Tag Archives: Atlanta Youth Lacrosse

Pretty Cool Stuff

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I recently received this letter (see below) from the Atlanta Blaze and former Atlanta Youth Lacrosse Alumni Scott Ratliff.  I am thrilled to be mentioned in the letter as the author Scott Ratliff holds a special place in my heart.

I have coached thousands of players over the last 35  years and many of them are truly remarkable people.  Some went on to be be great college players some became doctors, teachers, chefs, business owners, attorneys, writers, lacrosse coaches, officials and many have and are currently serving in the military.   I think about them all often and some of them have become close friends and colleagues.

Scott is someone that I point to all the time as it relates to his work ethic and desire to improve every day.

To now have a pro-team in Atlanta with a young man that started in our program as a forth grader is quite the accomplishment.

I had the pleasure of coaching against Scott a few weeks ago and the student took it to the teacher in a convincing victory.  Losing is never easy but to lose to someone who you respect and admire and honors the game all the time and has a passion for teaching it to young men…well it made the loss a little more bearable.

Good luck to Scott and the Blaze and lets bring a Championship caliber team to Atlanta.

So come out next week and support Scott and the Blaze on April 23 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.  Click on the Blaze Logo and I hope to see you there.

See ya on the field…Coach Lou

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In one week, Saturday, April 23rd, my dream of playing professional lacrosse in front of my hometown fans will come true when I take the field for the Atlanta Blaze.

My name is Scott Ratliff and when I was 4 years old I moved to the Camden Place subdivision in East Cobb, Georgia. That same year, my dad put a lacrosse stick in my hands and almost instantly I fell in love with it.  I remember running around my backyard, dodging the pine trees and branches to score the game winning goal countless times.  I would call out “Scott Ratliff, from Atlanta, Georgia, takes the shot and scores!” By the time I entered middle school, being a lacrosse player was my identity, but as I grew older and the sport began to take me in different directions, my identity changed. I went from Scott Ratliff the kid who plays lacrosse, to Scott Ratliff the lacrosse player from Georgia, and I could not be more proud of that.

My official playing days started in the Atlanta Youth Lacrosse Organization where Lou Corsetti, Chris Kelly, and my father Randy Ratliff coached me. From there I moved on to play for Tim Pritts and John Holthouse at Walton High School and for Rich Wehman and Ed Solar with Trident Lacrosse in the summers. All of these coaches had one thing in common, they loved this sport and they gave back to it by helping grow the game here in Atlanta.

I moved on to play college lacrosse at a small liberal arts school in Baltimore called Loyola University. Surrounded by players from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland, I was proud to represent a city and a lacrosse community that I knew was special.  In 2012 we made a run and won the Division 1 National Championship in front of 30,000 fans at Gillette Stadium. The support I received from former teammates, coaches, and friend’s back home was overwhelming. Suddenly I was being celebrated for playing a sport that hardly anyone in Georgia even knew about just a handful of years earlier. This experience motivated me to return to Atlanta and give back to the sport the same way my coaches had, by promoting its growth and sharing my passion for it with kids.   LB3 Lacrosse gave me the opportunity to do that two years ago and I have not looked back since. The sport here has blossomed and participation has sky rocketed, you can’t drive anywhere in this city without seeing a goal in a driveway or a lacrosse bumper sticker on a car. This explosion has not gone unnoticed; owner Peter Trematerra decided to put a Major League Lacrosse franchise, the Atlanta Blaze, right in our own backyard.

On January 20th 2016, just minutes before the collegiate draft, the Atlanta Blaze made my dreams become a reality when they acquired me from the Boston Cannons. Now my Blaze teammates and I will have a chance to represent this lacrosse community on the biggest stage. The Blaze is a team full of guys, who like me, are so passionate about this sport that we will sacrifice countless hours to try and reach our maximum potential in hopes of inspiring a future generation of lacrosse players. Major League Lacrosse is not the NFL or the NBA, we don’t get paid millions of dollars and we don’t show up on SportsCenter on a nightly basis. We do this for the love of the sport and we could not be more excited to do this for a city that has proven it loves the sport as much as we do. The passion of the lacrosse community in Georgia is what brought the MLL here, and that same passion is what will inspire this team to accomplish what many people don’t believe is possible. To bring an MLL Championship to the South, specifically to Cobb County Georgia, where this journey all started for me.

April 23rd the Blaze will kick off our Inaugural Season. The Blaze opener will be a celebration of Lacrosse and a tribute to all the people who have grown the game to where it is in Atlanta now; people Like Lou Corsetti, Rich Wehman, Tim Pritts, Liam Banks, Frank Daniels and many more. Through this celebration we will attempt to reach the masses, to continue to grow the game and showcase it in front of people who have never been exposed. The Blaze will play with energy and with passion and we will give everything we have to represent this community the way it deserves. And when we do that, we will not fail.

Please join us, on April 23rd when the Atlanta Blaze kicks off our 2016 Inaugural Season at Fifth Third Bank Stadium, the celebration is on! See you there.

Father & Son

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As many of us in the game of lacrosse have learned as a father and son and in my case vice a versa.  My son Gordon who is the Manager of Men’s Officials Education at US Lacrosse the Governing Body and Education leader of our sport.  I learn so much from him every time we talk and frankly he has made me a better coach.  I am really proud of him and the young man he has become.

Growing up I was the only kid in my neighborhood that played lacrosse at an early age.  Most of my peers played baseball when the spring roiled around.  Lacrosse got into my blood in the 7th grade and it has has been a wonderful journey ever since.  When I got in to coaching thirty plus years ago I did not think I would be where I am today.

Gordon and I have great discussions about the finer points of the game.  I cherish our talks about rules, players, coaches, parents and fans.  Gordon was a very good player growing up and one of the smartest I have been around.  He was not physically imposing as an LSM or close defender yet he understood his limitations was well as his strengths.  He thought several passes ahead before they actually happened.  He was a student of the game and trained very hard each and every season.

Like any father I miss watching him play but I so enjoy our conversations about the game.

In two weeks we will both be speaking at the US Lacrosse National Convention in Baltimore on January 22nd to the 24th.  You can follow us on Twitter at # Laxcon as well as Coach Lou.  This marks the 17th time I will be speaking at the National Convention and the third time Gordon and I will be speaking during the event.

The Lacrosse Convention is the largest gathering of Men’s and Women’s Coaches and Officials in the world with over 7000 attendees.  The event is always well run and to me it really begins the lacrosse season because you learn so much.

I know everyone has ups and downs in life but being part of something bigger than you is always a source of pride.  I look forward to seeing my son and many of my friends in the coaching and officiating world.

Wish us luck

 

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US Lacrosse…always playing by the rules!

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My son Gordon who runs officiating training for US Lacrosse in Baltimore recently published a face-off video (listed below) with Greg Gurenlian The 2015 MVP of the MLL.

Greg who runs Face-Off Academy is arguably one of the best face-off players in the world.  What is more impressive is he won the 2015 USL/MLL Sportsmanship Player of the Year.  This is important to note because in the video he shows officials how they can spot a cheater at the Face-Off X.

I think Greg did a wonderful job in this video because he is showing officials and players how to recognize someone that is breaking the rules.  Sports are difficult enough without someone trying to tarnish the image of the game by bending the rules and “Cheating”.

While I have never met Greg personally I think it is refreshing that he points out these rule infractions for everyone to see.  I am sure he has faced-off thousands of times and seen many of these methods.

US Lacrosse our governing body as well as the education experts in our sport do a terrific job teaching the fundamentals the right way and playing by the rules.  Atlanta Youth Lacrosse are tireless supporters of the US Lacrosse mission as well as playing the game the right way.

Our motto “Fun, Fundamentals, Sportsmanship and Honoring the Game” are the cornerstones of our program.

Lets give a big thank you to Greg, Gordon and US Lacrosse for doing things the right way!