CSN lacrosse players compete in the United Kingdom; Rankin takes over as Barron XC Coach

CSN girls lacrosse head coach Melody Turner (center), Prentice Atterbury (left), and Ariana Kodad (right).

Ariana Kodad and Prentice Atterbury made their last trip before the start of the school year a memorable one.

The Community School of Naples juniors played in the United Kingdom for eight days as members of the US Under-19 team in UK Laxfest. After playing against teams from throughout the United Kingdom, they also had the opportunity to exchange domestic gifts and dine with the teams they had played during their excursion.

The team also spent time off the field together and toured Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Edinburgh Castle, and St. Andrews, which has been home to The Open Championship four times this century.

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CSN lacrosse coach Melody Turner was on the trip as a coach.

"The international experience was outstanding," Turner said. "The girls all loved playing their style of lacrosse, playing by their rules, getting to know them on a personal level and learning about their culture. They really got to soak in what a high school lacrosse players life is like in the UK." 

One thing the girls had to adjust to were the rules. Instead of 12 players on the field at a time like in the United States, the UK only puts 10 players on the field. 

"Their rules are about 5 years behind, so our players had to adapt," Turner said. "The style of play is also less aggressive and more finesse, so they had to learn to modify their game a bit to make the game flow smoothly."

Turner thinks the experience will last a lifetime regardless of the result from each game.

"As their coach, I provided a fun and challenging atmosphere for them and I am so honored to have explored this journey of a lifetime with them. These girls will forever remember this trip and I wish them all the best of luck in their lacrosse careers."

The trio plans on returning to the UK next summer during the USA Men’s World Cup, which will be held in Ireland.

The team poses for a picture in front of Buckingham Palace during their experience in the UK.

Rankin named Boys Cross Country coach at Barron Collier

Kyle Rankin is making a change from the cold up north to Southwest Florida, just a mere 1,216 miles away from his prior high school.

Rankin was hired by Barron Collier to take over the boys cross country program over the summer.

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"My wife and I have talked about (moving to Florida) for quite a while," Rankin said. "We've been fans of the area for a long time. I began talking with (athletic director) Ken Andiorio back in December and January, and had the chance to meet with him a couple of times.

"I'm very excited about our prospects here at Barron Collier. My aim is to be (at Barron) for the foreseeable future, and to see if we can build something similar to what I was able to accomplish in Pennsylvania for the past couple of years."

Tyler Mansfeild of Barron Collier competes at the Collier County Athletic Conference track and field meet at Naples High School on Saturday, March 24, 2018

In Pennsylvania, Rankin established quite the resume. During his three-year tenure at Abington Friends School in Montgomery County, his runners set 42 new track & field records. Rankin also had runners qualify for regional, state, and national championships. He was the recipient of the 2018 Pennsylvania ISAA Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Barron Collier has been practicing for five weeks under Rankin. Although it's been a brief period, the signs show that his team is bound for success in the coming weeks.

"Five weeks is an unrealistic window to see a whole lot of improvement as runners," Rankin said. "You have to look at a much larger window, one that is at least months. So within the five-week time period, I haven't seen a whole lot, but I necessarily haven't been looking for that either. I've been looking for the degree to which the kids are buying in and listening to the various things I'm trying to share with them as far as building a culture, building work ethic, and building understanding. You can have the best athletes or you can have the worst athletes, but in my opinion those are the things that you build your foundation on."

Rankin was a member of the team at the University of Tennessee that ultimately went on to win the 1991 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which was the team's second. Tennessee beat out Washington State and Oregon, who hosted the outdoor championships at historic Hayward Field in Eugene. Rankin was a teammate alongside Todd Williams, who went on to become a two-time Olympian in 1992 and 1996.

Follow News-Press Sports Writer Alex Martin on Twitter: @NP_AlexMartin. For more coverage on sports in Southwest Florida, follow ndnprepzone on Instagram, and @NDN_PrepZone on Twitter.