Marines teach high school athletes leadership qualities; Lacrosse preseason training prepares students for tryouts

Kierstyn McManus, Reporter

 On Sept 14, lacrosse players all around the east coast gather at Tierney Fields, located in Hunt Valley, where the Marine Corps go through military-style training to those wanting to level-up their lacrosse skills and become a better athlete altogether.

    This year’s participants, sophomores Jarrett and Noah Altenburg, Tony Dellarose, and freshman Matthew Gabriszeski, speak on behalf of their experience. The training session is one day, from 9 a.m. to around 5 p.m., ran by the US Lacrosse program, who work on teaching athlete’s leadership through working together and “what attributes help out a team,” according to Jarrett.

    With the marines running the camp along with local lacrosse coaches, athletes participate in “ammo-can runs one minute and speed shots the next,” Jarrett claims. The ammo-runs consisted of “two thirty-pound weights you had to run with and race other opponents. It was so much fun, it was my favorite drill,” says Gabriszeski.

     Working on a combination of stick skills such as passing and catching, shooting drills, scrimmages, along with strength-training gave athletes the opportunity to practice during the offseason, preparing them for high school tryouts in spring.

    Players range from freshmen to seniors, where both female and male athletes separate, and form groups according to position. With 10 coaches running different drills, the community is “friendly and welcoming,” according to Dellarose, with hundreds of people from all-around. Jarrett says he even “made great friends with people outside the community, like kids that came all the way from West Virginia.”

   The marines’ goal was to “mainly focus on teaching players leadership skills for not just lacrosse, but for other sports and in life.” Gabriszeski says that “combining all the grades together for certain drills allowed us to help those players that were struggling and really just work together.”

     “What we learn at the camp gives us the chance to lead the kids that need help, and it’s a great life skill to have,” says Noah. “Lacrosse is my life, it’s my favorite sport and this camp allows me to share my passion with people and at the same time, I can work on my game,” Dellarose claims.

   Participating in other pre-season activities, such as weight training, lacrosse training after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and club seasons, the boys feel “excited and well prepared for the spring season,” according to Gabriszeski. “This camp is different because it gives us something that no other camp really does, which is the chance to be a leader and teach others,” says Dellarose.

    “The coaches there have a great coaching style because they push you, but at the same time they’re super nice so it’s a good balance,” says Gabriszeski, “the hardest thing is probably that some freshman go up against seniors in certain drills, and they obviously have the advantage, but it’s still fun and I don’t mind, I think it pushes me to do better,” he claims.

   Anybody searching to up their game, meet new people, and have the opportunity to share their knowledge with others, is welcome to sign up for this lacrosse training session, held annually each summer. “I would definitely recommend this camp, I mean it was my first year, but it was a great experience,” Noah states.