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May 2, 2011

The Emmanuel College's Men's Lacrosse Program concluded its final year of club status and has already begun looking forward to its inaugural varsity season next year. "This year was a great opportunity for us to begin to introduce the sport a bit here at Emmanuel. I expect a good number of the current club players to be apart of next year's varsity team," said Head Coach Brendan McWilliams.

The opportunity to be part of building a tradition is one that current first year attackman Brian O'Regan (Milton, Mass./Milton) is looking forward to. "I am thrilled to have the chance to be a part of Emmanuel College's new Division III varsity program next year. I also look forward to interacting with other colleges in the area, while getting the Emmanuel name out there as a respectful and challenging lacrosse program."

Current junior midfielder Eddie Thy (Portland, Me./Deering) is excited about taking the next step with the program as well. "I'm looking forward to competing at the varsity level. It's been a long process and to finally have the opportunity to play and represent Emmanuel College in the first-ever varsity lacrosse program is an honor. We've put in a lot of hard work and it will be nice to see how our work is displayed on the field next year."

During the 2011 club season this spring, the men's team had the opportunity to compete against a number of local college club programs. The Saints also hosted several contests both in the non-traditional Fall season, as well as in the Spring, on Emmanuel's home turf at Roberto Clemente Field. When asked how the team handled the competition this year Coach McWilliams added, "As a first year club program with varying levels of experience, I thought the team showed a tremendous amount of determination throughout the year. I think this year was an important part of the process and that we have outlined a direction for the program when we go Division III this coming fall."

The team also had the opportunity to work with Assistant Athletic Director and Head Athletic Trainert Ron Laham and his staff on a strength and conditioning program. The student-athletes utilizing the program took full advantage of the newly renovated weightroom in Saint Joseph's Hall. "Its important that we established an expectation this year that being a part of this program means doing all the things that it takes to be competitive. We are lucky that we have an athletic training staff that is willing to work with us as we grow as a team. We need to be committed to a strength and conditioning routine in order to compete and every club player and recruit coming to Emmanuel next year knows that."

With the final offseason underway before the first days of varsity practice this fall, Coach McWilliams and his staff are preparing for what will be a busy recruiting spring and summer. Coach McWilliams' enthusiasm for the program is clear. "Working at Emmanuel through this initial process of introducing the sport has been rewarding and challenging. What I am really looking forward to now though, is rolling the balls out on that first day of practice in the Fall."