Philip Petersen - EVHS 2020 graduate. He will be playing midfield at Howard Community College in Baltimore, MD. He is a box and outdoor VVLC coach. “The club most definitely positively impacted my life. I always wanted to go out and play because the club made it fun. We had amazing coaches that made practices exciting. Not only were the practices fun, the level of play was elevated and we succeeded in most of our tournaments. I think that if I didn’t have the club to help me gain a love for the game I would not be in the same position that I am in now. I probably wouldn’t be playing college lacrosse and the opportunities that I have had in doing so would not be there. I am very thankful for those who put together this club and I hope that it can stay the way it was when I was going through it so that more kids can have the opportunities that I did.”
Ryan Cole - VMS 2017-2019, Valor Christian 2021 graduate, signed with Division I Merrimack College in Andover, MA. Ryan started playing lacrosse with VVLC U-12 on the blue team. He worked hard and made the more competitive red team. His U13 and U15 teams played at the regional and national levels and he played in the World Youth Games in Denver in 2014. He continued to thrive and improve in the program under the coaching tutelage of Chris Powell, Eli Edelman and Brian Welch. “I am fortunate that I had Vail Lax to teach me the sound fundamentals of the game of lacrosse through great coaching and competition. On every team I was on at VVLC, we lost games and won games, but we were always learning and improving, which for me is more important than wins or losses.” Ryan stayed with Vail Lax throughout the entire program and when he entered high school, he made the Denver Elite Club Lacrosse team. “I’m glad I didn’t go to an upper-level program too soon. Staying with Vail Lax gave me a fun and competitive environment to improve my game. Their coaching staff is incredible, and it definitely set me up well for the next level of my club and high school career.”
Jayme Belyea - BMHS 2020. Currently plays Division II lacrosse at Lynn University in Bock Raton, Florida. Jayme coached for VVLC during his high school years.. “The club was the program that made me fall in love with lacrosse. The coaches pushed me so that I could be the best player and person that I could be. Without this club, I probably wouldn’t still be playing lacrosse.”
Zane Hensel - BMHS 2017 North Dakota State University Club team - won the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) national championship. “I have played lacrosse for 15 years, the first eight years with Vail Lax. I’m pretty sure it was the first season that Vail Lax started.” He has coached a little bit but plans on looking for coaching opportunities after he finishes school.
Jeremy Sforzo - Howard Community College, Baltimore, MD then Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA
“My favorite quote is, ‘Hard work beats talent when talent isn't working hard.’ I am not sure where it originated, but my head coach in high school, Pat Doherty needs to be credited with telling this to the team consistently throughout my four years. Another one of my favorite quotes is Gretsky's famous, ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don't take’ quote. I have found that both of these quotes above relate to all aspects of life, not just lacrosse, whether it's in school, or a work environment both of these quotes relate to everyday scenarios.
I graduated from Battle Mountain in 2018, from there I went on to play at Howard Community College in Maryland at the NJCAA (Junior College) level for two years. Recently, I just transferred to Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania at the NCAA Division 2 level, which is where I am currently.
Any opportunity I have to coach I have always done my best to take it. In the summer of 2019 I helped a former teammate's brother start a new club program in North Eastern Pennsylvania known as the NEPA Rattlers. Additionally, I have helped coach clinics with Vail Lax, been a part of practices and have volunteered to help out with 10th Mountain Lax as well as Battle Mountain, and this past summer I also had an opportunity to coach a lacrosse camp with 8150 Lacrosse through VRD.”
Riley Nestlerode - EVHS 2011-2014, The Hun School of Princeton 2014-2016, University of Vermont 2017. Riley credits the VVLC for fostering and cultivating his love of lacrosse. He coached for the VVLC when possible from 2012-2018.
“I started playing lacrosse in third grade on what was the first youth program in the valley. I played at Eagle Valley High School and commuted to Denver to play club ball. I was then presented the opportunity to play at Hun School in Princeton, NJ, one of the top prep schools in the country. While I was at the Hun School, my team won two state titles and we were ranked second in the nation. During my junior year, we made it to the championships. My senior year, I signed with The University of Vermont, a Division I school.”
Some of Riley’s favorite quotes: “Teams that play together, for one another with selflessness, will always be victorious.” “Playing defense is not about being reactive, it’s about being proactive.”
Sawyer Nestlerode - BMHS varsity and All State Award before attending The Hun School of Princeton. He and his teammates were the Prep 1A State Champions.
George Smirl - EVHS goalie, University of Debuque, Dubuque, IA
Drew Veratti - VMS 2013, became an engineer, still plays in men’s league, returned to the valley and now coaches VVLC players.
Luke Veratti - played Division III then transferred to University of Colorado at Boulder and plays on the club team
Tyler Hancock - RIT, Rochester Institute of Technology, Division II school in Rochester, NY
Henry “Hank” Hancock - VMS 2020, University of Montana, Missoula
Connor Underwood - University of Oregon, Eugene, OR and The University of Colorado at Boulder
Joe Hall - Colorado School of Mines, Denver, CO
Max Schramm - BMHS 2016, Concordia University, Mequon, WI
Zach Trombetta - BMHS goalie 2014, Limestone University, Gaffney, SC
Christian Nichols - BMHS 2012, team president and captain at Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Siena Miller - BMHS goalie 2016, University of Mount Olive, Mount Olive, NC. She has come back and coached VVLC players.