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Team Carolina Coaching Staff

There are a lot of great lacrosse coaches in the Carolina’s, and we certainly don’t claim to have them all.  However, from top to bottom, in one organization, you would be hard pressed to find a more experienced, well-trained, knowledgeable, and skilled coaching staff then we have at StickWithUs and Team Carolina. Every one of our coaches are passionate about the sport and teaching the game the right way. Team Carolina coaches are committed to helping every player grow and develop into skilled, smart athletes, and even better citizens. Since our inception in 2001, several Charlotte area high school along with regional college coaches have been instrumental in growing StickWithUs.org into one of the most respected lacrosse programs in North Carolina and the Country. Our staff can be best described as loyal, diligent coaches who are teachers first.  We are very grateful to include:

 

Bobby Thompson – Director  Bobby has worked with Stickwithus since it's inception.  In addition to his coaching duties, he serves as our youth director.  Over the years, Bobby has coached every age level from U9 through our high school elite teams.  Outside of Stickwithus, Bobby is the head coach at Providence Day School.  An upstate NY native, he attended and played for the Division I Siena Saints.    

 

Team Carolina 2023

Mike Murphy  Coach Murphy is currently the head men’s lacrosse coach at the University of Mount Olive. Coach Murphy earned his undergraduate degree in communications arts from Catawba College. In college he was an All-Deep South Conference First Team selection and also earned Deep South Conference All-Academic honors. On campus, Murphy is a member of the University of Mount Olive Common Reading Selection Committee, which designates a book to be assigned to students in the ADV 100 class, a semester-long course required for all incoming UMO freshman. Mike and his wife Sue got married in the fall of 2015. They have a son, Finnegan (3), and a daughter, Shannon (1).

Jimmy Blankner  After playing club lacrosse and graduating from Florida State University, Jim has been involved coaching lacrosse for more than 20 years, at every level from youth to college.  When he not on the sidelines coaching with Team Carolina, Jim, is one of the most respected lacrosse officials in the region covering many D1 and Varsity HS games each spring.

 

Team Carolina 2024

Dan Couchenour  Catawba College, has coached with the SWU organization since 2012 as coaching for national travel teams, South Charlotte Cardinals middle school team, D1, HILT, Polar Bear, and MYL.  At Catawba, Dan finished with over 250 career face-off wins, is sixth all time in school career wins, lead his class to three consecutive deep south conference tournament championships, and was an integral part of this graduating class finished as the second most winningest class in school history.  For two years as the assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Myers Park, the Mustangs made two consecutive conference championship appearances and advanced farther into the playoffs since 2012.  From Fort Mill, Dan grew up playing in the SWU organization since 2005 and played in present day MYL and Cardinals Middle School Team. 

Sean Bocketti  Coach Bocketti is a native of Upstate New York, has played lacrosse as a close defensemen for more than 25 years.  He has coached with the StickWithUs organization and Team Carolina for the past eight years.  Shawn has had success at every level he has coached.  He has coached U9 to the U13 age groups, both rec and travel teams.

 

Team Carolina HS Regional

Kevin Gowin  Coach Gowin has been coaching lacrosse for 13 years. Kevin is in his third year as the boys Varsity lacrosse coach at Providence High School. He has coached at Ardrey Kell High School and Lake Norman High school, where they won the NCHSAA State Championship in 2012. Kevin played four years of lacrosse at Syracuse University and was a part of two National Championship teams in 2002 and 2004.

John DeLucia  Coach DeLucia was the varsity lacrosse assistant at Marvin Ridge HS for 9 years, guiding them to 3 state championship appearances.  Played high school lacrosse under legendary coach Joe Cuozzo at Ward Melville on Long Island, then college lacrosse at Nassau Community College for 2 seasons before heading to D1 at The Ohio State University, named captain at OSU his senior year.  Decided to leave high school coaching to take on an Assistant Principal position at Parkwood HS and now is the Director of the WCWAA lacrosse program as well as coaching with Team Carolina in the summer.
Parker Thomas  Coach Thomas is the current head varsity coach at Fort Mill High School.  He was a four-year starter at attack, and three-year captain at Tennessee Wesleyan University. While at TWU, he was a two-time All American and named the 2016 NAIA national player of the year. Parker played high school lacrosse at Fort Mill High School, was a four year starter at attack while being named All-State three times. As a senior, was named a US Lacrosse High School All American and the South Carolina Player of the year.

Chris Lombardi  Coach Lombardi started his lacrosse career with the StickWithUs Organization. Chris was a three-year varsity letterman at Ardrey Kell High School under long-time Team Carolina coach Tim Price. He graduated in 2013 and went on to play for Methodist University in their inaugural season.  He was a four-year starter at attack for the Monarchs, and he helped lead his team to the USA South Conference championship during his senior year.  Coach Lombardi graduated from Methodist University in 2017.  In addition to his coaching duties at Stickwithus, he is also an assistant coach at Ardrey Kell High School.

 

Team Carolina 2025

Bo Turner  Coach Turner, a native of Glen Burnie, MD, and a graduate of at Division II Pfeiffer University, has been at the helm at Charlotte Catholic High School for 25 years, his accolades include four State Championships in 2005, 2008, 2009, and 2014. Together with StickWithUs Coach Turner recently launched Catholic Youth Lacrosse for students in the Grades 3-6 to help continue the winning Cougar tradition.

Matt Gates

Bobby Thompson - see bio above

 

Team Carolina 2026

Alex Tindall  Coach Tindall is a native of Seattle, Washington.  He went on to play collegiate lacrosse under long-time Team Carolina Coach Mike Murphy at Division 2 Mount Olive University. He was a four-year starter, and he served as a team captain his senior year.  Coach Tindall was a two time All-Conference Selection and served as the Trojans Graduate assistant in 2016 where the team made its first NCAA tournament appearance. He graduated from UMO in 2016 with a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology.  

Dominic Lattanzi  Dominic played high school lacrosse for Loyola Blakefield (MD) and collegiate lacrosse for Hobart College (NY) where he played for B.J O’Hara.  He participated in the Division I Lacrosse tournament in 1998.  Following college, Dom was a Volunteer Assistant Coach at DIII Western New England College from 2001-2003.  He was instrumental in founding the Newington Youth Lacrosse (CT) program in 2003.  Dominic was the President of Simsbury Youth Lacrosse from 2016-2018 and coached youth lacrosse in Simsbury for 10 years.  He relocated to Marvin, NC in June 2018 with his family.

 

Team Carolina 2027

Michael Desmond - Coach Desmond's bio can be found HERE

Mark Sovie  Coach Sovie, a native of Upstate NY, attended and played lacrosse at Division III Nazareth College. His accolades include being selected to the USILA All American Team in 2000 and 2001 as well as the Empire 8 All Conference Team in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Coach Sovie was also selected to the North-South All Star game in 2001 and served as the team captain. Mark has coached youth lacrosse for the past seven years at multiple age levels. Mark and his wife Kristin relocated to the Charlotte area in 2017 with their three children, Max (12), Cole (9) and Hannah Grace (5).


Henry Kirchner  Coach Kirchner is a native of Upstate New York and started playing lacrosse in 9th grade.  He played college club lacrosse for SUNY Canton and Mass College of Liberal Arts.  In 1999, he moved to Charlotte and for the past two years has been part of the StickWithUs Coaching Staff as an Assistant to the 2027 summer and fall travel teams and a coach for fall, winter and spring rec programs.  

 

Team Carolina 2028/29

Mike Gambrill  Coach Gambrill has coached lacrosse in the Charlotte area for over 15 years.  Gambrill has been with Stickwithus since its inception.  He’s groomed and led teams to various post-season victories including the 2010 North Carolina State Championship with Myers Park High School.  In the off-season, he’s coached several travel teams, including Team Carolina (HS and U15),Team Charlotte and the South Charlotte Cyclones.  A four-year starter at Division II Pfeiffer University, Coach Gambrill was named all-conference in 1997, was team captain and led Pfeiffer to the conference championship in 1996 and 1997.  Gambrill currently resides in Fort Mill, SC with his wife Melissa and his two children, William and Emma.

Dave Butlak  Coach Butlak attended High School Middie (St. Vincent Pallotti HS) Laurel, Md; defensive Back (Frostburg State University), D3.  Frostburg, Md.; former SouthLake Christian MS lax coach. Huntersville, NC; founder/Director of Eagles Youth Lacrosse in Denver, NC.  

 

In addition to the above listed staff members, these coaches will also be on hand for 2023, 2024, 2025 Sunday training sessions:

Stuart Belizaire – speed & agility

Vito LaBruzzo - goalies Coach LaBruzzo has been coaching lacrosse goalies for over ten years. He played his college lacrosse at the University of Louisville (NCLL) and decided to hang up his cleats after his sophomore campaign. Vito turned to coaching and served as the goalie coach for the University of Louisville Women's D1 team for his Junior and Senior years. After college, Vito worked for a myriad of lacrosse clubs throughout KY, OH, and NC until connecting with Team Carolina. He has been a member of the Team Carolina coaching staff since early-2018. 

 Phil Songattack Coach Song has been coaching for Team Carolina and StickWithUs since 2004.  He is the assistant varsity lacrosse coach at Charlotte Latin School and has been coaching at Latin since 2009.  Charlotte Latin won four consecutive NCISAA State Championships in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.  He also had coaching stints at Culver Military Academy (IN), St. George's School (RI), and Episcopal Academy (PA).  Coach Song attended and played lacrosse at Wesleyan University, where he was a team captain and All-NESCAC and NEILA All-New England.  He resides in Charlotte with his wife, Marsha, and their three children:  Carson, Conrad, and Isabelle.

Jonah Moore – shooting & dodging  Coach Moore played lacrosse at Marvin Ridge in middle school and high school and came up through the Team Carolina organization for the summers and falls. I was a four-year starter and team captain at Furman University and won Furman’s first ever SoCon championship junior year.  Coach Moore was recently drafted by the Charlotte Hounds in the MLL Supplemental Draft.

 

 

 

 

 

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