By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/3/13
With the first day of practice set for PIAA teams tomorrow, nearly 100 boys of all ages got a 4-hour warm-up by participating in the Ward Melville/LB3-style and Phillie Elite Preseason Camp at the Shipley School.
The annual camp, more of an extended clinic, featured skill-building and instruction from a group led by LB3 founder Liam Banks, the former Syracuse All-American and National champion from famed Ward Melville High on Long Island.
Banks was joined by a host of former NCAA standouts, including Josh Amidon (played at Syracuse), Kevin Crowley (Wings standout, Shipley assistant, Stony Brook), Brian Silcott (Nazareth), Tim Goldstein (Cornell), Dennis Goldstein (UNC), J.P. Banks (Upper Dublin and Phillie Elite coach, Johns Hopkins), Mark Duncan (Shipley head coach, Lehigh) and Kevin Banks (Phillie Elite coach, Hobart).
“You start the season off and one of the things a coach does not want to wonder is whether their sticks are ready or not,” said Banks. “This provides them with a good 4-hour opportunity to get their sticks ready.
“And also, they hear a different voice. You hear your coach a lot and there are a lot of talented coaches in the Philly area. But we feel we have something to add to help them hone in so they are ready for their coaches.”
This year LB3 added Phillie Elite, specifically designed for high school-aged players. LB3 also has teams in Atlanta and St. Louis.
“I love coming here,” said Banks. “The first reason is that we have the LB3 Philadelphia and Phillie Elite connections. The Goldstein brothers coach (youth) in Radnor and Mark Duncan is at Shipley. This is like our second home.
“This is where LB3 was established and you can expect to see more of us in camps and clinics because this is an important part in the country.”
Crowley, in a good mood since the Wings have won three straight games and have made a major step in the National Lacrosse League playoff picture, was happy to serve as a coach at the clinic.
“I think from my personal standpoint a lot of what I know about lacrosse are things I learned from top coaches,” said Crowley, a former member of the Canadian U19 and national teams and a No. 1 pick in both the NLL and Major League Lacrosse (Hamilton). “I learn from new coaches all the time.
“Even at a clinic like this, I am learning from people like Liam Banks and Josh Amidon. Hopefully these kids will pick something up and use that in their high school or wherever they are playing and become a better player.
“I love being involved in this. Anything I can do to grow the game is good because a lot of these players come out and support the Wings. This is my way to give back to them and help them improve.”
Banks also likes to say that Philly lacrosse continues to matchup up with the top hotbeds of Long Island and Baltimore.
“I think that Long Island and Baltimore are obviously top-notch, but Philly is a desirable place to live,” he said. “A lot of lacrosse players go away to college and want to come back to live in Philly. It is an attractive city and has great sports franchises.
“It obviously has excellent academics and that coincides with lacrosse.”