East Bay ACES



Register here if you missed tryouts and would like an individual assessment to be considered for selection to the East Bay ACES Lacrosse Club 2018 Summer Season. One of our club directors will reach out to you shortly to schedule the session.

2018 Summer Schedule

Training Camp:
May 25th – 28th (Training Camp Retreat – 2 Rivers Facility)


  • Practice Sessions Location in Concord @ 8am-10am

  • June 4th-6th (2 hours of field)

  • June 11th-13th (2 hours of field)

  • June 19th-21st (2 hours of field)

Included Tournaments
  • June 15th – 17th (Lake Tahoe Summit Classic | All Teams)
  • June 23rd – 24th (Battle of The Bay | All Teams)
  • July 2nd – 3rd (Hawaii Youth Lacrosse Classic)

See below to learn more about the East Bay ACES Program:

Mission Statement:

East Bay ACES mission is to create an environment in practice where the players get unparallel individual development so they can implement these skills into their team schemes and systems not only with us but on any other team they play on. We will focus on team drills and concepts at practice but this will be secondary to the overall development of fundamentals and lacrosse IQ building.

Club Communication:
Team Website: www.EastBayAces.com
Instagram: @ACESLacrosseClub
Communication Director:  Kevin Arabejo (Kevin@EncoreBrand.com, 510-672-1094)
Club Director: John Christmas (JC@EncoreBrand.com, 610-209-2494)

Coaching Staff:
Kevin Cavanaugh – Defense Specialist (San Jose State)
Paul Jepsen – Defensive Specialist (Cal Berkeley)
Tom Ledin – Midfield Specialist (Diablo Valley College)
Kevin Arabejo – Defensive Specialist (Philippines National Team Player)
Andrew Gvozden – Goalie Coach (Founder, Goalie Smith Lacrosse Training Co.)
DJ Shelton – Faceoff Specialist (Palo Alto HS)
John Christmas – Attack Specialist (De La Salle HS)

Coaching staff accolades include NCAA DI , DII, DIII and MCLA playing experience.  Professional MLL, and NLL, NCAA All Americans, NCAA National player of the year finalist (Tewaaraton),and Academic All American honors.  Collegiate coaching experience includes Duke, UPenn, Hofstra, UC Davis, Chico St., UOP, UNLV, and UC Berkeley.

Player expectations:

  1. Show up! Attend practices and tournaments- this is what we are here for!
  2. Communicate: if you can’t attend, if you’re injured, if you need help, advice, attention, information, or more explanation.  This is the basis for quality coaching/learning.
  3. Go Hard.  100% all the time when we are on the field.
  4. Study!  College recruiting talks will ALWAYS be about grades first.  You can’t play anywhere without making quality grades.
  5. Do the right thing.

Parent expectations:

  1. Show up!  Support your son, meet coaches, have fun with other parents!
  2. Communicate:  We want to hear from you, and we appreciate constructive concerns and praise alike.  We share the common goals of creating the best experience possible for your son.
  3. Commit:  We need to know early when players will miss certain practices and events.  We strongly support multi-sport athletes, and need to know well ahead of time for any absences from practice or tournaments.
  4. Get involved!  We are thankful to have an amazing Aces Family not just within our athletes but within our parents as well.   They help to organize team tents, tournament dinners, and other logistics that have allowed coaches to spend more time on the field.  You are difference makers!
  5. Stay positive:  Sports are about challenge and overcoming adversity.  Whether bad referees, a mistake on the field, a player not starting a particular game, or being asked to play up or play down a division- these and other similar scenarios are never cause for panic.  Adversity presents opportunities.  Allow your son (and coaches as well) the chance to thrive out of their comfort zone.

Coach’s expectations:

  1. Show up on time, be prepared.  
  2. Coach positively.
  3. Coach for development first, winning second.
  4. Manage playing time for each player.
  5. Wear athletic attire.
  6. Support other coaches on the field between games.
  7. Communicate and be available to players and parents.

Pinnacle ACES:

The Pinnacle ACES are comprised of ACES high school players throughout Northern CA looking to compete at the NCAA and MCLA levels.  Pinnacle teams compete in regional and national events with a focus on elite competition and college recruiting.  Pinnacle ACES events do not conflict with regional ACES team participation.

Summer 2018 Pinnacle teams will be formed for the 2019, 2020, and 2021 classes.

Pinnacle ACES Coaching Staff:

  • Frank Resetarits (Albany)
  • Neil Butterfield (Gonzaga)
  • Lorne Silverstein (Syracuse)
  • Ryan Frisch (RPI)
  • Cliff Hu (Lynchburg)
  • Iric Bressler (RIT)
  • John Christmas (UVA)


Development Process

The development in our practices are based on focusing on several simple aspects.

• Individual development to equip our players with the tools to feel comfortable to execute their responsibilities to help the team win. In return this will also give them the freedom to express themselves through their play and be creative.
• Playing fast but under control in a setting that fosters tons of touches.
• Simplifying this game to its basic principles, the 2v1.
• Picking the ball off the ground to give your team possession.
• Putting the ball in the back of the net!


Positional Station Work


-Attack movement off ball
-Dodging at X and the high wings
-2 and 3 man game, picks, seals, slips, cuts
-Feeding out of the dodge and utilizing head and shoulder positioning to shift.defenders and their sticks
-Making the simple adjacent pass out of the dodge
-Creating contact at GLE
-Movement on the fast break and slow break
-Time and room shooting
-Mid range shooting
-Shooting on the run
-Offensive communication
-Reactions to change of possession (RIDING)


-Checks (Pokes, Lifts, Slaps, Chops, Rips, Sears, bumps)
-Matching feet
-Angles and field awareness
-Drawing point man on fast break or throwing early
-Defensive communication on slides, picks, seals
-Time and room shooting
-Mid range shooting
-Shooting on the run
-In tight finishes
-Shooting off the cut
-Reactions to change of possession (Break up field, banana movements, sprint to box to gain advantage)


-Midfield movement off ball
-North south dodging
-Offensive approach footwork
-Pace dodging
-Wing 2 man game, picks, seals, cuts
-Feeding out of the dodge, making the simple adjacent pass out of the dodge
-Drawing point man on fast break or throwing early
-Finding passing lanes and posting up the correct way
-Midfield defensive approach
-Midfield trail defense
-Creating contact after approach 4-5 steps
-Time and room shooting
-Mid range shooting
-Shooting on the run
-In tight finishes
-Shooting off the cut
-Offensive communication
-Reactions to change of possession (SPRINTING TO BOX OR MATCHING FEET-NO SLIDING UP FIELD)


-Picking off passes
-Ability to pick up gbs around crease



An innovative game created 4 years ago by Encore Lacrosse, Street lacrosse focuses on every player getting a feel to play all posItions. Soft hands, transition, reacting on change of possession and finding the 2on1 within a 3on2. In short its 3by, meets West Genny with shot clock!!


Focus on proper grip techniques, leg and foot placement. Emphasis on maintain stick protection after picking up ball and circling away from pressure the correct way.  Moving ball quickly.

1v1 & 2v2s & 3v3

Good old school dodging and defending. Working on setting proper picks from different angles and spots on the field with a simple focus on up and down approaches. In 3v3 the focus is maintain the structure of the triangle until the players are at high enough level to have the structure not matter as much.


Used in box lacrosse alot, this drill breaks down the 2on1 situation with a touch up and a trailer


Created to sharpen stickwork and have fun


More SHOOTING!! All players including defenders, LSMs will participate in;

-Time and room shooting.
-Mid range shooting.
-Shooting on the run.
-In tight finishes
-Shooting off the cut
-Phone booth shooting

East Bay Directors

John Christmas | JC@EncoreBrand.com

Biography | Coach Christmas grew up in Philadelphia PA. He attended Lower Merion high school where he was one of the greatest players in Pennsylvania prep lacrosse history. From there he went to play for at the University of Virginia for the great Dom Starsia. From day one Coach Christmas started and helped lead his team to a NCAA National Championship in 2003. After being named an All American twice in college, John went on to play for the Boston Cannons and Chesapeake Bayhawks (MLL) as well as his hometown Philadelphia Wings (NLL), and is currently playing for LXM Pro. He has vast coaching experience, tutoring dozens of All Americans. He was a co-founder of Dukes Lacrosse, an east coast club powerhouse, helped to start lacrosse programs all over the globe and has coached at the NCAA Division 1 level at the University of Pennsylvania. John is a founder of Encore lacrosse and lives in San Francisco with his wife Ellie and his son Sky. A true student of the game, John loves to watch lacrosse at all levels in his spare time. Currently, John coaches at De La Salle High School in Concord California.

Coaching Staff

Kevin Arabejo

Player Experience

  • 2 year starter at Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU)
  • 2011 Team Captain at NDNU
  • 2011 WILA Champion at NDNU
  • 2013 – Present Defenseman on Philippines Lacrosse Association (PLA)
  • 2014 Defenseman on PLA for FIL World Lacrosse Games Festival

Coaching Experience

  • 2013 – 2015 Head Coach at NDNU
  • 2015 – 2016 Defensive Coordinator at Santa Clara University
  • 2016 – 2017 Head Coach at Burlingame High School (BHS)
  • 2017 PAL Conference Champion (BHS)
  • 2017 – Present Head Coach at Amador Valley High School (AVHS)

Paul Jepsen

  • Duke University
  • Defensive Coordinator at Cal Berkeley

Kevin Cavanaugh

  • Defense Specialist
  • San Jose State University

Tom Ledin

  • University of San Francisco
  • Diablo Valley College Assistant Coach

Andrew Gvozden

  • Hofstra University
  • Goalie Coach
  • Owner of Goalie Smith Lacrosse Training Co.

DJ Shelton

  • Faceoff Specialist
  • Goucher College

ACES On Instagram


Team Championships

ACES Playing In College