TEAM ILLINOIS Board of Directors


President, Founder,
Academic Recruiting Advisor,
2021 & 2022 Head Coach



George Washington University - Head Coach

Fenwick - 2018 IHSA Asst. Coach of the Year

Oak Park - River Forest HS

Troy Athens High School (MI)

Rochester School District United (MI)

Director & Founder of East Ave Lacrosse



Chicago Outlaws - CILL '14 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 incredible 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 5, Courtney 5, and Joey 2).  

Dr. Rolando Izquierdo

Founder, Treasurer, Head of Advancement


Founded Yeti Lacrosse

Director of Lacrosse, Coach - Blackhawks Lacrosse Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

St. Viator High School - Team Doctor

Orthopedic Sports Specialist

Assistant Professor - Rosalind Franklin University



Getting to know Dr. Roly:   Dr. Roly's efforts and philanthropy focus on building community organizations lacrosse organizations that provide value to families and positive, enriching experiences for young student-athletes.

Dr. Roland Izquierdo Orthopedic Surgeon Illinois



Youth National Director


Director, East Ave Lacrosse

Director, Beast Ave Boxla

Fenwick HS Head Coach

Northside College Prep

Oak Park-River Forest HS

Lyons Township HS



Team Israel, midfielder / 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.  





Director, Yeti Lacrosse

Founded Tribal Lacrosse Club

St. Charles North HS

South Elgin HS

Jacobs HS

Cary Grove HS


Northern Michigan University - All-Time Point Leader

Schaumburg HS - 2x Captain, founded program



Getting to know Coach Pepich:   Coach Pepich's biggest motivation is exposing players, especially youth, to the game he fell in love with as a kid.  He is energized by helping new players realize their goals in lacrosse as a way to teach them how to set and achieve goals in any forum.  

When Coach Pepich is not on the sidelines, he enjoys pursuing his passion for culinary arts and spending time with his wife and two dogs.






Director, Founder, Second City Lacrosse

St. Viator HS

True State Team Director 2017-2020, World Series of Youth Lacrosse Director 2018-2020

Won NLF National championship while

Glenbrook South HS



U.S. Merchant Marine Academy - D3 All American, conference player of the year, 3x All-Conference

Glenbrook South - All-Time Leading Scorer, led IL in points and goals, Team MVP


Getting to know Coach Harty:   Harty attended United States Merchant Marine Academy where he majored in Logistics and graduated in 2015. Harty was a four year starter for the USMMA Men's Lacrosse program. During his four years, he has many accolades such as All-American, Conference Player of the Year, team MVP, leading score, and team captain. After college Harty worked as a director for a club lacrosse program in Illinois and was the Offensive Coordinator for his Alma Mater, Glenbrook South. Harty is currently the Founder and Director of Second City Lacrosse Club and the Varsity Assistant for Saint Viator High School. Harty currently resides in Chicago.




Director of College Recruiting


Naperville North High School

Founder, Orange Crush Youth Lacrosse

Under Armour All-American - Midwest

Inside Lacrosse Committed Combine

True National

Brine National

Titanium Elite



Notre Dame College Prep  - Earned varsity letters in 5 different sports

Northeastern University 



Getting to know Coach Benages:   Coach Benages has embodied and exemplified the Team Illinois motto of "for the boys" throughout his amazing 12-year career as a teacher, lacrosse and football coach and expert in athletic performance.  Coach Benages is also widely recognized as one of the top college recruiting experts in the Midwest, having helped over 500 student-athletes play at the next level!

When he's not teaching, training, or with the boys, Coach Benages enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters.

TEAM ILLINOIS Program Directors