Nine years ago, Claremont coaches and former professional lacrosse players Darren Reisig and Chris McKay decided that it was time for B.C. to showcase the top lacrosse talent in the province. They created the B.C.’s Best NCAA Lacrosse Identification Camp. The inaugural year there were approximately twenty participants and a handful of coaches present. The camp has grown and become the top identification camp in Western Canada with one hundred and sixty athletes (grades nine-twelve) in attendance plus forty coaches representing schools including Ohio State, University of Denver, Michigan State and Penn State.
The goal for Coaches Reisig and McKay has always been to have players from Western Canada be given the opportunity to be awarded scholarships to play and study in the U.S. It was apparent at the end of the day yesterday that there was interest in many players on hand.
Several B.C. boys who are playing and studying in the U.S including Jackson Boyd and Max Wilson (NJIT), Brayden Brown (University of Bellarmine), Adam Fulton (University of Delaware), Brad McCulley (Robert Morris University) and Caleb Kueber (Mercyhurst) were actively coaching teams and running drills on the field yesterday as a way of giving back to the program and to the coaches who assisted them in obtaining opportunities to pursue an education while playing the sport they love south of the border.
The big story of the day however was the debut of the first B.C.’s Best Women’s Identification Camp. There were approximately forty participants, and nine coaches representing nine American Universities.
There was a lot of buzz around local legend, former Shamrock, professional player and head coach of the Syracuse Women’s program Gary Gait being in town in conjunction with representatives from the University of Michigan, Campbell, Tiffin, Concordia, Findlay, Kent State, Hartford and the University of Indiananapolis.
Former Shamrock and professional player Fredi Jenner and his wife former Shippensburg University graduate Linda Jenner who have three children who play lacrosse (two daughters -Maki and Sylvie and son Hudson) co-ordinated the women’s program for the day. Former Claremont graduate Elle Hamilton (dad is former Shamrock and professional player Grant Hamilton) ran the warm ups while Debbie Phillips who is attending Hartford and Marran Dodds who played at McGill this past season took care of the refereeing duties.
The day which included drills, and games ended in the girls changing gear and gears and demonstrating box lacrosse by playing two games for the U.S. coaches as box lacrosse is traditionally a Canadian sport.
I spoke with a group of girls at the end of the day and they said it was a phenomenal experience and they would definitely participate next year. The sport of women’s field lacrosse is growing and we can expect more and more greatness coming out of B.C.