They come out of West Genesee High in Camillus, N.Y., in a steady stream, good lacrosse players all.
Few if any high schools produce more blue-chip players than West Genesee. They populate college rosters along the East Coast, and some eventually become professionals in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.
No fewer than nine West Genesee grads are in the MILL this season. Five play for the Thunder.
The Thunder's West Genesee Connection includes Steve Scaramuzzino (who went on to Syracuse), Todd Curry (Syracuse), Butch Marino (Delaware), Jim Blanding (Loyola) and David Smith (Virginia).
The Pittsburgh Bulls have three West Genesee grads -- Brian Keith (Navy), Jeff Klodzen (Syracuse) and Mike Smith (Virginia). The Boston Blazers have the other, Eric Seremet (North Carolina).
It was not indoor lacrosse that led to the development of Baltimore's West Genesee Connection. It was the prospect of job opportunities in the Baltimore-Washington area.
"When we were in college, we all had a chance to play here against Johns Hopkins, Loyola or other schools," Scaramuzzino said as he prepared for the Thunder's game Saturday against the 5-0 Buffalo Bandits at the Baltimore Arena.
"We saw that lacrosse was big here, but that wasn't the only thing. The opportunity for future employment was better than back home in Syracuse. We realized we could also keep our lacrosse careers going at the club level and in the MILL."
After graduating from Syracuse in 1989, Scaramuzzino spent a year in England, playing, coaching and promoting lacrosse there. One of 13 American players selected for the ambassadorships, Scaramuzzino made all of $130 a week.
He's now a Navy lieutenant, an assistant on Navy coach Bryan Matthews' staff and, in the spring, a member of the Greene Turtle club team.
Smith is a stockbroker, Blanding sells memberships for a fitness center, Marino sells medical supplies and Curry sells pharmaceuticals.
"Job opportunities are the major reason we're here," Curry said.
NOTES: Goalie Tom Manos will be available as Dave Lee's backup for the first time this season after missing five games with a broken thumb. "The fracture has healed, but the ligaments are still tender," said Manos, who will wear a protective glove. . . . Matt Kerwick is questionable for Saturday's game with a collarbone injury. . . . At a meeting last Saturday in Pittsburgh, Manos and other MILL player reps met with league officials with the aim of establishing a players association. The players were told the league would "consider an association." Said Manos: "At least we laid the foundation for a positive relationship with the owners. We're supposed to meet again in June."