TUKWILA – When the University of Notre Dame takes the lacrosse field here Oct. 18, it will challenge a U.S. Men’s National Team that includes a familiar face: Drew Snider, O’Dea High School’s lacrosse coach.
“It means a lot to play in front of my family and friends,” said Snider, a professional lacrosse player and parishioner at St. Anne Parish in Seattle, where he grew up. The game in Tukwila will be the first time the midfielder has played a competitive game locally since his senior year of high school.
“This kid is the real deal … he’s the Russell Wilson of lacrosse,” said Mike McQuaid, a member of St. James Cathedral Parish and sports information director for the state chapter of US Lacrosse, which is sponsoring the third annual Seatown Classic exhibition game.
Snider, who attended St. Anne School, started playing lacrosse in middle school. He continued during his high school years at O’Dea — but played for Seattle’s Garfield High School since O’Dea didn’t have a lacrosse team. Snider went on to play lacrosse at the University of Maryland and now plays for the Denver Outlaws of the National Lacrosse League. Scoring the game-winning goal in the league’s 2014 championship game was “one of the best experiences of my life,” he said.
Snider is also the founder and president of CitySide Lacrosse, which offers youth lacrosse lessons and leagues.
Drew Snider gathers his team around during O’Dea High School’s inaugural lacrosse game in March 2014. The team won five games in its first season. Photo: Michael Jardine/US Lacrosse
First played by Native Americans, lacrosse is one of the state’s fastest-growing high school sports. Nine Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle now have programs, including Archbishop Murphy in Everett, whose first team will take the field in spring 2015. “I’m proud of the way the archdiocese has embraced lacrosse,” McQuaid said.
When Snider was a student at O’Dea, his father, Kris Snider, asked athletic director Monte Kohler to start a lacrosse team. When the time finally came to establish a team in the spring of 2014, Kohler asked Snider to coach. “We’re blessed to have him here,” Kohler said.
Snider said it has been “a glad honor” to start O’Dea’s lacrosse program. It’s “hard to build a culture from scratch,” he said, but the team won five games in its first season. “O’Dea will win the [Division II] state championship this year,” he predicted. In five years, he wants his O’Dea squad to be competing with the state’s top lacrosse teams, in Division I of the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association.
The sport is also fast-growing at the collegiate level. McQuaid said many NCAA programs are recruiting in Washington state, with a growing number of students from local Catholic high schools signed to play for NCAA or other collegiate teams.
Kevin Corrigan, Notre Dame’s head lacrosse coach, said the Seatown Classic is a chance to show off his university and its lacrosse program to the growing pool of local lacrosse players. “There is more depth of talent there than before,” Corrigan said. “All the things that need to be in place for an area to really start being a contributor to top college rosters are happening.”
Seatown Classic men’s lacrosse
University of Notre Dame vs. Team USA: Team USA finished second to Canada in the 2014 world championships. The Fighting Irish fell to Duke in the 2014 NCAA championship.
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18
Where: Starfire Sports, 14800 Starfire Way, Tukwila
Tickets: $25 per person, kids 6 and under free
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