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Upper Dublin holds inaugural Lacrosse Day as alumni and current players pass skills on to next generation

Thursday, 31st December 2009

Categories Boy's/Men's, Features  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/31/09

More than 75 youth and high school players and alumni participated Wednesday in the inaugural Upper Dublin Lacrosse Day at the school’s new gym.

The event featured consecutive 2-hour skill sessions. The first was run by current UD players, who coached 40 youths from the district. In the second session, Upper Dublin grads who are now playing in college or have played in college taught the high school players. Upper Dublin coaches supervised.

Cardinals coach Jon Levine said the event was developed to promote the sport by using all generations of Cardinal players to help build the lacrosse community,

“This was done to stimulate lacrosse in Upper Dublin,” said Levine, who credited assistant coach Haldy Gifford for developing the idea for the event. “We want the youth guys to learn from the high school guys, and the high school guys to learn from those that came before them.

“We are trying to help establish a little atmosphere here with the Upper Dublin lacrosse community. We felt it was very important to have Upper Dublin kids learning from Upper Dublin people. We hope they’re learning more than lacrosse, because they’re learning from guys they want to watch.”

The event drew 40 youth players and a number of Upper Dublin alumni currently playing college lacrosse. That group featured Maryland junior defenseman Brett Schmidt, a preseason All-American pick by Inside Lacrosse who earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic honors in 2009. Other alumni that helped were Penn senior midfielder Todd Tewksbury, Jacksonville freshman attackman Jimmy Trentini, Roanoke junior midfielder Tyler Rinko, Widener freshman midfielder Scott Breuninger, Franklin & Marshall freshman defenseman Scott Beury, McDaniel sophomore attackman J.S. Duke, Marymount junior defenseman Tim Lynch, Shippensburg (club) face-off specialist Wray Crane and Brett Tewksbury.

Also helping were college grads Andy Rathfon (Wittenburg) and Mike Hobbs (Towson).

After the sessions, Schmidt spoke to the high school players and parents about the type of commitment necessary to make it in college lacrosse.

“It was definitely a great event,” Schmidt said. “It’s a growing sport in Upper Dublin, and there are a lot of good people here. Coach Levine is helping kids get sticks in their hands earlier and earlier. The more little kids get these sticks, the more it will help the high school.”

Rinko, whose Roanoke team was ranked No. 1 in Division III for a brief period last year, said having alumni participate is the key.

“We are trying to get more alumni participation,” he said. “And then current high school players will be able to contact college players if they’re interested in the (recruiting) process.”

Trentini, a member of the first team at Division I Jacksonville, explained to the Upper Dublin players that the speed of the college game is much faster.

“It’s great to have all the alumni coming back and reuniting,” said Trentini, who helped the Cards win their third straight Suburban One American Conference title as a senior. “We’re giving back to the community. We’re teaching young kids what we didn’t know in high school and what we know now.

“The main difference is the speed and size of the guys in college and the way the game is played.”

Tewksbury said he wants to see Upper Dublin’s success to transfer to a more regional reputation.

“Anything we can do to help our program here is great,” he said. “At school people ask me where I’m from. Many of them are from Long Island or Baltimore. I say the Philly area and that I am from Upper Dublin. They have no idea what I am talking about. So, (I’ll do) whatever I can do to help put this school on the map.

“You learn so many little tricks in college. We want to teach them those little tricks – if they can get them before they go to college, it will help so much.”

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