The much anticipated day of the Xcelerate Olympics was upon us. All the coaches had been pumping this day up all week and let’s just say nobody slept in on this scorcher of a day. The morning session started out with some static stretching and some partner passing. There is some noticeable improvement in the skills of the campers from the first day. Quote of the day “This game is a lot more fun when you know how to catch”. He speaks the truth! After some groundball drills the kids were released for some lunch. The anticipation for the afternoon session continued to build.
After a nice hearty lunch, coupled with a quick afternoon nap (I’m sure all of the campers followed suit…..) we were out on the field for the afternoon session. Brian Karalunas took the kids through the exciting afternoon itinerary. Stations included a longest shot competition (kids had to hit the net at various distances), a goal celebration station (kids had to show the coaches their moves for prizes), and a shot clock station (Bring the heat!!). Each competition was done according to age group and then had an overall competition at the end.
The shot clock station was drawing quite the excitement throughout the afternoon. The younger kids rang in a top speed of 67 mph, middle ground 81, and the high schoolers rang in at at a scorching 93. These kids had some kids that could rip. Jay Card was heading this station and would step in every now and then to show these kids how its done. Check out this video of Jay Card ripping twine. Clocking in at 105 (Yeah you heard right 105!)
I had the pleasure of working the longest shot competition and the kids continued to impress me. There wasn’t enough room on the field for the distances that some of the high schoolers were throwing this ball. Good thing they didn’t ask for a demonstration because I’m not sure I could launch it that far. On the young guns side of the competition, I have never seen so much pipe hit in my life. At one point the coaches counted a seven pipe streak and others were plucking corners from unreal distances. Fun, fun stuff!
The celebration contest was judged by the majority of the coaches. Heading the committee was Coach Sean (who happened to go to Kenyon College, rival college school), he was assisted by Coach Chase, Coach Selling and Coach Karalunas. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the high schoolers renditions but I heard one involved lifting kids up in the air, a skit about life in Canada (tribute to Coach Card) and one with some acrobatic stunts. I did however ever get to see the magic that the little guys came up with and it was pretty sweet.
The kids were disappointed that the afternoon session had to end but quickly perked up when Coach Chase told them of what was to come that evening……A GAME AGAINST THE COUNSELORS. You heard right, some of the high schoolers were going to have to have the chance to play against MLL all-stars, LXM pros, college studs and yours truly. Naturally I wasn’t nervous at all (absolute lie). This event was all the buzz during dinner as kids talked about this Xcelerate event and some prepared for the battle.
The night session began with the young guns playing some games. Apparently the scouting that the Narwals had done the night before worked because my team was clicking. Hard fought battle between both teams but the Narwals prevailed 2-1 against Coach Nick.
Donning a pink Woozle bucket (Woozle Love!) I took the field along with the other counselors of the session. I was pumped to get to play with such talent and excited to see how these high schoolers would fare. The game was off and running and Jay Card quickly found the score board with an intense around the world fake followed by a doorstep dunk. Highlights of the game included an on a line full field behind the back pass by Coach Malcolm Chase to Coach Sean (who was crafty around the crease all night long) who put it top left after a series of fakes, Coach Card getting a hat trick playing long pole, and some insane takeaway check by Coach Brian Karalunas. All and all the kids were entertained and many young guns were asking if they could get in the game.
Exhausted by an action packed day the dorms were pretty quiet that night except for the occassional rumblings about the competitions or the games. Last day of camp was the next morning and Xcelerate was surely going to go out with a bang.