On Friday, October 12th, the Grow The Game Tour crew departed for the evergreen State of Washington, by way of I-84 West through Oregon, after a few days of recharging in Boise, Idaho, which occurred after an inspiring trip to Missoula, Montana, which happened before a couple of unforgettable visits to the Flathead Reservation and the Blackfeet Reservation, only after a dangerous buffalo encounter at Yellowstone National Park!
It’s been a crazy ride!
Needless to say, leading up to our departure from Boise, it had already been an incredible trip. When planning our trek to Washington (Seattle to be exact), we thought it made sense to break up the drive a bit and schedule a GTG Clinic somewhere in Eastern Oregon. Lucky for us, it didn’t take much outreach to find the perfect program to work with – The folks in Hermiston, Oregon were receptive to our mission and welcomed us with open arms. Below are a few photos from our experience in Hermiston. Those kids were like sponges!
It was a rather ominous looking day as we drove across Eastern Oregon, the clouds were dark and threatening as we inched closer to our destination in the Dutchie. Like clockwork, as soon as we arrived and took out the sticks, the rain started to pour.
We were somewhat worried this would affect how many players showed up to the event. We were very pleasantly surprised though, because as we walked around the corner of the school, we were greeted by 40-50 young lacrosse players already on the field, passing around (the first thing we actually saw was a D pole ripping a shot top corner off a pipe. Okay Hermiston, I see you!).
We love seeing kids who could care less what the weather is like, as long as they get a chance to play lacrosse.
After a brief introduction about who we were and what we were doing in Hermiston, we got the kids in one big circle and started working on our stick skills. From the kids out there for the very first time to the Seniors in high school, everyone got right to work and was eager to absorb every bit of information being passed on to them by Easton’s Mike Powell.
Once we were all warmed up and ready to go, we split up by age level for a while to give everyone a chance to get the most out of the day.
Later, we brought the group back together for a shooting demo. Henry Fitzpatrick introduced time and room shooting, then Mike Powell addressed in-close finishing. These players were intent to become students of the game.
We ended the day by opening the floor up for a Q & A session, and boy was it a good one. All of our knowledge and experience was brought to the table as kids questioned us on everything from dodging, to face-offs, and even asked about the best type of pockets for each position.
Unbeknownst to some, Mike’s knowledge of the game goes far beyond attack. While politely passing off questions to the rest of us from time to time, Mike wasn’t afraid to dive into great detail about defensive checks, face-off techniques, or even goalie scenarios.
This goalie got the full Mike Powell experience during the shooting demo. It’s tough to go up against the greats.
Rain or shine, Hermiston is ready to grind.
We look forward to seeing some great things come out of Hermiston and the rest of Eastern Oregon as the game continues to grow more in that area.
Thank you so much to the Hermiston lacrosse team for hosting us and for everyone who was able to make it out to the clinic. Grow The Game!