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Get to Know the LXM Pro: Xander Ritz

Xander Ritz

The LXM 801 event is this Saturday, September 28 at the Lakeside Sports Complex in Orem. As part of the event, several pro players will facing off in the LXM Pro game between Team STX and Team Maverik United. Here is your chance to get to know Xander Ritz who will suit up for Team STZ. Ritz was an attackman at the University of Maryland and is currently the President of LXM Pro.
Utah Lacrosse News: What are you looking forward to the most while in Utah for LXM 801 both on and off the field?
Xander Ritz: On the field I’m really excited to suit up again, been a lull in our schedule during August and early September and after a loss you’d always prefer to play sooner than later, so definitely looking forward to getting back in the win column.  Off the field the Utah lacrosse community is one of the best in the country, extremely enthusiastic, and welcoming.  We had an amazing time talking with players and families before and after the game last year so looking forward to more of the same this year and seeing some local friends we’ve made over the years.
Xander RitzULN: Have you ever been to Utah? If so, what are you excited to do/see again? If not, what have you heard about the state?
XR: I have spent a little bit of time in Utah and Salt Lake City.  The state has a lot to offer from unbelievable mountain communities to the urban Salt Lake City experience.  More than anything I think about the type of people I’ve met in and from Utah, always extremely friendly, proud of their state, and welcoming to visitors.  Makes for a really enjoyable experience.  As an LA resident it will be nice to get a few days of fresh air!
ULN: Why did you choose to play in the LXM Pro Tour?
XR: LXM represents the greatest opportunity to have an impact on young kids in new markets.  Having a chance to compete against some of the sports best players as well as connecting with young players is something that has been important to me since I finished my collegiate career.  I remember what a profound impact it had on me when I got to see the top players in the sport play just once as a young kid, it drove me to want to be better, work harder, and provided a level of appreciation for what it takes to be great that the TV wasn’t able to deliver.
ULN: Why is your team going to win in Utah?
XR: Probably the biggest difference for us will be a healthy Kyle Harrison back at midfield.  He played attack in our last game which is not his natural position and didn’t let him control the field as much as we would like. Having Kyle back up top will definitely help us find our rhythm offensively and we have had a chance to play and see how Maverik United plays with the Brattons, so we’ll be more prepared on the defensive side of the ball as well.
ULN: What is your favorite stadium/field to play on and why?
XR: I don’t know that I have one.  I love the Orange Coast College venue where we kick off the year with the Adrenaline All-American game and the LXM opener each year because it is such a quintessential southern California venue. Palm trees around the stadium and a handful of miles from the beach make it a great spot.  But I get more excited about atmosphere than physical stadiums. I will  play on a patch of grass somewhere in front of a few thousand fired up kids any day.
ULN: What advice would you give to young players who are looking to improve their game?
XR: I think it’s important to find a player older than you whose game you can connect with.  Someone with similar capabilities physically, and watch what they do to be successful.  If you want to maximize your potential it has to be a full-time job.  It can be one you love, so it’s not all work, but you can’t just want it for the couple hours a day your on the field or at a camp.  It’s a complete commitment, watching games/film, hitting the wall, staying in shape, visualizing yourself making plays, cross training.  All of that plays a major role in your succeess as a player.  You can go to 100 camps and play for 10 club teams, but if you aren’t making the effort and commitment on your own, you’ll never know how good you can be.

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