By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/14/11
Saucon Valley sophomore attackman Paul Houck won a too-good-to-believe prize today – one of the world’s top lacrosse player as his mentor for a year!
Houck was one of 10 players that earned the chance to attend professional lacrosse player Paul Rabil’s unique shooting clinic called “Under My Wing.”
Held Sunday at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., the clinic was organized in conjunction with Warrior/Red Bull and the F-4 Showbine tournament at Flemington. Eight of the top players from the tourney were pre-selected to participate and two others that won the shooting contest at the Showbine’s combine earned their spots.
Those two were Houck, of Twist Lacrosse, who won the fastest shot (95 mph) for a short stick in Saturday’s combine. On Sunday, Garnet Valley junior midfielder Vail Urso had a 96 and then blew away everyone with a 101 mph blazer in a shootoff to win the last spot.
Rabil took the 10 players through a 2-and-a-half hour session on shooting. This morning, he chose the one that he will mentor for the year – and Houck was the pick.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Houck said. “I actually checked to see if I was dreaming.”
And the clinic?
“We all got Warrior gear – it was pretty nice stuff – and we went on the Red Bull field and he showed us some drills and techniques and all his tips,” he said. “I feel like I benefited a lot already. He taught us so much in a short amount of time. I am looking forward to learning from him over the course of the year.”
Houck, who is keeping in touch with Rabil through e-mail for now, had a team-high 27 goals last year as a freshman.
How did he get such a hard shot at a young age?
“It’s just really from a lot of hours put in the backyard shooting balls,” he said. “My mom and dad feed me constantly and I play wall ball. I also swim and compete on our school’s swim team; that helps a lot. It’s a good cross training sport because it works your core.”
Rabil was a four-time USILA All-American and a two-time NCAA Division 1 champion at Johns Hopkins. At the pro level, he plays for the Boston Cannons of the MLL and the Washington Stealth of the NLL. He has won two MLL MVP awards and a championship title in both leagues.
Each player had a personalized locker filled with gifts from Warrior, a top lacrosse apparel company. Each player received T-shirts, shorts, cleats, shoes, helmets, pads and sticks.
The 10 players that participated in the Warrior/Red Bull clinic by Paul Rabil
Daniel Simonetti, Cold Spring Harbor (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), Senior.
John Longordo, Bridgewater-Raritan (Bridgewater, N.J.), Senior TWIST LACROSSE
Daniel O’Connell, Chaminade, (Mineola, N.Y.), Senior (could not attend)
Vail Urso, Garnet Valley (Glen Mills, Pa.), Senior GARNETT VALLEY JAGS
Lucas Clay, Garden City, (Garden City, N.Y.), Junior LI STING
Bobby Young, Manhasset (Manhasset, N.Y.), Junior LI STING
Liam Young, Manhasset (Manhasset, N.Y.), Junior LI STING
Austin Williams, Delbarton (Morristown, N.J.), Junior BUILDING BLOCKS LACROSSE
Tanner Barbieri, St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.), Sophomore BUILDING BLOCKS LACROSSE
Paul Houck, Saucon Valley (Hellertown, Pa.), Sophomore TWIST LACROSSE
Tags: Saucon Valley