Phil Connolly is a native of Garden City, NY where he first learned about and got hooked with the game of lacrosse. He played lacrosse at the US Military Academy Prep School and at West Point as a defenseman.
After graduation from West Point with a commission as an Infantry Officer, Phil was stationed in Monterey, CA where he joined the Monterey LC for two seasons. There he played with and became friends with Dr. Mike Gottlieb (NORCAL HOF 2010). In addition, he competed against many players who he would later coach against and work with - in fueling the growth of lacrosse in NORCAL. He then volunteered for an assignment with the Army Rangers and later stationed outside of Atlanta, he found time to play for the Atlanta, LC.
Phil returned to the Bay Area in in 1993 and his family ultimately settled in Danville. After running into George Pereira (NORCAL HOF 2012), he learned that he was starting a new lacrosse club and looking for help and coaches. Phil was immediately on-board and started coaching the ‘Bobblehead’ players with a high school friend Peter Worstell (NORCAL HOF 2006). Phil’s coaching career with the Scorpion Club lasting 15 years. He also joined the Board of Directors and served as President of the Club from 2005 to 2010. As President, Phil continued to enforce the founding philosophies of the Scorpion program which included respect for the game, players, officials and encouraging the playing of multiple sports along with a focus on training coaches. Under his leadership, the Diablo Scorpion lacrosse club grew 60% to 800 players continuing its dominance as the largest lacrosse program for boys and girls in the Bay Area and in the State of California. Phil also coached Sniper and Blue Chip High School travel teams from 2012 to 2015.
Around the same time, Phil also actively volunteered as a Board member of the Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association (“NCJLA”) (2010-2018) and became President of the NCJLA in 2012 to 2014. There he focused his efforts to improve the NCJLA’s delivery of services to its membership by: formalizing Summer Workshop with its Clubs to get constructive feedback; created the Sportsmanship Incident Reports committee; and developed a close working relationship with its officials.
At the National Level, Phil was a member of US Lacrosse Boys Youth and Interscholastic Committee from 2010 to 2014. He became the Chairman of the Men’s Game Committee and an Executive Committee member of the Board of Directors from 2013 to 2014. There he continued to lead efforts emphasizing Sportsmanship across the country and how US Lacrosse could better assist its membership in growing the game – especially in non-traditional geographies.
Today Phil serves on the Advisory Council of the Oakland Lacrosse Club and acted as Tournament Director for Matt Oglesby’s (NORCAL HOF 2018) All West Lacrosse tournaments.
Phil is Chief Financial Officer for Nauto, Inc. in Palo Alto and lives in Danville with his wife Lizabeth. They have two children, Jared and Christian who both played on the Scorpion Lacrosse Club. Christian went on to play at Monte Vista High School and at CAL.
Blake grew up in Schenectady, NY and was introduced to the game of lacrosse in a 9th grade gym class at Guilderland Central High School – fairly late by Upstate New York standards. Blake & his twin brother, Cort, quickly fell in love with the sport and spent countless hours honing their skills in their suburban backyard. The larger-than-life players who they watched in a handful of televised NCAA lacrosse games became their earliest coaches, and that Guilderland backyard became their lacrosse classroom. After just 2 seasons of organized lacrosse, Blake was elected as a team captain in his senior season at Guilderland High School, and he was later inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. Blake & Cort went on to play college lacrosse together down the road from their home at the University at Albany. At the close of his NCAA career in the spring of 1992, Blake graduated as the school’s all-time leader in assists (currently 4th all-time), he was a 4-year starter, he was team captain in his senior year, and was later inducted into the University at Albany Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2018, Blake was honored as a member of the lacrosse program’s 50th Anniversary Team at the University at Albany.
For his contributions to the Capital District region in which he first learned the game, Blake was inducted into Adirondack Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2017.
Shortly after moving to the Bay Area in late 1999, Blake became involved in the post-collegiate club lacrosse seen as an attackman with the Barbary Coast (BC) Lacrosse Club, a tenure that has lasted for the better part of the last 20 years. As long-time, proud members of the BC family, Blake & Cort helped the club to NCLA championship seasons in 2004, 2007 & 2015, and California state titles in 2007 & 2015.
Blake & Cort have continued their playing careers as members of many top post-collegiate club teams around the globe in the past two decades, but Blake's proudest playing moment came at the 2002 World Lacrosse Championships in Perth, Australia. Blake & Cort played for the inaugural Korean National team, and the best part of their experience was having their father make the long trip to Perth to proudly support a lacrosse team from the nation of his birth.
Over the past 20 years, Blake has also helped to develop a generation of young lacrosse players at various camps & clinics around the country. In Northern CA, he has: directed & coached at Nike Lacrosse, All West Lacrosse & Be The Best Lacrosse Camps, coached at the NCJLA level with the Ross Valley Lacrosse Club (2003-2006) & Firehawks Lacrosse Club (2010-2017) [the latter of which was founded by 2016 HoF inductee, Doug Appleton], and he has served as a co-Head Coach (with Cort) of the NorCal U15 National Team (2009), a coach with the Oakland Lacrosse Club, and a Head Coach at the High School level. At Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton, Blake was named a US Lacrosse Regional High School Head Coach of the Year in 2011.
Blake has also presented on a variety of topics at the Northern CA Coaches Convention to help promote the education of other youth & high school coaches in the region.
The sport of lacrosse has played a significant part of Blake’s professional life. In 2005, Blake & Cort co-founded Talon Lacrosse to honor the tradition & history of lacrosse by re-inventing the wooden lacrosse stick with an innovative composite core. Easton-Bell Sports later acquired Talon, and both Blake & Cort were brought in to help build the new Easton Lacrosse division from the ground up.
Blake currently lives in the San Francisco where he continues to remain closely involved with the sport of lacrosse. He is about to enter his third year as Director of Lacrosse at the Menlo School in Atherton and he serves as the Head Coach of the Varsity Boys team there.
In 2014, Blake received the Nolan H. Rogers “Keeper of Lacrosse” Award by US Lacrosse, for playing in the Spirit of the Game, for honoring the Game’s traditions, for promoting honor, integrity & respect, and for encouraging good sportsmanship. These are qualities that have always been paramount to the way Blake plays & teaches the game, and he continues to pass along these important values to the young men & women with whom he works at Menlo.
Cort Kim was first introduced to the sport of lacrosse in 9th grade gym class when a classmate offered him his lacrosse stick. Cort and his twin brother Blake took turns having a catch with that borrowed lacrosse stick and a baseball glove, and it took them no time to become absolutely obsessed with the sport. In those early days, Cort and Blake relied on the rarely televised lacrosse game to record, watch, learn and try to emulate college players from the late 80’s. For the next 35 years, their lacrosse sticks have always been only an arm’s length away; their love for the sport is stronger than ever as they play, watch, learn and embrace teaching the game of lacrosse to future generations of players in the place they now call home - Northern California.
Following his intro to the game of lacrosse, Cort went on to set scoring records and earn All-America honors in both high school (Guilderland) and college (University at Albany). He and Blake were later inducted into both school’s Athletic Hall of Fames, and in 2018 they were recognized as members of the 50th Anniversary Team at UAlbany.
After his college-playing career, Cort began coaching, first at his alma mater, and then as a graduate student at Springfield College. At Springfield, Cort helped coach the Pride to two consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship game appearances in 1994 and 1995, and won the title in 1994. A few years after graduation, Cort’s professional pursuits landed him in Arizona where he helped coach the Desert Vista HS Boys Lacrosse team to the State’s first ever Championship in 2000, in the program’s first year of existence.
Cort was a member and captain of the Korean National team that took the field for the very first time in the 2002 World Lacrosse Championships in Perth, Australia, helping lead Korea to its best finish to date. He continued his post-collegiate playing career on a number of high-profile teams, including Northern California’s Barbary Coast (“BC”) Lacrosse Club. Cort and Blake joined BC in 2001, quickly elevating the team’s play in the competitive NCLA, and helping the club win its first league championship in 2004, followed by additional league and California State Championship titles in 2007 and 2015. Although their BC playing days have been few and far between of late, they continue to be two of the team’s biggest supporters.
In 2014, Cort and Blake received the Nolan H. Rogers “Keeper of Lacrosse” Award from US Lacrosse, for playing in the Spirit of the Game, for honoring the Game’s traditions, for promoting honor, integrity, respect, and for encouraging good sportsmanship. In 2017, the Adirondack Chapter (NY) of US Lacrosse recognized Cort and Blake by inducting them into their Hall of Fame in honor of their upstate NY roots and ongoing contributions to lacrosse.
Cort remains very active in coaching and mentoring players throughout Northern California. One of his fondest coaching memories was helping lead an elite NorCal U15 team in the National Championship in 2009, a team comprised of many players who went on to have exceptional college careers at the highest (Div. I) level. For years he coached for one of the top youth programs (Firehawks Lacrosse) founded by Doug Appleton, a 2016 NorCal Chapter Hall of Fame inductee. He helped resurrect the Sacred Heart Prep HS lacrosse program in 2011-12 while assistant coaching alongside Blake, and for the past two years he has been the assistant coach to Blake at the Menlo School, where he has quickly helped the program to be recognized as one of the stronger high school programs in Northern California.
Additionally, Cort has made lacrosse a big part of his professional life. Alongside Blake and Doug, he co-founded Talon Lacrosse, a company inspired by honoring the game’s traditions and its Native American roots. He helped bring Easton Lacrosse to market, and later co-founded SNYPR, a company whose product gamifies the practice habits of (youth) lacrosse players, with the inevitable goal of growing the world’s fastest game on two feet.
Cort has always honored the game of lacrosse at every level/role, and both he and his brother continue to be recognized by players, coaches, referees, and anyone who has met them through lacrosse, as the epitome of “everything that’s right” in the sport. Perhaps Cort (and Blake’s) lifelong love affair with the sport of lacrosse can be best summarized by one of their dear friends, who is also arguably one of the best to ever pick up a stick: “They are incredible ambassadors, lacrosse preservation experts, and I’m happy to say two of my best friends... we could all learn a lot from them about how to treat lacrosse.” (Michael Powell, 2016)
Jim Moss grew up in Brampton, Ontario, Canada playing box lacrosse and ice hockey in one of Canada’s legendary venues, Brampton Memorial Arena. He began his box lacrosse career at age six. In 1988 Jim’s father Ron AKA Doc Moss joined the supporting staff of the 1988 Canadian Men’s Junior World Championships and Jim earned the esteemed roll of ball boy travelling to Australia and being introduced formally to the sport of Field Lacrosse. Jim always loved to play with players who were far better than him and pushed him to learn and grow. Growing up around Indoor lacrosse legends like Gary Gait, Jim Veltman, John Tavares, Jim molded little bits of his favorite players into his game and playing style. In 1996 Jim Captained the Canadian Junior team himself and faced his first defeat of many to team USA. At age 19 Jim left lacrosse for 5 years to play Major Junior Hockey, travelled to Europe with Team Canada and played a single year of semi pro ice hockey.
In 2001 Jim returned to his favorite sport and walked on to the Albany Attack of the NLL. Uncharacteristically he scored his first career goal on the very first faceoff. Two seasons later the Attack were purchased by the San Jose Sharks and Jim and now wife Jennifer relocated to Northern California where he was nicknamed “The Axe”. As a member of the San Jose Stealth, Jim fell in love with the Northern California and supporting the fast growing NCJLA. Taking on a sales and marketing role with STX allowed Jim to spend every waking minute growing the sport on the West Coast. Working and playing with as many young players as possible with All West Lacrosse Camps, supporting Lacrosse for Life, coaching travelling teams, and taking on the head coaching role at Sacred Heart Prep Women’s program. It was this time in Northern California that Jim learned to love the sport as much for others as he did playing it himself. Playing on numerous additional Team Canada teams, Jim has won Mann Cups, Heritage Cups, World Indoor Championships, and in 2006 finally beat the USA to win Canada’s first World Field Lacrosse Championship in 28 years. His accolades include, NLL Defensive player of the year, numerous All-League and All-Star teams, playoff MVP, he’s a member of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame where he was born. When asked about these accomplishments he shares “looking back on it you don’t remember the trophies, you remember the people, the friendships, and the faces of young players when you gave them their first stick. You don’t get trophies for all the losses but you get much needed life lessons that you never forget.”
In 2009 while preparing for his 9th professional season, Jim contracted a rare neuromuscular autoimmune disease. His disease took away the use of his arms and legs and forced him to relearn how to walk over the coming year. Jim never returned to a level of health where he could participate as a player in the same form. Jennifer and Jim now have three children, Wyatt and Olivia were born in Los Gatos, California, and the their younger sister Lyla was born in Canada after the family returned home to figure out what came next after Jim’s illness. He returned to university to study psychology and founded Plasticity Labs, a company that teaches people the importance of emotional intelligence and applies the principals of Positive Psychology at school and in the workplace.
Formerly known as the Axe, Jim is now a Chief Happiness Officer and his personal mission is to help a billion people develop the skills to live a happier, healthier life. Jim credits his upbringing in sports for developing the character traits that he now researches and develops through their positive education framework, The HERO Generation. When asked how this related to lacrosse Jim says “Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, Optimism, Gratitude, Empathy, and Mindfulness, these are the real trophies that we take away from youth sports and I couldn’t be more grateful to the countless people in the sport of lacrosse who molded me into the father, husband, and citizen that I am today.”