Personal Best: Lacrosse set to storm Bay Area

Kezar Stadium will be the site on Oct. 10 for the first Division I men’s lacrosse game between top 20 programs ever to be played in Northern California. The San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic will feature an offseason scrimmage between two of the nation’s top collegiate lacrosse programs, the University of North Carolina and Brown University.

Kezar was home to many of Parker Brown’s greatest games during his brilliant prep lacrosse career at University High School in San Francisco. The 19-year-old is returning as a member of Brown’s lacrosse team.

At University High, the four-year lacrosse letterman was also a soccer and cross-country standout. As University’s record holder with 532 career points, Brown chose the Ivy league college that shared his last name as he was impressed with coach Lars Tiffany’s lacrosse program as well as the coach’s “honest and genuine emphasis on academics.”

The social aspect also appealed to Brown.

“Coming from San Francisco, I wanted to be in a city,” Brown said. “Providence has the same kind of vibe as Berkeley, so it was a pretty simple transition.”

Brown, an attacker, begins his sophomore year as the lone player on the Brown roster from west of the Mississippi. He can’t wait to play San Francisco tour guide for his teammates.

“I live in Cow Hollow, so I’ll show them Fillmore and Union streets, we’ll tour Alcatraz and may jog across the bridge,” Brown said.

And his parents, Cabot and Mollie Brown, and three younger siblings, will be hosting a barbecue before the team members and their families fly home on a Sunday night red-eye flight.

Fleet Week in The City will also add to the weekend’s excitement, but the primary focus for Brown and his teammates will be on the event itself. Youth clinics will precede the game with all event proceeds benefiting the Bay Area Youth Sports Foundation (BAYS).

Braden Edwards, Brown’s lacrosse coach at University High, is a co-founder of the event.

“Parker was one of the best to ever play out here. Pound for pound, he is the toughest kid I’ve ever coached,” Edwards said. “He has this incredible will to win. He never gives up. If he has a weakness it’s that he tries too hard.”

Tiffany echoes Edwards’ sentiment. He recalls sitting on the Browns’ couch during his recruiting trip from Providence to San Francisco.

“Parker was showing me a tape of his game vs. St. Ignatius. SI won 8-7, Parker scored five of his team’s seven goals; he did everything to win that game,” Tiffany said. “Yet, he was pointing out things that he shouldn’t have done. He is the greatest young man, very humble and modest.”

After a freshman season with limited playing time, Tiffany expects Brown to battle for a starting job this season.

The hometown boy should see plenty of action in the Lacrosse Classic.

“It’s awesome, really cool for me to come back and play at Kezar against an elite program like UNC,” Brown said. “I hope that we can give back to BAYS.”

 

San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic

Where: Kezar Stadium
When: Oct. 10, 3 p.m.
Teams: North Carolina vs. Brown
Info: www.sflacrosse.com
Emerging market: In California, the sport has doubled in size since 2001 with 10,000 youth lacrosse players

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