IMG Academy lacrosse program reloads with top talent from across North America following high-scoring inaugural season

Bradenton, Fla. (May 31, 2013) – IMG Academy has announced new additions to its lacrosse team, which finished the 2012-13 season with an impressive 11-1 record, including three exhibition match wins against top national programs and a major university’s junior varsity team.

Reflecting on the program’s impressive inaugural record, Bill Shatz, IMG Academy’s Director of Lacrosse, remarked, “With the addition of talented players from across North America to our core of returning starters, in combination with our experienced coaching staff, comprehensive approach toward player development, and unique offensive system, we’re aiming even higher next season.”

In its first season, IMG Academy developed and debuted ‘DoubleCrosse,’ an innovative offensive system based on the integration of box lacrosse skills and concepts with the principles of the field version of the sport. Using the system, which is designed to generate defensive confusion by attacking the goal with non-stop creative read-and-react movement, IMG Academy’s offense led the country in scoring for the 2013 high school season. Statistically, the team was a model of efficiency, scoring on more than a third of its possessions (33.8%), while limiting its opponents to a meager 12.2% scoring efficiency.

New arrivals to the program include:

Marc-Antoine Pion-Fregeau (Quebec, Canada/Senior/Defense) – Considered by many the top defenseman in Canada, Pion has been recognized by Inside Lacrosse as one of Canada’s ten best players in the class of 2014. As a member of one of North America’s best elite club lacrosse teams, the Edge Elite, he was the first player from Quebec ever recruited by the club and was named to the Great Lakes Tournament All-Star Team as a member of the East Ontario Team. Playing for his previous high school team, College Jean-de-Brebeuf, Pion was selected to the region’s All-Star Team. Pion will play for Team Quebec U-19 in the Canadian Championships this summer.

Massimo Bucci (Ithaca, N.Y./Junior/Midfield) – One of the top underclassman middies in New York, Bucci comes to IMG Academy from the perennially nationally-ranked Ithaca High School program that reached the New York State Class-A championship game in 2011 and 2012. Bucci, whose older brother Joseph plays lacrosse collegiately for Georgetown University, received the Attorney General’s Triple C award for Character, Commitment and Courage while playing for the CNY Roadhawks Elite travel team.
Jamie Shakaienkwarathon (meaning: Disappearing Mist) Cougar Kirby (Kahnawake Iroquois Nation/Junior/Midfield/Attack) – Kirby is an offensive standout who joins IMG Academy from the Kahnawake Iroquois Nation. Kirby has been recognized by Inside Lacrosse as one of Canada’s 25 best players in the class of 2014 with a ranking of 15th. He was born in British Columbia and had already won the B.C provincial championship with his team by the age of nine. Kirby played for Team Quebec Under-16 as well as Kahnawake’s minor field lacrosse team. Kirby will be playing with Iroquois Nation’s Junior team leading up to the World Championship in 2016.

Taylor Boyd (Quebec, Canada/Senior/Attack) – Boyd is a highly-decorated offensive standout who started playing lacrosse for the Westmount Lynx where he has been a three-year captain. Boyd served as team captain of Team Quebec’s box team and their U-16 Nationals field team. Boyd was recently named as one of the first five players selected to Team Quebec U-19. For the past two years, Boyd has been selected to the prestigious 3D Blue Chip Camp. Boyd will play for Team Quebec U-19 in the Canadian Championships this summer.

Jared Fernandez (Tampa, Fla./Freshman/Defense) – Fernandez hails from New Jersey, and is recognized as a fast and versatile defensive specialist, playing both the long-stick and base defense positions. A two-sport athlete, Fernandez honed his physical style of play on the football field prior to dedicating his high school sport development interests exclusively on lacrosse. He has been competing at the elite level for four years and has played in a variety of high-profile national events, gaining experience and attention as an up-and-coming student-athlete.

Shakohawi (meaning: “He’s Leading the People”) Kirby (Mohawk Reserve, Kahnawake/Junior/Midfield) – Kirby is a two-sport athlete who has been playing lacrosse since the age of four. A hard-shooting left-handed midfielder, Kirby was a member of the Iroquois National field and box teams in 2012. He also played on Team Quebec’s field and box teams, and will be competing with them at this year’s Canadian Nationals. Additionally, Kirby plays for the Kahnawake Junior B Hunters, a team projected as a contender for the Founder’s Cup.

Turner Allison (Pointe-Claire, Quebec/Junior/Attack) – Heading into his sophomore season, Allison has established a reputation throughout Canada as a strong finisher and impact player on attack. At the U-16 Canadian Box Nationals, Allison served as captain of Team Quebec and finished ninth overall in scoring. He followed up that performance by finishing sixth overall in scoring as a member of Team Quebec U-16 at the Canadian Field Nationals.

The IMG Academy lacrosse program is unique in its approach to player development. The program is the first in the U.S. to integrate box and field lacrosse training, and is also one of the first in the world to tailor its training regimen based on data and analyses collected by IMG Academy performance staff and partners like Motus Global and the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI). Motus quantitatively analyzes joint mobility and stability using 3D motion capture technology, helping the medical staff red-flag potential injuries before they occur. GSSI evaluates the physiology and metabolism of each athlete so that the staff can better understand how to tailor their training to maximize each athlete’s potential with a focus on the needs of correct nutrition and hydration.”

For more information about the IMG Academy lacrosse program, visit

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1 Comment

  1. TonyPerkis on June 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    i’d attribute the fact that most of this team’s opponents received USLacrosse equipment grants to their ability score on 33% of possessions

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