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Athlete of The Week

Reeling in points

Michael VanderWeel during the game against St. Michael's College - Toronto, April 15. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
April 25, 2012 - Senior Michael VanderWeel saw his first lacrosse game when he was in sixth grade and ever since he was hooked.

"I liked how you have to use both hands," he added. "It's not a single hand dominant sport like hockey or football. You have to be good both hands and be ambidextrous."

For the last three years he has aided the Clarkston Boys Varsity Lacrosse team including last year's regional run against Brother Rice where they ended the season.

"It was a really hard loss," he added. "We worked really hard all season and we came up short in regionals. It was really emotional because it was the last time I got to play with my senior friends. But it gave me something to work for this season. Our goal is to beat Brother Rice. It gives us a desire to work and have a better work ethic."

He said the team is strong this year.

"We just need to play a full game of Clarkston lacrosse," VanderWeel said. "If we keep working like we are and keep having the hard practices we will have a great shot of winning the state championship and beating Brother Rice."

To prepare the boys are taking on tougher teams to prepare - including St. Michael's College - Toronto.

"He had a helluva game against them," said Brian Kaminskas, head coach. "He started the season on the second line and we moved him up. He has been playing hard and had a great game against Bloomfield. He has come into his own."

VanderWeel also played football before devoting all of his attention to lacrosse. He said the training in football helped.

"Football is a really physical sport and there is a lot of hard hitting," he added. "It toughened me up for lacrosse because you have a lot of slashes. When you get a slash you just keep going."

VanderWeel has had offers to play college lacrosse after high school but decided to focus on his studies. He plans to attend Oakland Community College for a few years before he transfers to Miami, Florida as he pursues his dream of being a marine biologist.

"We went snorkeling one time in Key West, Florida and since then I have been interested in marine life," he explained. "I always wanted to go snorkeling and be with the animals in the water."

His parents are Joy and Larry.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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