When the Los Angeles squad disbanded, Harrison joined the Denver team but soon grew tired of traveling for games.

The Hochstadt and Ritz brothers were involved in several Southern California youth lacrosse projects and had even found some level of celebrity: Scott Hochstadt dated television reality star Lo Bosworth, and he and Max Ritz showed up on episodes of "The Hills."

Everything they've done, Xander Ritz said, has been for the benefit of the game.

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"There's a certain socioeconomic level associated with the game," Ritz said. "And nobody is going to tell you it's inexpensive to play. But we're really trying to get kids here excited and to make it accessible. There's not a lot of dads out here who played the game, so the kids take ownership of it. It's their thing."

Lacrosse insiders worry that the schism between the two most significant pro outdoor lacrosse movements could hurt the sport's growth, said Inside Lacrosse magazine editor John Jiloty. There's also concern that players like Harrison and Sam Bradman, a Salisbury University alum who signed with LXM Pro after being named national player of the year in 2012, won't be in top form if they're chosen to play for the U.S. national team when Denver hosts the 2014 World Championships.

"It's tough to get behind the competitive format," Jiloty said. "Having two teams playing each other over and over instead of working through a season and building toward a championship, playing meaningful pressure games, there's some question whether that's best for an athlete."

Harrison and others said that their affiliation with LXM Pro has allowed them to focus more on training because they don't need outside jobs to make ends meet.

"They're really steeped in the culture of the game with LXM Pro," Saunders said. "It's not a case where they're working a Wall Street job and then flying off to play a game in one of the eight [Major League Lacrosse] cities over the weekend. This has a different feel."

Said Ritz: "There's been a lot said about our approach, and we're not necessarily trying to live up to other people's expectations. We just don't see lacrosse being at a point where having one big pro league is the right way to go. There's still a lot of building that needs to be done at the lower levels."

chris.korman@baltsun.com

twitter.com/chriskorman