Lacrosse pros in Glenwood
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Lacrosse had a big week in Glenwood as three professional players and 50 youth players gathered at the Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley Campus for a five-day Xcelerate Lacrosse Camp.Mark Miyashita, of the National Lacrosse League’s Minnesota Swarm, Matt Brown of Major League Lacrosse’s Denver Outlaws and NLL’s Arizona Sting and John Gallant of the NLL’s Colorado Mammoth instructed the camp. While there were a few local kids in attendance, most campers hailed from out of town, including Florida, California, Idaho, Michigan and other Colorado locations such as Denver and Grand Junction.”We go all across the country to non-traditional hotbeds, trying to help grow the game and get the kids better,” said Miyashita, Xcelerate’s coaching director and Glenwood camp director.Xcelerate Lacrosse Camps were co-founded by lacrosse legend, U.S. national team player and Colorado Mammoth, Jay Jalbert. Along with lots of lacrosse, which included three-a-day sessions for the 11- to 17-year-olds for most of the week, Miyashita, Brown and Gallant all put a little extra into the Glenwood camp. This one did mean a little more seeing as all three live in Colorado.
“With this one, we wanted to create a different lacrosse camp experience and we took the kids rafting. It was a blast and it was something to make it a little different,” Miyashita said. “We all love Colorado and we wanted to make it like a vacation and give the kids an experience they probably wouldn’t have anywhere else.”Xcelerate Camps’ growth from three a few years ago to 17 across the country this summer is a direct reflection of the growth of the sport in general.”The sport in Colorado is just exploding. It’s definitely exploding in the West,” said Brown. “With more and more camps these kids can go to, the better they are going to get and the higher quality players we are going to produce.”Outside of working on their fundamentals, draw and dumps, give and gos, finding good shot angels and dodging hits, the campers enjoy the camp because they get to work with pros. Gus Brunger of Castle Rock has been to three Xcelerate camps and keeps on coming back for the same reason.”The pros that come and help you out,” 15-year-old Brunger said. “You learn a lot from the scrimmages and games.”This was the first Xcelerate camp in Glenwood, but Brown and the rest of the organizers hope it’s not the last.
“This one is cool because it is in the mountains and hopefully next year we will have some more kids,” said Brown, who has scored 24 goals for the Outlaws so far this season. “We would like to grow this and make it a cool thing for kids and hopefully get up to 100 to 125 people.”After a pair of scrimmages on Friday, the camp wrapped up and kids headed home. Brown had to get on the road to Denver to get to an Outlaw practice Friday night before the team’s game today against the Los Angeles Riptide at Invesco Field at Mile High.
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