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20 EastAve Logo02
My Post Copy (11)


Joe  Opron

President, Founder, High School Director - East Ave

President, Founder, High School Director - Team Illinois



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 21-year playing and 13-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).

Dan Applebaum


Fenwick, Lyons Township, OPRF, Northside College Prep

Head Coach of the 2025 Team Illinois WSYL Team


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.


Head Coach at Lyons Township

East Ave Director

Team Illinois

Western Suburban Coach of the Conference 2017, 2019

2019 IHSA Coach of the Year

Assistant at Fenwick for 4 years

5 All Americans and 8 all State players in 3 Years at LT



Fairleigh Dickinson College

Cathage College

All-CCIW Conference Attack

Lead the team in Assists and 2nd in Points

Team Illinois / OPRF

Chicago Outlaws 2014 champs




Getting to know Coach Molek : Seth has been coaching since he has been in High School, and climbed the ranks from second assistant offensive coordinator to head varsity coach and IHSA Coach of the Year. One day, Seth aspires to run his own college program. One of the main reason's Seth loves the game of lacrosse so much is that his his high school coaches went above and beyond what they needed to do for him on and off the field, and he wanted to pay it forward to the kids in East Ave and Lyons Township.  Coach Molek cherishes his experiences playing abroad in Manchester and Amsterdam at the FIL and the Euro Cup. Coach Molek sums up his feeling on lacrosse by saying, "it is an amazing game that opens up opportunities for you that you would otherwise never have the chance to experience."

Seth Molek



Director at New Wave lacrosse for 7 Years

Director of East Ave

East Ave Boxla

Team Illinois




Cathage College

Captain At Carthage College

Saint Charles

All Conference, Team Captain

Chicago Outlaws 2014 champs


Getting to know Coach Szmajda : Coach Szmajda (sh-my-da) picked up a stick for the first time in 8th grade and has never looked back. After graduating from Carthage College in 2013, he started coaching full time at New Wave Lacrosse and joined the East Ave staff in the Fall of 2020. Helping young athletes learn to push themselves, compete, improve lacrosse IQ, and have fun are Coach Szmajda's top priorities. His passion for the game is evident and wears off on every athlete he works with.

Alek Szmajda