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Varsity Coaches Unite In Oakland To Launch Lacrosse Club Team

Northern Highlands Varsity Lacrosse Coach Mike Menzella puts some pressure on an athlete during tryouts for X-Treme Lax Factory's Club Team on Sept. 20.
Northern Highlands Varsity Lacrosse Coach Mike Menzella puts some pressure on an athlete during tryouts for X-Treme Lax Factory's Club Team on Sept. 20. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Indian Hills Lacrosse Coach Mike Carti practices shooting before X-Treme Lax Factory's club team tryouts on Sept. 20.
Indian Hills Lacrosse Coach Mike Carti practices shooting before X-Treme Lax Factory's club team tryouts on Sept. 20. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Mahwah Varsity Lacrosse Coach Brian Girardi demonstrates a throw during X-Treme Lax Factory Club Team's tryouts on Sept. 20.
Mahwah Varsity Lacrosse Coach Brian Girardi demonstrates a throw during X-Treme Lax Factory Club Team's tryouts on Sept. 20. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine

OAKLAND, N.J. — Girls Varsity Lacrosse Coach Mike Carti of Indian Hills High School is teaming up with Bergen County colleagues to launch X-Treme Lax Factory's first club team out of the NJ Sports House in Oakland.

Players in 5th through 8th grade will improve their skills and play club teams in surrounding areas guided by Carti, Mahwah High School Coach Brian Girardi and Northern Highlands Coach Mike Menzella beginning next month.

"There are so many club teams in Central and South Jersey," Girardi said, "so we decided to start one up here."

Feeder programs in towns such as Ridgewood, Summit and Chatham breed some of the strongest athletes in the area, Girardi said. He hopes X-Treme Lax Factory's program will augment local talent with the combined knowledge of all three coaches.

"You go to other counties and you don't get varsity coaches coaching club teams," Carti said. "It's usually college kids or girls just out of high school."A lot of my parents don't like that."

Carti wants to get more girls out on the turf and honing their skills, even if it means beating the other coaches during lacrosse season.

"It's hard when you lose any game," Carti said, "But playing against each other is fun because you’re knowing you’re playing against good teams and good girls."

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