AUBURN – You can’t win if you don’t get in.

Lotteries have used that catch phrase to sell tickets for years. Sometimes it applies to opportunities in sports, too.

Jim Dock knew that United States Lacrosse needed coaches for a national team tryout. He submitted an application.

And voila, this weekend, the St. Dominic Regional High School coach finds himself roaming a sideline in Maryland, overseeing the best 19-and-under players in the nation.

Dock is one of six scrimmage coaches who will direct all-star teams in a series of round-robin games at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

“It’s definitely exciting,” Dock said. “These are the kids who will go on and compete in 2008 for a world championship.”

Other committee members will watch the proceedings that begin today and conclude Sunday. When it’s over, they’ll announce the 22 or 23 players who will represent the U.S. next July in the International Lacrosse Federation world games at Coquitlan, British Columbia.

Maine isn’t considered a national hotbed of lacrosse – yet – but Dock is one of three high school coaches playing a pivotal role in the tryout.

Toby Farrington of Scarborough is also a scrimmage coach. Mike Edgar of South Portland is on the selection committee.

“We’re making our presence known,” Dock said of his adopted home state.

After playing high school lacrosse in Connecticut, Dock attended the University of Maine at Farmington. He was a three-year starting goalie and president of the UMF lacrosse club before graduating in 1996.

Dock began his coaching career with the Twin Cities lacrosse program in 2000. He recently completed his fifth year at St. Dom’s.

During the summer, Dock is lacrosse director at Camp Laurel in Readfield.

Lacrosse has been called the country’s fastest growing youth sport. Maine’s high school league has more than doubled in size since it achieved varsity status in the late 1990s.

“Players are coming in from all around the country,” Dock said. “They’re from California, Texas, Florida, and a lot from Maryland. There aren’t any trying out from Maine yet.”

Give it time, though. The coaches are already there.

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