St. Mary's Ryken Lacrosse WHO we are, what we do & How we do it

Head Coach Jon Lombardo

Coach Lombardo is in his first year (2019-20) at St. Mary's Ryken after spending 7 years as an assistant coach at the collegiate level, helping Lynchburg to the 2015 National Championship Game. He also serves as the Athletic Director at SMR.

Lynchburg vs Tufts 2015 National Championship Game @ Lincoln Financial Field
" I am most passionate about creating a transformational experience through developing championship culture that will not only prepare our young men for college, but for life. That is my purpose & vision as an educator; impact lives through who we are, what we do & how we do it."- Coach Lombardo

Coaching & Recruiting Philosophy

Overhead view of the St. Mary's Ryken High School Campus- Roll Knights!
"The foundation of SMR Lacrosse and my philosophy as an educator is to create relationships that are fueled by the 4 Commitments of SMR Lacrosse and our process. We are looking for young men who care deeply enough to exert maximum effort, welcome the challenge of learning genuine toughness and have a burning passion for competing in ALL they do & love the game of lacrosse. If they embrace that, they will open doors of opportunity while discovering the best version of themselves."

The 4 Commitments of a SMR Lacrosse Player

1. Academics- Our team GPA in Semester 1 of 2020-21 was 3.53. Coach Lombardo collects hard copies of grades from every player individually at every interim, quarter & semester. We also have a team study hall during the day & individual academic meetings with Coach for Academic Progress Updates to hold every player accountable to their personal best. The team expectation is a 3.5 GPA.

2. KNIGHT Club Testing- Starting in the fall we utilize our full time Wellness Director & Strength Coach and our state of the art facilities to prepare our athletes for our testing. The fitness tests include Bench Press, Pull Ups, Squats, 3x 300 Yard Shuttles & a partner passing stick work circuit of 500 touches. Those who meet or exceed all expectations are given a special shirt to wear to practice/workouts to acknowledge the effort & commitment to our culture & process.

Why S&C training year round? First, the number 1 determination of readiness for a freshman collegiate lacrosse player is preparation in the weight room & conditioning. Secondly, and most importantly, lifting weights & conditioning to a standardized expectation takes time, discomfort & commitment. It also leads to personal, mental & physical growth, while creating a winning edge & culture within the team. Experiencing a challenge and learning to pursue greatness in something you love to do is a valuable skill for ALL people, not just athletes. We embrace this because it is not easy. The goals we set are intentionally challenging, but our actions are consistent. This allows us to discover the qualities within us that we need to be champions in life!

3. Passion- Passion is the key to great achievement. We need to outwork & overachieve, but to do so, we need intrinsically motivated young men. To be driven from within, you must follow your passion. We want our young men to love playing lacrosse and to care deeply about representing SMR and our program.

4. Be the BEST Version of you- This is the end goal. To help each young man discover what is the best version of himself. We help our boys through self-discovery, challenge, reflection & taking ownership over their experience as an SMR Student-Athlete.

"Everything about SMR is oriented towards your personal success. Teachers, coaches, administrators all work to prepare you to achieve your goals. You will become a better individual academically, athletically & socially"- Dillon Miller, Team Captain, SMR Class of 2020, United States Naval Academy Class of 2024.
"It does not get easier, you just get better!"- Tyler Dooley, SMR Class of 2020, Wingate University Lacrosse Class of 2024
" I came to SMR because I felt like I could make a huge impact. I didnt feel like I was another name on the roster. I felt me being here mattered. Making an impact by playing games, giving my all to making a difference is what I chose. SMR has given me the place to be a great student, great person & made me the athlete I am today"- Nick Ransom, Team Captain, SMR Class of 2020, Salisbury University Lacrosse Class of 2024

2020 St. Mary's Ryken Knights Lacrosse Team

2020 Varsity Schedule
The 2020 Team is made up of young men from St. Mary's County, Charles County & Calvert County- We have players representing the following Club Lacrosse Programs: The Cannons, The Admirals, Pro Start & The Annapolis Hawks. We will also compete in the NHSLS tournament June 24-26th as SMR.

St. Mary's Ryken Lacrosse History & Tradition

The program began in 1989 and was started by former All-American Goalie, Coach John Sothoron. Coach Sothoron played under Coach Dick Edell at Towson State University. Over the next two and half decades, "Coach John" would take a school with no prior knowledge of lacrosse, to building a culture & identity where SMR became a "lacrosse" school. Coach Sothoron's teams often featured players that had little experience, but were exceptional athletes. The common denominator was HOW they played. SMR was known for discipline, toughness & a blue collar attitude that was willing to compete toe to toe with any program in the country.

In 2007, SMR won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship for the 1st time. In 2009, the Knights were the WCAC Runner-Up

Coach Sothoron would go on to not only win the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship, but become a legend in Southern Maryland. Under Coach Sothoron, SMR became known for consistently producing some of the best players in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

(Top Left: Romar Dennis SMR '13 WCAC Player of the Year/ Loyola '17) (Top Center: Romar Dennis playing for the PLL Chrome) (Top Right: Preston Dabbs SMR '12/ Salisbury '16- 3x 1st Team All American & 2016 National Player of the Year) (Bottom Left: Nate Blondino SMR '13/ Salisbury '17- 2017 National Player of the Year) (Bottom Right: Brandon Pierpont SMR '19- 1st Team All- WCAC/ High Point University Lacrosse '23)

Creating a Championship Edge with Our Process- Culture & People are step 1 of the Voyage!

SMR Annual Regatta on campus in Breton Bay

Facilities- The Donnie Williams Center for Athletics & Wellness

The Brand New Donnie Williams Center is home to all of our athletics & wellness programs including Yoga, Strength & Conditioning, Athletic Training & Sports Medicine Clinic, Athletic Offices, Locker Rooms, Concessions
SMR Sports Medicine & Athletic Training is directly next to the Strength & Conditioning facility and locker rooms.

Boy's Lacrosse Locker Room inside the Donnie Williams Center

Each player has a locker that he is expected to maintain on a daily basis and live by our standards. The SMR coaching staff works hard to make the locker room a very special place where players feel appreciated & begin to blend together as one collective group. It is the goal of the program to fill the locker room with the right people!

Strength & Conditioning Facility Inside the Donnie Williams Center & SMR Stadium

SMR Strength & Conditioning Facility features 10 inlaid platforms/racks & other free weight stations with cardio area. Each rack has an iPad for data recording & streaming programing from Team Buildr
SMR Stadium is home of the Knights and can seat several thousand people for a great game day atmosphere. Roll Knights!

Resources to Take Ownership Of!


Academics- We offer a unique blend of 26 AP Courses and are proud of our Scholars Program with curriculum from nationally accredited Project Lead the Way. The Scholars Program areas of student include Biomedical Science, Computer Science, Engineering and many more! All of this is on campus at SMR, in our college like atmosphere so you can not only discover your passion, but begin the journey of pursuing your dream!

Since joining the WCAC, SMR Athletics has captured 4 Championships & had several All WCAC/All Met Student-Athletes. The WCAC regularly features National ranked teams in all sports, especially Boys & Girls Lacrosse, Football & Basketball. We want young men who dream of competing & winning vs the best to become the best!

Athletics- SMR is a member of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Not only is this an elite lacrosse conference, but across all sports. The WCAC is one of the best high school athletic conferences in the country, receiving national recognition each year in all sports.

Maximizing Resources at SMR- At SMR, our lacrosse student-athletes have access to 2 full time Athletic Trainers, 1 team Doctor, 1 on campus full time Strength & Conditioning Coach with other part time staff, customized by sport & player specific training programs through Team Buildr Software, film breakdown/editing access through hudl & obviously the elite WCAC schedule we are able to play. We also participate in various fall/summer tournaments such as Inside Lacrosse Invitational & The National High School Lacrosse Showcase. Everything we do is to create a great experience for our young men as well as expose them to a collegiate student-athlete experience. Our program imitates that of an NCAA program in terms of facilities, resources & opportunities we offer our players so they can take advantage through their preparation.

Enrollment, Admissions & Application Information!

St. Mary's Ryken High School has a tuition. We believe SMR is what we call an INVESTMENT in your child academically, athletically & socially. You are paying for a service provided that is going to be a transformational experience. Your son will discover who he is, what he loves & how he can springboard to opportunities of pursuing his passion.

There are ways to offset the cost of tuition. The best way is to have great grades & test scores on the High School Placement Test. We do not offer athletic scholarship money. However, academic & merit based scholarships and need based financial aid are available for those who apply & qualify. It is critical that you apply for scholarship competitions & financial aid through TADS, if this is a concern for you. That is the most crucial piece of information. We have the BEST Admissions Team who are eager to answer questions!

We are extremely excited about the vision of St. Mary's Ryken and the Lacrosse program moving forward. We believe this is going to become a transformational experience for all of the young men who commit to the way of life & culture we are building. In return, our boys will discover their passion & receive a world of opportunity through the impact of what we do, how we do it and why we do it. There is not a more fitting time in our lives to see the value in being a part of a culture, having a set of values & committing oneself to a process larger than the individual. It is my goal that our student-athletes commit to this process, while creating the greatest experience & relationships in these four years. Thank you for your time. Roll Knights!- Coach Lombardo


Mrs. Brandy Watson