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Nike Ride followup: Philly boys took it to the next level in Oregon

Tuesday, 30th July 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/30/13

Grant Ament said he felt like a pro athlete last week at the Nike Ride.

“They treated us like they would any other pro athlete,” said the Haverford School rising junior attackman. “They gave us an unbelievable amount of gear and they gave us respect for the talent we had. It was nothing short of amazing.”

Philly players at Nike Ride - Standing:  Haverford School coach John Nostant, Chase Young, Drew Schantz, Colin Reder, Noah Lejman, Curtis Zappala, Peter Gayhardt, Jack Reilly Kneeling:  Charles Kelly, Grant Ament, Drew Supinski

Philly players at Nike Ride – Standing: Haverford School coach John Nostant, Chase Young, Drew Schantz, Colin Reder, Noah Lejman, Curtis Zappala, Peter Gayhardt, Jack Reilly, Kneeling: Charles Kelly, Grant Ament, Drew Supinski

Ament, a Penn State commit and starter on the Fords’ Inter-Ac Invitational championship team this spring, was one of 10 Philly boys who competed in the two-day, invitational event held July 22-23 at Nike’s Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
The 77 high school standouts (35 boys) received the best of care – coaching from top pros and college All-Americans, elite SPARQ fitness training, custom gear after every session, their own personalized lockers and top competition. The event also featured an “All-Star” game on Tuesday.

Ament was named the Top Attackman and Overall Points Winner after the boys were split into teams for a game Tuesday. Malvern Prep rising junior face-off specialist Charles Kelly (North Carolina commit) was named Top Midfielder after dominating everyone at the X. Other Philly boys included Episcopal Academy’s Colin Reder (2015 goalie), Peter Gayhardt (2016 attackman) and Curtis Zappala (2015 attackman), St, Joseph’s Prep’s Chase Young (2015 midfielder), Malvern Prep’s Drew Schantz (2015 midfielder) and Haverford School’s Noah Lejman (2015 defenseman) and Drew Supinski (2015 midfielder).
The players put this event on the top of their all-time experiences in lacrosse.

AWARD WINNERS - Grant Ament (left), coach Max Seibald, Charles Kelly

AWARD WINNERS – Grant Ament (left), coach Max Seibald, Charles Kelly

“They treated us like royalty,” said Kelly. “They made us feel like we were kings. They gave us everything we needed from gear to food. Also they let us voice out opinions on how they make their lacrosse products and how they could improve on them.”

“They treated us like world-class athletes,” added Zappala. “That is kind of different because lacrosse isn’t huge in America. For someone like Nike to treat high school lacrosse players like world class athletes is awesome.”

Young said he enjoyed playing alongside the large Philly group, but also enjoyed testing his skills against other top players from around the country.

“It was fun having the Philly guys at The Ride to represent our area, enjoy the Nike Campus and the gear, and play on the championship team,” said Young. “But, at the same time I made many friendships with other lacrosse players from across the country.”

Nike brought in pro standouts such as Kyle Harrison, Max Seibald (Wings) and Jeremy Thompson to serve as coaches. Haverford School Hall of Fame coach John Nostrant also was a coach.

“We had four stations with 20-yard sprints and 30-yard shovel sprints, vertical jump and powerball rotational throws,” said Ament of the SPARQ testing. “It tested your core strength and the rotation in your shot.

“It really did kind of serve as an eye opener for all of us. You can be a great lacrosse player, but that doesn’t mean you are the best athlete around. This was a wake-up call for me to improve my game and get to the next level through being physically able.”

EA CONNECTION - Colin Reder (left), Peter Gayhardt, Curtis Zappala

EA CONNECTION – Colin Reder (left), Peter Gayhardt, Curtis Zappala

Ament enjoyed measuring himself against the nation’s top players.

“It was amazing; there were the best kids in the country,” he said. “The defenders were so hard to beat, but at the same time the attackmen were so easy to play with. It wasn’t too hard to adapt.”

What was the message from the pros?

“They said never to settle for anything,” Ament said. “They themselves are never settled; they are always trying to improve their game.

“They want to hit the overall goal of being perfect. You want to raise the bar higher and higher and see if you can get there. Playing against good competition can always help.”

Other comments from Philly participants:

Colin Reder:

HAVERFORD SCHOOL CONNECTION - Noah Lejman, Grant Ament, Drew Suoinski, Coach Nostrant

HAVERFORD SCHOOL CONNECTION – Noah Lejman (Left), Grant Ament, Drew Suoinski, Coach John Nostrant

What did you learn from the experience that will help your lacrosse game?

Reder: “I learned a lot from the coaching staff, which included Jeremy Thompson, Max Seibald, Kyle Harrison, and Quint Kessenich. They taught all of us the ins and outs of being an elite lacrosse player and how to thrive while playing at the top level.”

How do you feel you fared in the game Tuesday and how would you describe the level of competition?

Reder: “I would say I did well in the game for the level of talent that was out on the field with kids from all over the country going to top programs.”

Charles Kelly:

Nike Gear

Nike Gear


What did you learn from the experience that will help your lacrosse game?

Kelly: “This experience at Nike will help my game by first giving me the tools from the SPARQ training to make myself a better athlete and also by letting me see how good other players are so I can continue to push myself. The most valuable things they taught me during the Ride are to play with passion and to give it all I have when I’m on the field. Also they taught us to never stop working to become better.”

Chase Young:

What did you learn from the experience that will help your lacrosse game?

Young: “The Ride experience gave me the opportunity to train, play with and compete against some of the most talented players in the country. It was especially interesting to play with lacrosse players from around the country and observe how they approached the game. I learned to help improve as an athlete it is necessary to train daily. Nike introduced different ways of training that I have been able to bring back home.”

How do you feel you fared in the game Tuesday and how would you describe the level of competition?

Young: “Many of the lacrosse players at The Ride were nationally ranked, have committed to play lacrosse at the collegiate level and play on well recognized high school and club teams. So there was definitely a high level of competition at The Ride. I had an opportunity to showcase my talent and to hold my own against some of the top lacrosse players in the country.”

Curtis Zappala:

How did you fare in the All-Star Game and what did you learn from the experience that will help your lacrosse game?

Zappala: “It was pretty cool playing with and against some of the best people in the country. You kind of realize you may not be the best, but there are things that stand out in a game and attributes you need to become more of a role player and a team player. You need to be a thinking player when playing on a team with all kids that are big time D1 athletes.

“I am usually more of a feeder at EA, but I played with two lefties and I played off ball more. We had good ball movement and the game was really upbeat and played with a fast tempo. Everyone was unselfish and no one was going through four people.”

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