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Blue Star combo shines with webmaster work

By Loren Nelson, 04/11/16, 1:45AM CDT


Bryan Hopper creates the content, Mary Merlo handles the design for lacrosse site

Webmaster of the Week: April 11-17


Bryan Hopper and Mary Merlo


Blue Star Lacrosse


Hopper is Director and Merlo is Chief Operating Officer

Use of platform:

Registration, Sitebuilder


Hopper played high school lacrosse at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He went on to play at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he was selected for the school’s Milton H. Jannone Award for outstanding leadership, athleticism and academic excellence. He plays for Team Israel National Lacrosse and helped Israel to a fourth-place finish at last year’s World Indoor Championships, earning All-Tournament honors from Inside Lacrosse in the process. Merlo has been playing rugby for 15 years, and she was a member of the state championship Doylestown (Pennsylvania) Dragons high school girls rugby club team. Merlo was both a player and head coach for the Kutztown (Pennsylvania) University rugby team. She graduated from college with a degree in communications and design. Merlo and Blue Star director MV Whitlow previously worked together for a different lacrosse club; Whitlow was Hopper’s coach at Lawrenceville.

What they do:

Hopper handles much of the content and Merlo the design on the Blue Star Lacrosse site, forming an effective one-two combination. When Hopper creates content and places it on a page, Merlo follows up by adding graphics, photos and other design elements. Both pay close attention to the site’s Google analytics, studying how viewers navigate to various sections and pages. They’ve learned that college recruiting information is among the site’s most popular content, and they have a Call to Action page element devoted to Recruiting on the site’s homepage. The College Commitments page lists Blue Star players by graduation year, position college. Merlo has created a custom graphic showing all the same information for most of the committed players.

Making their mark:

Merlo swapped the banner graphic on several sections, helping reinforce to viewers where they have landed on the site. Her work was recently highlighted a Pro Tips article

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About Loren Nelson

Loren Nelson is Community Manager at SportsEngine. He is also the National Media Editor and has served in a variety of other customer facing and media roles since 2009.

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