August 16, 2013

Seattle-Bred Snider to be First Coach of O'Dea (Wash.)

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | McLaughlin Archive

Denver Outlaws midfielder Drew Snider has been named the first boys' lacrosse coach of O'Dea (Wash.) High.
© Trevor Brown

Drew Snider's lacrosse career has already come full circle in a way.

The 25-year-old Snider, the Denver Outlaws midfielder and Lacrosse Magazine's August cover subject who on Thursday was named Major League Lacrosse's Most Improved Player, will be the first boys' lacrosse coach at O'Dea (Wash.) High, the school announced, also on Thursday.

O'Dea is Snider's high school alma mater, but the Seattle-area Catholic school didn't have a lacrosse program when Snider attended.

He instead played his high school ball at tiny Garfield (Wash.) High before a prep year at Loomis Chaffee (Conn.) and a college career at Maryland.

He's now in his second year with the Outlaws, who on Saturday completed MLL's first perfect regular season with a 14-0 record. Snider posted 46 points and 31 goals, ranking seventh and sixth in the MLL, respectively, after a rookie year in which he had 12 points and played mainly defensive midfield. The Outlaws seek their first MLL title Aug. 24-25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

When Snider was in high school, his father Kris, a former Virginia All-American in the 1970s and executive board member of the US Lacrosse Washington Chapter, approached the O'Dea administration and offered to start a lacrosse program. But O'Dea wanted to wait until the state sanctioned the sport. That still hasn't happened but other schools in the area have since added lacrosse and the community showed "considerable interest," in the sport, according to the school, thus pushing O'Dea to add as well.

O'Dea initially planned to play its first season in 2013 but could not find a coach. The timing worked out for Snider's hire for the spring of 2014.

In the meantime, Drew Snider last spring replaced his father as head coach of another Seattle-area school, Nathan Hale (Wash.), and led the boys team to a state Division 2 title, a day after he scored five goals in a 24-14 win over the Boston Cannons in Denver.

At Nathan Hale, Snider's dad was his assistant and his younger brother, Will, was a junior on the team and scored with 33 seconds left in the 7-6 state title game win. They beat Garfield, the program Snider played for, in the championship game.

"It was real intense," Snider said of working on the sideline. "My heart was beating, but it was bittersweet."

Snider has also started a instructional company, CitySideLax, with Eastlake (Wash.) High coach, Denver Outlaws teammate and Vancouver Stealth defender Chris O'Dougherty. The intent is to develop city talent and youth programs to fuel high school participation.

"I'd just like to spread the game," Snider said. "It's still a small sport, relatively. I see myself in this game for a while, just keep improving myself individually and keep improving the game around the nation, is my goal. Seattle is such a small little group, but it's got some decent lacrosse. There have been a few guys that have gone places and come back."

Including him.


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