“Growing up, I played for Coach O’Rourke for more years than I can count. He was one of my first youth coaches through the Franklin Youth Lacrosse and Franklin Select programs. When I first got into the sport, I didn’t know much about it and was just trying something that my friends always talked about at lunch. But having him as my coach not only helped me improve my skills and intellect, but also made me fall in love with the sport. While it was nice to be out there with my friends, I was always excited to go to practice and see what he had in store for us while continually pestering him with questions I had, being new to the game myself. His ability to teach the game as well as his unceasing positive influence is second to none in my mind. I wish I had more time with him as my coach but to this day he is still “Coach O’Rourke” to me. I firmly believe that anybody who is lucky enough to be in his presence will not only become the player they want but also be made a better person as a result. I can’t say enough about what Coach O’Rourke has meant for my life but I know for certain that without Coach O’Rourke laying the building blocks for my lacrosse career I would not be the player, or person, I am today and I will forever be grateful for everything he has done for me as a coach and a mentor in my life.”
"Making a move to the 495 Lacrosse Club led by Coach O'Rourke and Coach Norton has been life-changing and without question one of the best moves made for our son and his love for this sport. They are two dynamite coaches who train with positivity and are committed to each player committed to them. We are so appreciative of the exposure Nate has to so many amazing coaches at all levels because of the program they have put together. They are consistently providing feedback and encouragement for their athletes to raise the bar for themselves.
Coach Norton has always been encouraging and supportive as a lacrosse high school and club coach. He has always gone above and beyond to support our son, Nate, as he has grown over the years. Coach Norton has encouraged Nate to always be the best he can be on and off the field. From a parent's point of view, it is clear that Coach Norton has always coached his players to be committed to their academics, athletics, and their community. He provides opportunities for them to volunteer in their communities. He is always willing to connect with them on and off the field at all hours if they need his support for academics and athletics. Not only does he encourage them to attend events, clinics, and showcases to put themselves out there; he also shows up. He shows up to support them and to speak highly of the young men he trains.
We cannot say enough positive words about Coach Norton and Coach O'Rourke and their team of coaches. We are so proud to have Nate in training with the 495 Lacrosse Club while he strives to achieve his goal to always be the best person he can be on and off the field while being surrounded by coaches who have a like mindset."
“I spent my youth lacrosse years playing with 2 of my best friends and for Coach O’Rourke. Playing for Coach O’Rourke I learned not only the fundamentals of the game of lacrosse but how to play in an unselfish, tough, and team minded approach. His practices were always well thought out, fun, and competitive.
Coach O’Rourke’s experience and coaching style brought out the best in all of us while forming a gritty, determined way of playing and competing in the game we have come to love.
Through his mentoring I have achieved my goal at playing lacrosse in the Big 10 for Penn State University.”
"We couldn't be more grateful for the dedication and support Coach Norton showed at the lacrosse prospect clinic this past Sunday. He went above and beyond, spending the entire day talking to college coaches on behalf of three of our players who were attending the event. Coach Norton's commitment to his players is truly unparalleled. His selflessness and willingness to go the extra mile for our boys is something we deeply appreciate as parents. It's not every day you come across a coach who invests so much time and effort into helping their players achieve their dreams. Not only does Coach Norton possess incredible knowledge of the game, but he also understands the importance of building relationships with college coaches. His efforts to connect our players with potential opportunities are invaluable.
Coach Norton, thank you for being a role model, mentor, and advocate for our boys. Your dedication and passion for the sport are evident in everything you do. We are incredibly fortunate to have you guiding our children on their lacrosse journey.
Let's give Coach Norton a big round of applause and show our appreciation for his unwavering support! #CoachNorton #DedicatedCoach #GratefulParents"
"We have been fortunate to have Tom O’Rourke and Dan Norton coach our sons. Our boys have very different needs as one plays attack and the other goalie. The combination of these two coaches has been instrumental in getting both of our boys to play at their best. Coach O’Rourke is an offensive expert, and Coach Norton a defensive expert and that powerful combination will serve the 495 LC players very well. The level of knowledge, mentoring and coaching that we have seen from these coaches both on and off the field has been world-class! We have seen a transformation in our boys' skill, IQ and confidence. For example, Coach O’Rourke has taught our son, who plays attack, college & professional level offensive strategies and sets which has transformed his game within a very short time. He dodges with the highest level of confidence and has many specific unique dodges he can use to create separation and get quality looks and shots on the cage. He knows how to, when to, and where to on the field. This is due to Coach O’Rourke breaking down every movement to its finest detail in order to reduce inefficiencies and improve effectiveness.
As their Dad, coach and former lacrosse player, I was able to get my sons started in the sport with a strong foundation and initiate their love of the game, but Coach O'Rourke and Coach Norton have been able to take their respective skills and IQ to an extremely high level. The depth of knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm that each of these coaches bring to the players and the game gives us confidence that we have placed our boys in the best club to take them to the next level of play. If you want your son to take the next step in his lacrosse progression, you must have him at 495!"
"Coach O’Rourke has been one of the most impactful coaches in the Franklin lacrosse community for the past decade-plus. Not only has Coach O’Rourke been able to provide his wisdom and knowledge to many current and former players (many of whom are playing high-level College lacrosse), but he has also been a leader in so many ways. He has allowed his players to find their skills and passion in the game, which has allowed those players to take their abilities to the next level. For example, when I was in 7th grade, I didn’t feel like I had a place on the field. I had the athletic ability but lacked strong enough stick skills. Coach O’Rourke saw potential in my ability as an athlete and had me try out for faceoffs. After having success at the position, I became the Franklin Select team’s primary FOGO and had much success during my high school career. Fast forward, I then became a recruited Division 1 FOGO at Bryant University.
I was a guy who Coach O’Rourke saw potential in, and, through his vision and leadership, found a role for me on a team that I felt I maybe didn’t belong on. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.
Coach O’Rourke has proven that he will do whatever is necessary to help his players reach their highest level of play, regardless of their size and stature. He has a genuine love and appreciation for every guy he has coached, and without him, the lacrosse community would not be the same!"
"At a time when we were looking for a “reset” in lacrosse, we were offered the chance to get to know and have our son coached by Coaches Norton and O’Rourke. It is very evident that their lacrosse expertise and pedigrees are extraordinary.
However, where they really excel is in their investment in each of their player’s well-being, both on and off the lacrosse field. From whom they recruit to coach, to their attention to every detail of a family’s experience, they are truly unique by putting their families first. This is a place where our son has developed into a great young man while on his lacrosse journey, and a place he is happy he “gets” to play lacrosse rather than he “has” to play lacrosse."
"Coach O'Rourke has been a staple of Franklin Lacrosse for many years. His ability to drive players to be the best version of themselves both on and off the field is unparalleled, and is one of the best characteristics you can have in a coach. Whatever path you choose to take in your lacrosse career, I would feel very confident in having Coach O'Rourke in your corner. His experience and knowledge of the game are truly unmatched. I owe a lot to Coach O'Rourke for the player I am today."
"Coach Norton was a great lacrosse asset to me on and off the field. He aptly prepared me to be successful and propelled my ability to continue that success from high school to the Division 1 level. His coaching style allows for his players to unveil their true potential not only as a player, but as an individual overall."
“Coach O’Rourke is an outstanding lacrosse coach passionate about helping players achieve their full potential. As a goalie in the Franklin Youth Lacrosse program, I had the privilege of being a part of several teams under his leadership. I can confidently say that my game improved in ways I never thought possible. His unrelenting support and inspiration helped to kindle my love for the game in ways that are still with me competing at the collegiate level today.
Coach O’Rourke's coaching style is effective and empowering, pushing players to step outside their comfort zones and grow while providing constant encouragement. As a goalie, I learned much about technique, positioning, communication, and leadership under Coach O’Rourke's guidance, and I would not be the player or leader I am today without him.
Overall, if you're searching for a true home in the lacrosse community that can help you develop your skills and mold your character, I highly recommend Coach O'Rourke and 495 Lacrosse!”
"Having spent all of my career in athletics, I have been around many great coaches, and I would put Tom O'Rourke up there with the best of them! Tom is an awesome teacher of the game of lacrosse and his practices are very well organized, very detailed and he has a great way of making it fun for kids of all ages! Franklin High School consistently has one of the top lacrosse programs in the entire State of Massachusetts and Coach O'Rourke has taught most of the kids in Franklin the game of lacrosse. 495 Lacrosse will be a great club lacrosse program due to Tom's knowledge, experience, and absolute LOVE of the game! I wish I had another young son who could benefit from being part of a Tom O'Rourke program and 495 Lacrosse Club."
"Tom O’Rourke is one of the best in the field of nurturing developing student athletes. Beyond coaching the important technical aspects of the game to give his kids exposure and appreciation for high game IQ, he fosters the critical elements of team, integrity and grit. His sideline etiquette with kids, opponents and referees sets the standard. My twins played for Tom from 3rd through 8th grades. Both positionally and personality-wise they “needed” different things, and Tom met them where they were. The result for both of them was thriving in the game of lacrosse. Today, he follows both of their collegiate lacrosse careers (keeping in touch and showing up at games) and is always the first way I learn about how my guys are doing. Who wouldn’t want a coach like this for their budding athlete?! Youth sports just got a whole lot better with the launching of 495 Lacrosse."
"I have had the privilege to know Coach Norton for the last 14 years, both as a lacrosse coach in club and high school, and as an elementary Physical Education teacher. Watching his interactions with my two sons, I recognized from the beginning that Coach Norton is special. His calm demeanor allows him to connect with kids of all ages and teach skills at an age-appropriate level. With his enthusiasm and technical lacrosse knowledge, he readily earns the respect of his players.
While my boys worked hard and always gave their best effort, they were not blessed with the natural talent that would attract college lacrosse offers. That didn’t matter to Coach Norton. He treated them the same as the “stars” and coached them both to a level where they could make significant contributions to their club and high school teams and play club lacrosse in college. Most importantly, he cared about them off the field as much as on. By weaving lessons of character and integrity into lacrosse, Coach Norton helped make them the respectable men they are today.
As the son of a high school coach, a lacrosse player, youth lacrosse coach and parent, I have spent many hours on lacrosse fields and worked with and observed hundreds of coaches. Coach Norton stands out as a unique mentor and coach, and I know I learn something every time I watch him interact with his teams."
“Tom O'Rourke has been instrumental in the development of my two sons, as well as our neighbor's two boys in achieving their goal of playing lacrosse at the college level. Tom started coaching our sons beginning at the youth and select levels through high school. Tom has provided excellent instruction in the development of lacrosse skills, fundamentals, and overall lacrosse IQ. Tom is always prepared with a strategic approach to winning match-ups and adjusting to game situations. Tom's lacrosse practices encompass the necessary skill development and game situations that are needed and utilized at all levels (i.e., fast breaks, man up, the 2-man game, and defensive sets).
Tom is a true teacher of the game, and his deep passion, dedication, and coaching style has made him a huge success on the field. The bond he has developed with our boys continues to this day with a phone call or text where they can share their thoughts and strategies. Through Tom's mentoring our boys have developed and utilized Tom's gritty, hardworking approach as they play the game of lacrosse at the college level.”
"I am immensely grateful for Coach O'Rourke's guidance in my lacrosse journey. Under his mentorship, I not only developed the crucial lacrosse skills, but also gained the mindset needed to excel at the highest level. I was never the strongest, fastest, most skilled, nor best during my youth, but what mattered to him was that I loved lacrosse and that I wanted to get better. He is a true Coach who cared about the development of everyone. His dedication and expertise played a very pivotal role in shaping me into a Division 1 collegiate player and 2x Captain of the UMass Lowell Men’s Lacrosse team.
Franklin High School's continuous success all starts with the development and molding of the youth to not only learn the game, but to also love it. Beyond the X’s and O’s, Coach O’Rourke helped develop my confidence and passion for the game. Youth, high school and club lacrosse is in great hands with Coach O’Rourke, and I have him to personally thank for developing and strengthening my strong foundation which has shaped my success today."
"Coach Norton was an integral part of my lacrosse career. He helped me develop as a player and person while I was on his team, and was a major factor in my ability to get recruited to play in college. As I entered high school, Coach Norton was new to our program. However, within a season he had already significantly improved the culture and success of the team. He cares deeply about the players he coaches and is able to bring out the best in them both on and off the field. I benefited greatly from his knowledge of the game, which was invaluable in building skills to prepare for the collegiate level. Needless to say, I am extremely grateful to have had his mentorship throughout this time and I think that anyone would be lucky to have him as their coach."
"Tom O'Rourke coached both our sons' town lacrosse teams for six years. Coach O'Rourke's ability to combine his experience of having played the game at the highest levels, enthusiasm for seeing his players succeed, and a natural ability to motivate and connect with all his players makes him one of the best coaches our sons have ever had. His knowledge of the game and dedication to helping all of his players develop their skills is apparent every time Coach O'Rourke steps onto the field. Practices are always organized, well-run, challenging, and fun for the boys. Both our sons developed into strong lacrosse players, and we attribute this to Coach O'Rourke's fair and honest coaching style. Not only does he care about the development of all the boys as players, but also their growth into young men of integrity."
"Coach Norton defines what it means to be a great Coach. Not only can he develop players into their best self on and off the field, but he also knows how to develop a team. I played for Coach Norton throughout my high school career. He taught me the skills I needed to excel at the collegiate level. My technique, player IQ, and leadership skills all improved from his coaching."
"As a lacrosse enthusiast and former D1 collegiate player, 2x Team Captain and 2x MVP, Tom O’Rourke has made an indelible mark on the Franklin Lacrosse Community as a coach, board member and parent for many years. I have been fortunate to spend time with Tom, coaching youth players and watching our own children on their respective teams. Over the years, we have invested many hours discussing the game and I have come to understand what drove him to be so passionate about the game both on and off the field.
Tom has coached both my son and my daughter, so I have witnessed firsthand Tom’s calm demeanor and constructive approach to developing a player’s lacrosse IQ and skill set. His practices were innovative and always kept players engaged and active. Tom is also an advocate for growing the game and finding opportunities to include more kids. In Franklin, he advocated for an additional town select team at each age bracket to provide more travel opportunities and deeper participation for a greater number of players looking to improve their skills. Many of those players have gone on to play Division I, II and III collegiate lacrosse.
I am delighted to see Tom continuing to provide quality lacrosse opportunities for an even wider group of kids through 495 Lacrosse."
“During the time I have gotten to know him, I can’t say enough about how dedicated and passionate Coach O’Rourke is about developing lacrosse at a youth level and sharing his knowledge of the game. I played for Coach O’Rourke throughout my youth lacrosse years and can attest to how much he cares about his players. Not only does he commit to every individual, but Coach O’Rourke also has incredible leadership abilities that led us to many successful seasons. He helped nurture my love for the game and I know that many others would say the same.”
"For anyone considering club lacrosse this program is absolutely amazing! The commitment and attention to the development of all players is outstanding. From what I've seen (and heard from other parents who have switched from other programs) these guys are on another level with what they are teaching."
"Coach Norton is the best coach you could ask for on and off the field. He pushes you to be the best player and teammate you can be on the field. Off the field, he pushes you to be the best person you can be, and to be a valuable person in the community.
Coach Norton cares deeply about all of his players and always finds ways to improve his teams daily at practices or games. I am grateful enough to be playing collegiate lacrosse for Coach Norton's alma mater, Springfield College. If it weren't for Coach Norton, I wouldn't have considered looking at Springfield, which I now call home, and being a part of the Chief Dawg family!"
“I have known Tom O’Rourke for many years. I have coached alongside of him, against him, and both of my older sons have played for him at the youth town, town select and club lacrosse levels. Not only does Tom teach the ‘X's and ‘O's of the game, but he also develops in his players and fellow coaches a true love and respect for the game. That admiration and passion propelled my oldest son into a successful four-year collegiate lacrosse experience at Springfield College and now into coaching at Franklin High School as the JV Coach.
Tom never stops coaching. At practice, on the sidelines, during timeouts, and even after the game, he instills in his players and coaches the drive and knowledge to win and to be successful. I should also note that Tom is exceptional at ‘situational lacrosse’ where he can map a strategy for the boys that allows them to capture and leverage the collective strength of the team which always led to a positive outcome.
While there are other club lacrosse programs out there, there is only one Tom O’Rourke! If you want your son to be a stronger lacrosse player and a better person, you need to be with 495 Lacrosse! You will not be disappointed!”
"Coach Norton always pushed us to our full potential on the field and made sure we were making correct choices off the field. Competitiveness and blue collar lacrosse was the brand he instilled in the team all throughout my varsity experience. He ensured every player was fully bought into the culture, which resulted in the best team atmosphere I've ever been apart of."
"Coach O'Rourke was my first lacrosse coach at the youth level. Playing for him made me fall in love with the game. I learned more from playing for Coach O'Rourke than I did from any other coach. His understanding of the 'In's and 'Out's of lacrosse are what truly set Coach O'Rourke apart from all other coaches. While other coaches were usually there just to support their kids, Coach O'Rourke was there to give back to the game he loved.
His knowledge of what truly makes a great lacrosse player both on and off the field is what I admire most about Coach. Coach O'Rourke trained myself and my teammates, and that development led to our growth and transition into becoming the collegiate players we are today. Many of us, myself included, are forever grateful for what Coach O'Rourke has done for us. Without his coaching, we would not be the players we are today! We would not have the confidence, nor the skills as collegiate players without Coach O'Rourke's instruction and the knowledge he instilled in us."
"Coach O’Rourke was one of my first coaches, and helped instill in me the proper fundamentals of lacrosse. As I got older, I continued to play under him at Franklin and at the club level. Coach O'Rourke continued to grow my game at a level I would not have received from other coaches.
Coach O’Rourke is also a prominent figure in the Franklin lacrosse community, and through his development of many players, he is one of the key reasons for Franklin High School's perennial success. Myself and many others have him to thank for starting and continuing the process for all of us to become Division I, II, and III players at the collegiate level.
Coach O’Rourke was instrumental in helping me to achieve my goal of playing at the Division I level. I am extremely grateful to him for being such an integral part of that process."
"Coach Norton coached all three of my boys at Ashland High School, and in the Town Select leagues. He was extremely instrumental in developing them to be the best version of themselves, not only in lacrosse, but as young men in life. All three of my sons went on to be college lacrosse standouts!
Coach Norton is great with kids of all ages. He is super positive, tough, and caring all at once. Overall, an outstanding coach! He helps the less skilled players get much better while at the same time pushing and developing the best players to reach for and achieve excellence. This is a unique skill set and difficult to master for most, but Coach Norton is great at calibrating his approach, goal setting and instruction for each specific player.
Coach Norton was and still is an influence in our boys’ lives. I would strongly recommend having my child in 495 Lacrosse!"
“Coach O’Rourke is someone in the lacrosse community I’ve looked up to, been able to learn from, and use as a reminder of how special lacrosse is. He is a great example of how it brings so many families and people together. A fond memory I have includes myself and my older brother playing youth lacrosse together only due to an opportunity to play for the older kids which was given to me by Coach O’Rourke.”