Rising sixth through eighth graders wanting to learn more about lacrosse got the opportunity at a three-day camp hosted by West Stokes lacrosse team and the Triad Blackhawks lacrosse club earlier this week.
“I hope they get introduced to the game and learn the ins and outs. I really want them to get an understanding of what lacrosse is and see what it’s like to catch and throw a ball,” said Wildcats coach Colon Moore.
Over the past four years since lacrosse began at West, Moore said he’s a seen a string of solid athletes come through the program and become frustrated because they had a hard time grasping the basic fundamentals.
“Those guys that excel in every sport they play, they came out for lacrosse and couldn’t catch and throw.”
That’s why Moore believes learning the basics is essential before moving forward in lacrosse.
“It’s a thinking game and it’s a game you can master your skills with a stick, a ball and a wall somewhere. You can be as good as you want to be,” he said.
Over the past few seasons Moore said he’s watched a number of his players gain tremendous knowledge and understanding of the sport. Fifteen of his players are currently in a summer league program.
“Just to watch how good they play together has been great to see. It’s so much nicer to have them understanding the game when they get to high school. I don’t have to spend a month and a half teaching the basics,” he said.
Even as they improve Moore admits it’s still an uphill climb against the lacrosse powerhouses such Reynolds, Reagan, and Mount Tabor.
“Those kids are playing at club level in middle school, some as early as elementary. They get to high school age and they’re mastering the skills. It’s amazing how much better you get when you start early.”
Fortunately opportunities for lacrosse players in this area are beginning to grow.
While local programs out of Winston-Salem and Kernersville don’t have enough teams for their own interleague competition, there are plenty in neighboring communities to stay competitive.
“We’re trying to get more interested in Stokes and Surry County to have enough for a team where we can play in these leagues. The good thing is they don’t stack them; they keep them even because they want to make the teams equal to everyone.”
Within Foothills Lacrosse, a group of parents are trying to start a practice time where people can come out and catch and throw. They’d like to find somewhere visible to set up goals and throw the ball around, possibly on a Sunday afternoon.
“It would just give people an opportunity to learn a little more about the sport and generate some interest,” Moore said.
West lost six of their starters this season, one being Jacob Moore, the programs first player to sign at the college level. The coach is optimistic his team will continue to be competitive.
Moore said Patrick Ellis, who helped at the three-day camp, will be one to watch his senior season.
“I’m really excited about what he’s going to bring to the table this year. He’s playing on an adult team this summer and lighting it up. He’s the ideal attack guy and he’s got great stick skills.”
For more information about lacrosse opportunities contact Colon Moore at (336) 403-3198 or email@example.com.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.