youth Programs:
  • Charlotte Secondary School (Boys)– Charlotte, N.C.
  • Tribal Sovereignty Inc Black River (Boys) – Dunn, N.C.
  • Tribal Sovereignty Inc Cumberland County (Boys)- Cumberland County, N.C.
  • Tribal Sovereignty Inc Drowning Creek (Boys) - Pembroke, N.C.
  • Tribal Sovereignty Inc Haliwa-Saponi (Boys)  – Hollister, N.C.
  • Virgo Preparatory Academy (Girls and Boys) – Wilmington, N.C
 
NC High School Program:
  • Voyager Academy (Boys) - Durham, N.C.