Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

July 28, 2017 — A superprep gets its foundation

With enormous facilities, plenty of backing from a major athletic wear company, and a stellar reputation for developing young athletes in endeavors from tennis to football, Bradenton IMG Academy (Fla.) could have hand-picked a U.S. national team member or a collegiate coach to start its first girls’ varsity program.

Instead, the management has settled on a proven builder. Over the last two decades, Kim Russell has launched high-school teams, club programs, and even the Division III program at Baldwin-Wallace.

“For the last two decades, I have been able to live my passion by helping student-athletes develop, and reach their full potential on and off the field,” Russell said in a news release. “It’s an incredibly rewarding challenge to launch a new program and with amazing resources, facilities and foundation for lacrosse at IMG, we will hit the ground running.”

The task for Russell, however, is not limited to the 20 to 25 players who will play varsity under the Florida High School Athletic Association umbrella. That’s because IMG is a “super prep,” one which receives visiting teams as well as students from all over the country.

The girls’ lacrosse program will be no different; the incoming players will go right into non-scholastic tournaments and college recruiting showcases before beginning varsity play in February.

It’s a daunting task, but Russell will have the responsibility for bringing this potential giant to life.

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