IMG Academy Fields Its First Lacrosse Team

BRADENTON, Fla. (June 20, 2012) – In March, IMG Academy announced its intent to field an Academy lacrosse team for the 2012-13 season. Aspiring lacrosse players with hometowns spanning from Florida to Canada immediately took notice, electing to enroll for the upcoming fall semester.

In addition to fielding his first team, Bill Shatz, head coach and director of the lacrosse program, will debut ‘DoubleCrosse.’ The new offensive system, developed by Shatz, is engineered to generate defensive confusion as offensive players attack the goal in a variety of creative ways.

“As one of the only academic institutions in the world to offer both box and field training, and integrate player skills development with intensive performance training, we felt that it was a great time to respond to the growing demand from our young athletes and their families to offer an Academy program similar to IMG’s other sports,” remarked Shatz. “Now, we have an immensely-experienced coaching staff, an exciting philosophy towards player development, a unique offensive system, and some extremely talented players joining us. It’s a very exciting time for the IMG Academy lacrosse program.”

Some of the inaugural team members include:

Ryan Dance (Tampa, Fla., Senior, Midfielder) brings eight years of playing experience to the lacrosse program. Dance was a team captain, 1st Team All League and 1st Team All District his junior year. He has been playing elite lacrosse for five years for the Fire Lacrosse Club’s U-19 team. His overall performance earned him a spot on Team Florida’s top U-19 team in 2012.

Parker Smith (Memphis, Tenn., Senior, Goalie) has been playing lacrosse since 8th grade. As a three-year starter, Smith has distinguished himself as one of the top goalies in the region. Selected as Most Improved in 2011, Smith earned team MVP honors as team captain during his junior season and was selected by area coaches to the All-Metro team.

Cody Gray (Lithia, Fla., Senior, Attacker/Midfielder) is a naturally gifted and intuitive athlete and lacrosse player who began playing as a high school freshmen, and earned a starting position by his junior season. A multi-sport athlete, Gray played football for three years, excelling as a wide receiver and running back.

Sal Trinchetto (Sarasota, Fla., Junior, Attacker) began playing youth lacrosse when he was 10-years old. He earned a spot on the Fire Lacrosse Club’s U-15 squad and moved up to the U-17 and U-19 teams with the Fire in his freshman and sophomore years. At the high school level, Trinchetto lettered in varsity lacrosse during both his freshman and sophomore years.

Nick Katz (Old Tappan, NJ, Junior, Midfielder) returns to the IMG Lacrosse Academy for his junior season. A midfielder with tremendous speed and on-the-run shooting skill, Nick plays for the U-17 Leading Edge elite lacrosse program in New Jersey.

Craig Willoughby (Peterborough, Canada, Defense) is a defensive specialist who has played box lacrosse for the Whitby Warriors in Canada. His aggressive style of play based on his box training was instrumental toward his selection to Team Florida in 2012.

Tyler Snyder (Bradenton, Fla., Sophomore, Midfielder) is a product of the Duxbury youth program in Massachusetts where he began playing lacrosse at the age of seven. He played varsity lacrosse as a midfielder, leading the position in points and faceoff % for the team that finished 2nd in the district championships in 2011. Snyder was recently named to the Team Florida U-15 national squad that will be competing for the national title at the ESPN U15 National Championship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Jackson Costello (Tampa, Fla., Sophomore, Attacker/Midfielder) began playing at the age of seven. He’s played elite lacrosse competitively for the Fire Lacrosse Club since its inception in 2007, and started on the varsity team as a high school freshman.

Lacrosse student-athletes will receive the unique academic and athletic integrative experience for which IMG Academy is known. Utilizing a college-style A/B schedule that involves school for half of the day and sport training for the other half, students are provided an ideal environment for maximizing performance both in the classroom and on the field.

In 2012, IMG Academy sent more than 60% of its student-athletes to Division I schools. The national high school average is less than 2%. Additionally, more than $1.5 million in first-year academic and athletic scholarships was awarded to IMG’s120+ graduating student-athletes.

For more information about the IMG Academy lacrosse program, visit: and select ‘Lacrosse.’ For specific questions or to register for the program, contact: Mike Milliron, [email protected].

About IMG Academy

IMG Academy, a division of IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, is the world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex. For more than 30 years, IMG Academy has helped countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in and out of sport, by providing world-class coaching, tailored programs and professional facilities within an energetic environment across a 450-acre campus.

Today the Bradenton, Fla.-based campus attracts 30,000 athletes from nearly 100 countries annually. IMG Academy offers youth camp and academy programs in baseball, basketball, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer and tennis, in addition to training opportunities for professional athletes, teams and leagues. IMG also runs a series of events on its campus and throughout the country on an annual basis.

For more information about IMG camps, programs and events, please visit our website at

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