The 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships is set to begin on July 12, 2018 in Netanya, Israel, and IMG Academy lacrosse alumni and coaches will be highly prevalent throughout several teams. The global environment of IMG Academy's campus will be felt across the world with five alumni and two coaches proudly boasting their countries in Israel. Mark Burnham, IMG Academy lacrosse coach, was named the head coach for the Iroquois National Team. With a decorated resume, Burnham's complete announcement can be read HERE. Also competing on the Iroquois roster will be Tehoka Nanticoke (attack, class of 2017, Albany), Liam Anderson (defense, class of 2017, Cornell), and Tyler Armstrong (goalie, class of 2017.)
All three players competed in the 2017 GEICO High School Nationals, where the team also earned a Top-10 national ranking. Nanticoke has earned fame with three SportsCenter Top 10 appearances as well as a multitude of accomplishments both through IMG Academy and during his freshman year at Albany. Named to the Tewaaraton Trophy Watch List, a five-time America East Rookie of the Week and one-time Offensive Player of the Week, and finishing in the top-30 in D1 in goals per game (13th), points per game (15th), and assists per game (28th), this former Ascender looks towards the world championship to further excel and showcase his skills.
Jason Levesque, IMG Academy lacrosse coach, will be seen as an assistant coach for the Canadian National Team during this week's tournament as well. Levesque competed in the 2016 FIL Men's World Championships and seeks to lead this year's team to a monumental standing. He was also an assistant on the 2016 U19 team and the 2014 senior team, who defeated the defending world champions, USA, 8-5 in Colorado.
John (Trey) Kailunas III (defense, class of 2015, Detroit Mercy) will be competing for the Latvian National Team. After attending Marymount University for two years, Kailunas transferred to the University of Detroit Mercy. He qualified as an alternate on the Latvian National Team for the 2016 European Championships at 17 and will now wear the jersey proudly to represent Latvia. From his days as an Ascender, Kailunas' stats can be seen below:
2015 IMG Varsity Stats (17 games)
Goals – 3
Assists – 3
Shots - 7
SOG – 9
Ground Balls – 49
Caused Turnovers – 15
Checks – 15
Kailunas made a lasting impact on the IMG Academy program, and lacrosse coach Jason Basso is incredibly proud of this former Ascender's accomplishments.
"He is a great young man, well-spoken and a great representative of our program," Basso said. "He was one of the most athletic players we had in the entire program. Trey has a tremendous work ethic and always did things with a smile and appreciation for the people around him. He takes great pride in his work, and I’m extremely proud to see what he has accomplished so far. I believe he will continue to excel at the college level."
The final alumnus competing for his country's national team is Mike Zaharchenko (class of 2018, Fordham.) Zaharchenko worked closely with Basso during his three years as an Ascender.
"He was a great team player and improved tremendously over his time here," Basso. "To see Mike grow as a person and player and to be able to make the Russian National Team is an incredible accomplishment for him. To be able to represent your country at the highest level of international lacrosse is a great honor, and hopefully he can continue to represent his country and help grow the game of lacrosse around the world."
From July 12th-21st, these alumni and coaches will be competing for a chance to bring home the biggest trophy in the sport. For complete results, scores, and schedules, visit the event page HERE.
Full schedules and results: http://worldlacrosse2018.com