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East Ave Boys Coaches

Joe  Opron

President, Founder, High School Director, 2025AA Head Coach - East Ave

President, Founder, High School Director - Team Illinois

Coaching:

East Ave Elite

Team Illinois

George Washington University Head Coach

Fenwick - IHSA Asst. Coach of the Year

Oak Park - River Forest HS

Troy Athens HS (MI)

Rochester School District United (MI)

Playing:

Chicago Outlaws - Leading scorer

Oakland Univ. - MCLA D1 national goals leader

Wheeling Jesuit Univ. NCAA D2

Troy Athens HS (MI) - 2x All-State

Getting to know Coach Opron: Coach Opron has an awesome 23-year playing and 15-year coaching background that fuels his passion for helping student-athletes reach their full potential on and off the field! Coach Opron enjoys drawing on his extensive academic and professional backgrounds to help student-athlete make decisions about the next 40 years of their life, not just the next 4 years of lacrosse!

By day, Coach Opron is a financial derivatives attorney and a former adjunct law professor.  When not coaching and running East Ave and Team Illinois, Coach Opron enjoys spending time with his wife (Kelly) and three young children (Aubrey 6, Courtney 6, and Joey 3).

Dan Applebaum

Head Coach at Fenwick

Founder, Boys Youth & Box Director - East Ave

Youth Director - Team Illinois

Coaching:

Fenwick

Lyons Township

OPRF

Northside College Prep

Playing:

Team Israel, midfield / transition box player

Israel Premier League

Mars Hill University - NCAA D2 All-Conference

Oak Park-River Forest HS

Getting to know Coach Applebaum:  Coach Applebaum co-founded East Ave to increase access to the game he loves and that has provided him with his most formative life experiences.  He cherishes the opportunity to forge long-term relationships with the young men who look up to him.  Lacrosse has taken Coach Applebaum to play on a professional and international stage, and he is eager to pass that opportunity on to the next generation of Illinois youth lacrosse players.

Seth Molek

Head Coach at St. Ignatius College Prep

Shooting School Director / 2023AA Head Coach

Coach - Team Illinois

Coaching:

St. Ignatius College Prep

Lyons Township - Conference Coach of the Year 2017 & 2019, IHSA Coach of the Year 2019

East Ave Director

Team Illinois

Fenwick

Playing:

Fairleigh Dickinson College

Carthage College - All-CCIW Conference, led the team in assists and 2nd in points

Team Illinois

OPRF

Chicago Outlaws - 2014 CILL Champs

Getting to know Coach Molek: Seth has been coaching since he has been in High School, and climbed the ranks from second assistant offensive coordinator to head varsity coach and IHSA Coach of the Year. One day, Seth aspires to run his own college program. One of the main reason's Seth loves the game of lacrosse so much is that his his high school coaches went above and beyond what they needed to do for him on and off the field, and he wanted to pay it forward to the kids in East Ave and Lyons Township.  Coach Molek cherishes his experiences playing abroad in Manchester and Amsterdam at the FIL and the Euro Cup. Coach Molek sums up his feeling on lacrosse by saying, "it is an amazing game that opens up opportunities for you that you would otherwise never have the chance to experience."

Mark Morrell

Head Coach at Elmhurst University

Face-off Lab Director, Defensive Development Director, and 2024AA Head Coach

Coaching:Elmhurst University, Head Coach -
2018 CCIW Coach of the Year

Wittenberg University, Assistant Coach

Playing:

WittenbergUniversity - 4 year starter defense/lsm, led team in face off Percentage Senior Year

Getting to know Coach Morrell: I thrive on the incremental development of young men both on and off the field. Having the opportunity to assist young men in their preparation for college athletics and creating a unique experience is always at the forefront of my mission. My philosophy as a coach is, “If you develop great men, then you will develop a great team. If you win off the field then the scoreboard takes care of itself.” With that said a holistic approach to coaching is what I use to help each player maximize his potential. Lives in Elmhurst with three boys and Wife Kelsi.

Alek Szmajda

Youth Director at East Ave

Wheaton Wolverines - Director

Coaching:

East Ave

Team Illinois

New Wave

Playing:

Carthage College - Captain

Saint Charles - All Conference, Team Captain

Chicago Outlaws - 2014 champs

 

Getting to know Coach Szmajda: Coach Szmajda (sh-my-da) picked up a stick for the first time in 8th grade and has never looked back. After graduating from Carthage College in 2013, he started coaching full time at New Wave Lacrosse and joined the East Ave staff in the Fall of 2020. Helping young athletes learn to push themselves, compete, improve lacrosse IQ, and have fun are Coach Szmajda's top priorities. His passion for the game is evident and wears off on every athlete he works with.

Mac Harden

Shooting School Director, HS Rising Team Co-Head Coach at East Ave

Oak Park-River Forest Archers - Director

Coaching:

Elmhurst University

Western Springs

East Ave Elite

East Ave Youth

Playing:

Elmhurst University - 2019 All American Attackman, 4x First team All-CCIW, 2x CCIW Offensive Player of the Year, All time Points, Goals, Assists leader (218 goals and 71 assists)

Getting to know Coach Harden: Born and raised in San Diego, Played at Elmhurst University under Coach Morrell and graduated in 2019 as an All American.  Coach Harden on why he loves to coach: "Lacrosse has taught me many things both on and off the field. The love and care shown to me throughout my career by coaches, teammates, and mentor within the lacrosse community has driven me to give back. As I continue my own playing career, I'm excited to help the next generation of players have the best experience possible with the sport that continues to give me so much."

Trunk Peter (1)

Peter Trunk

HS Rising Team Co-Head Coach at East Ave

Hinsdale Herd - Director

Coaching:

Saint Viator HS 15-17

Junior Lions

Illinois Wesleyan University 19-21

Titans Elite

Playing:Saint Viator HSRutgers UniversityIllinois Wesleyan University2018 1st Team All Conference2018 CCIW newcomer of the year

 

Getting to know Coach Trunk: Coach Trunk began playing in high school and hasn’t put the stick down since. Finding a love for lacrosse early on, he was fortunate to play on talented travel teams, be coached by great coaches, and learn the culture of lacrosse from many different places in the nation. While helping at summer youth camps during his years playing for Saint Viator HS, he found a passion for coaching early on. He now has 6 years of true coaching experience. Driven by a unique passion for the game of lacrosse, he has found sharing the game to be an invaluable gift. Fortunately, he has been given tremendous opportunities to coach at the youth, high school, and college levels. Coach Trunk strives to educate young people on the game of lacrosse, where it came from, and where it can take you.

Chris Weed

Head Coach at Wheaton North

Coaching:

Wheaton North varsity head coach since 2008

Lafayette Jefferson High School

East Ave Elite

East Ave Youth

Playing:Purdue UniversityWheaton Warrenville SouthTeam Illinois

Getting to know Coach Weed: Coach Chris has been coaching high school boys lacrosse for the past 15 years. Coach got introduced to the game in high school and continued playing in the MCLA at Purdue University. While at Purdue he starting his coaching career, volunteering his time as the Head Coach for Lafayette Jefferson High School Boys Lacrosse and credits his passion for the game to the teams of players who took a chance on the game.

Patrick Lunt

Assistant Coach at Maine South

Coaching:

Maine South HS

Defensive Coordinator

East Ave Elite

True Michigan

Playing:Denision University1x Final, 2x Elite EightForest Hills Central HS (MI)2x First Team All State

Getting to know Coach Pat: Born and raised in Grand Rapids Michigan, Coach Patrick grew up playing hockey and lacrosse year round.  He played for Forest Hills Central High school and went on to play defensive midfield at Denison University where his teams finished ranked in the NCAA top 10 every year. He has been fortunate to play for talented high school and college coaches.  They have influenced him on the field through excellence in technique and game knowledge and off the field through valuable life skills. Coach Patrick found his passion for coaching while working lacrosse camps in high school and continued to gain experience by coaching summer travel teams throughout his college years.  He is continuing that love of coaching, lacrosse and kids during his working years in Chicago. Coach Patrick is hoping to give back to the lacrosse community that has shaped him as a player and person.