I don't do personal posts on LaxRecords since it is not about me, but you deserve to know what's going to happen.
Considering the state of the world, I find it challenging to write this because it feels less important than the lacrosse community's health and safety and the Black Lives Matter movement.
LaxRecords.com started as a project that I was not sure was going to work. Since it started, many of you have expressed that the site is integral to the growth of the sport and the community.
I feel obligated to all of you to make sure the site fulfills its mission to digitize the history of the sport.
The Impact of COVID-19
With the abrupt end to the 2020 season, ad revenue became non-existent, and donations, the primary source of funds for the site, mostly dried up. There were also a couple sponsorship deals that were close to final that collapsed under the weight of COVID-19.
As a non-profit, every penny goes back into improving the site. From the general costs of paying for hosting, covering travel expenses, freelance help, and a developer to improve the website and create player profiles, donations have powered every improvement.
As someone who believes in putting his money where his mouth is, I've spent quite a bit of my money to make improvements on the site.
2020 was shaping up to be where I could bring in help and start work on long-term goals.
When I started the site, I was unemployed and had plenty of time. For the last five years, I've been working full-time, then coming home every night to put another 4-6 hours of work into the site. In that time, I've gotten married, which makes balancing work, life, and LaxRecords more challenging.
I've put too much work into the site to let it dissolve, but I've taken the last few months to think about the website and how it's evolved. I've had people give advice on what I should be doing or, with good intentions, said they want to help. I've taken some of that advice, which meant putting more work into the site and more demands on my time.
I'm at the point where I'm mentally tired, and it's time for a change and a return to focus.
Back to Basics
LaxRecords is refocusing on recording the history of high school lacrosse through players, coaches, and teams through stats, records, and performances.
Outside of stat updates, player commitment stories will become a focus. A player's college commitment is part of his high school lacrosse career and is a natural fit for LaxRecords. No matter what college level you choose, from Division I to MCLA, you deserve recognition.
Player profiles were created to be a one-stop-snapshot of a player's career and will be at the center of the website. All commitments and stats start with the player profile.
Players can create profiles for free and use them as a recruiting tool to send to coaches with highlights, stats, academic aspirations, and desired level of college.
With this new focus, the Players to Watch series, podcasts, and YouTube videos are eliminated.
I've loved doing the Players to Watch and podcasts and get great feedback.
Still, I believe Inside Lacrosse does an excellent job of highlighting players on the recruiting circuit, and the Players to Watch had some overlap. To avoid confusion, the Players to Watch after the Class of 2020 will be removed Aug. 10.
I know this will be disappointing to some of you, but I hope you understand.
The improvements planned before the pandemic were upgrading my current process of inputting/updating stats on the site. I use Google Sheets to track all stats and make all updates. You may have noticed that sometimes a state update takes longer than the national list. This is a limitation of the system I use and time.
I need a developer and some freelance help to take the thousands of players stats, input them into profiles, and have the developer make those profiles the source of all stats on the site. This would make stats more consistent across the site at the same time.
Also on the roadmap are creating pages for coaches and teams. I have the year-by-year records for many of the coaches included in the Career Wins list, which means I have records for each of those teams for those years. That information should not live on my computer but should be available to the community.
There is still a lot of time, work, and money needed to make this potential a reality. A reconnoiter is necessary to focus on what makes LaxRecords unique and an asset to the lacrosse community.