Players from the Harlem Lacrosse & Leadership Program were treated free of charge to three days of high caliber lacrosse instruction courtesy of Top Side Lacrosse at a clinic held Dec. 27-29 at the Sports Underdome in Mount Vernon.
All told, more than 70 boys and girls players participated in the event.
Led by head coach Jake Klein, Harlem Lacrosse & Leadership is a non-profit group that uses lacrosse as a vehicle for providing academic mentoring and character education to high school and middle school boys players at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Central Harlem.
Top Side Lacrosse owner Justin Otto decided to include HLL after a fall youth jamboree in Briarcliff Manor which included HLL.
“I found out about HLL through Mitch Bradbury of New Rochelle Youth Lacrosse when New Rochelle participated in the Briarcliff Jamboree in November,” Otto said. “I have worked closely with Mitch for the past year and he put me in touch with Jake Klein.
“It was the perfect clinic for HLL and it was great for Top Side to start bridging the gap between the Bronx and Westchester lacrosse.”
Former University of Virginia standouts Shamel and Rhamel Bratton were also on hand for the event, as was their former UVa teammate, Connor English, the attackman from Manhasset High School who recently transferred to Cornell University.
The clinic included scrimmages, offensive workouts, clocked shooting drills, power and finesse focused training and a full-day jamboree that included the HLL, New Rochelle and Briarcliff programs.
“The Brattons and Connor were fantastic,” Otto said. “The boys had a ton of fun learning from them and we hope to work with them again in the future.”
Ditto for HLL.
“It was a pleasure hosting the boys from Harlem,” Otto said. “They were a great group of guys who were just hungry to learn and play. They got after it in every drill and we really enjoyed working with them.”
You can check out a YouTube video on highlights of the clinic here.
Chris Eck (Boston Cannons), Ryan Cranston (LXM PRO/Charlotte Hounds), Malcolm Chase (Hershey Haymakers/Maine Premier Lacrosse), Ginny Capicchioni (Team USA/Hershey Haymakers) and the Top will be holding preseason clinics in February and March for boys and girls. For more info, visit www.topsidelacrosse.com.
Player’s perspective archive
* For a look at how schedules for teams from throughout the region for the 2012 season are shaping up, be sure to check out the “Schedules galore” thread.