Lacrosse Editorial – The Hill Academy…Preparing Young Canadian Athletes For Their Futures

One of the most revered sports/school programs in Canada has been at a school just north of Toronto called The Hill Academy.  Founded by the Merrill family in 2006 the Academy was designed with the young athlete in mind.  While the academics were top notch, the programs were designed for the up and coming Hockey, and Lacrosse players from grades 5 to 12.

The origins:

Founded in 2006, the school was small at first, having only 16 student-athletes.  School was held at a conference centre just northwest of Toronto, in Orangeville, Ontario.  By 2010 enrollment was up to 85, and up to 185 students in 2016.

In 2016, the students were divided into four lacrosse teams (3 boys teams, and one girl team), and hockey was divided into three teams.  Classes were now located next to the Vaughan Sports Village in Kleinburg, Ontario, boasting the worlds number one ranked high school team.

In September 2020 The Hill Academy moved from Kleinburg into the 134-acre former SGI Canada Caledon Centre for Culture and Education near Alton in Caledon, Ontario.

The Objective:

With the motto “No Excuses, No Explanations”, the objective of Hill Lacrosse is to develop the individual both athletically as a lacrosse player and personally as a growing and maturing student-athlete.

What Sets Them Apart From Other Programs:

From The Hill Academy website…

“The Hill provides a unique and dynamic lacrosse experience by implementing a progressive development plan, combined with a lacrosse specific strength and conditioning program, and participation in high caliber game play.

Hill Lacrosse players are mentored by some of the top leaders in the game. Hill Coaches walk alongside our players through their experience at The Hill providing direction and mentorship.  The ultimate goal of The Hill Lacrosse program is to help our players become well equipped for the demands of the next level.”

The Staff:

Having current National Lacrosse League players on their staff is a definite plus in training the young athletes how to become successful.

Clarke Petterson, Luc Magnan, Graeme Hossack,  and Reilly O’Connor are all current National Lacrosse League players coaching different levels of teams.  Tory Merrill, and Carly Quinn are the coaches for the female team, with Alexis Deaken as the assistant coach, all with very impressive resumes in the game as well.

Brodie Merrill is the Director of Athletics at the Hill Academy also serves as the Director of the Hill Men’s Lacrosse team which is highly regarded as one of the top Lacrosse programs in North America.

College and University:

The Hill Academy has alumni in Canadian Universities, as well as NCAA Colleges stateside in all division’s of the game.  The coaching staff collaborate with students, parents, teachers, as well as guidance counselors in order to determine what and where is the best fit for the student-athlete.


Tuition is $66,430/year to board there, or $45,820/year if you commute to school daily.

Although the prices are steep, the Hill School Financial Aid Program offers assistance to families based upon their financial need and the availability of funds. There are no merit-based scholarships at The Hill School. All awards offered are based on the financial/demonstrated need of the family.

The school wants to make sure that no eligible student should be deterred to enroll due to the cost.  Approximately 40% of the current student body receives financial assistance.


Mitch Marner…Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Jeff Teat….New York Riptide (NLL)
Clarke Petterson…Halifax Thunderbirds (NLL)
Dillon Ward….Colorado Mammoth (NLL)
Laura Stacey…Team Canada Olympian (Hockey)

Among many others throughout the sporting world.

Both educationally, and in sports training, this school is top notch.  It equips their students to tackle the world with all the tools they need to become big success in any field they choose.

Let’s take a virtual tour of the new campus…

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.