Logan Kreinz grew up watching his older brothers play lacrosse in Wisconsin, a state he estimates had just four high school teams when Drake and Austin played.
When Logan himself started playing at Kettle Moraine High School in Wales, Wis., his brothers were excelling at Portsmouth Abbey, a prep school halfway across the country, about 30 miles south of Providence, R.I.
Drake and Austin were named US Lacrosse All-Americans in 2012 and ’13, respectively. Drake went on to play for Penn State, while Austin joined the University of Pennsylvania’s squad. The brothers’ success — guided by longtime Portsmouth Abbey coach Al Brown — led to Logan following in their footsteps.
“Coming from Wisconsin, the level of lacrosse is not really where it needs to be yet to play at the next level,” Logan Kreinz said. “Watching my older brothers go out there and the success they had with the help of Coach Brown, it made the decision so easy to make the move to go to the Abbey.”
Logan left Kettle Moraine for Portsmouth Abbey in 2016 and, just like his brothers before him, was named All-American as a senior this past spring. He helped power the Ravens to a 13-2 record and a perfect 6-0 record in the Eastern Independent League.
Despite growing up in an area where youth lacrosse coaches are few and far between, Kreinz now is better suited for lacrosse at the next level, as he will be heading to Marquette in the fall. He credits Brown, whom he calls “the godfather of lacrosse on the East Coast,” for preparing him for the college game.
“He knows how to utilize his players,” Kreinz said. “Every year it’s different; we come in and he looks at the team he has and he’ll put everybody in position to be the most successful. He knows what the strength and weaknesses of each player are, and he’ll run offenses and plays to get those players in the best opportunity to score and win games.”
Kreinz is the third Portsmouth Abbey player to be named an All-American in the past three seasons. Having joined the school in 2000, Brown now has coached lacrosse at either the collegiate or prep school level for 42 years. He also is the athletic director and varsity football coach, and has helped make lacrosse a formidable program.
“We’ve been fortunate to attract both regional kids and local kids, as well as some kids from out of state and even out of the region that have been good players, and have developed here,” Brown said. “We’ve gone through kids that have played JV lacrosse here and developed to All-American status, and we’ve had kids who’ve come in as juniors and done really well. And they’ve all done well at the next level, in addition to doing well here.”
As a coach of two varsity teams, Brown is a firm supporter in multi-sport athletes. Almost all of the kids at Ports-mouth Abbey play two or three sports. Logan himself scored 26 touchdowns in the fall and was named MVP of the Evergreen Football League, as were his brothers.
“Being a multi-sport athlete enhances their athleticism, keeps them connected to the school, and gets them to meet and work with other kids in our community,” Brown said, “and that’s important at a small school like this. We don’t want kids specializing in doing their own thing; we don’t have the volume of kids to do that. These kids have all bought into being multi-sport athletes.”
There are many prep school programs around New England, but Kreinz believes he found the perfect fit in Rhode Island. The midfielder says he could shoot only with his dominant hand when he got to Portsmouth Abbey as a junior, but Brown helped him develop his weaker hand when controlling the ball.
“He focuses a lot on fundamentals, which has helped me be able to have two hands,” Kreinz said. “He said, ‘If you want to be successful at the next level, you need to have two hands.’ I remember wall ball, shooting after practices, and he’s always there to help, too. He helped me anticipate and grow my lacrosse IQ, and that’s the difference between Wisconsin and the East Coast.”
Though Portsmouth Abbey isn’t considered a powerhouse, Brown is pleased with the status of his program. He enjoys seeing kids who played JV end up thriving with the varsity team. He takes pride in his pupils’ success in the classroom — he had two lacrosse athletes named to the US Lacrosse All-Academic team this season (senior defenders Karl Jackson and Theodore Anderson). He’s happy to find a perfect collegiate fit for each player like he did with Kreinz.
In other words, Brown has no problem with continuing to do what he does best, and that’s developing hard-working athletes such as the Kreinz brothers.
“Those are the kind of kids I want to deal with, and I want to attract to our school, and we do,” Brown said. “I see us maintaining that. There’s no pressure here, there’s no vision here to say we’re going to go to the next level. We’re at a really good level now.”