June 26, 2013 - BY ANDREW MILLER
Coach Matt Burnett lead the campers in a drill. Photos by Andrew Miller (click for larger version)
Special to the Clarkston News
Young players hit the field to improve their skills at Clarkston Lacrosse Camp.
Clarkston High School hosted the seventh annual camp this week to develop younger players and improve their skills.
The camp hosts players ranging from second grade to upcoming freshman. It is also home to athletes all around the county, not just Clarkston. Players from Clarkston, Lake Orion, Everest Academy and Oxford were all there trying to improve their skills.
"The goal of this camp is to improve all of their skills and fundamentals," said Brian Kaminskas, head coach for the boys varsity team and camp director. "We want to see players becoming more confident in all of their skills, not just their dominate ones."
The players were eager as well to learn and improve on their weaknesses. Jake Risc from Clarkston has been playing lacrosse for two years and was excited about the camp.
"Improving my passing is what I want to gain from this camp," said Risc. "Passing is a huge part of the game and so far the coaches have all been great. They are helping me get my passing better and be more confident."
Josh McCaghy has also been playing for two years and developing his offhand was what he wanted to improve.
"We're here to get better at the skills and fundamentals," said McCaghy. "My offhand needs to get better and that's exactly what they are helping us with here."
In order to learn however, you need a good teacher. Kaminskas is one of the state's best coaches, and the camp gave players a chance to learn from college players who were back from their seasons.
One of the coaches, former Clarkston standout Nick Demattia, was excited to share his knowledge to the next generation of players. Demattia is a sophomore at University of Detroit-Mercy.
"I think it's great so many college athletes come back to help these players," said Demattia.
"I'm excited to play my part in helping these younger kids," he added. "It's good to see how far Clarkston's program has come and to continue it. (The coaches) want to see the athletes get a better knowledge of the game, and improve their lacrosse IQ. Like any camp, we all want them to have fun, too."
All around the field, coaches set up different drills, showing kids proper technique and teaching them the right way to play. The next evident observation was how much fun the players were having.
"It's a skills camp, but also meant to be fun," said Kaminskas. "It's the coaches job to get them excited, and make it fun."
Another camp for beginner players and experienced players, offered through Clarkston Community Education, is July 15-18. Visit www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/cec or call 248-623-4326.