Free Clinic Offered Ahead of Lacrosse Season

0
264
Catch! Lacrosse will host a free clinic on Feb. 21 at Malibu High School.

Malibu youths playing the fastest game on two feet will have some competition from outside of the city this year. 

The Malibu Sharks, a City of Malibu recreation program, will play in the Southern California Lacrosse Association this spring. 

Malibu recreation volunteer and parent Gregg Brock said the two-year-old organization open to players up to the age of 15 did not play any games last season and only held practices. 

“We used it as a time of development to teach kids how to play,” Brock said. His son Bowen is an active participant in the Sharks’ program. 

The Sharks’ U9, U11 and U13 squads’ first game will be March 5.

Before the lacrosse season begins on March 1, the recreation program is hosting a free preseason clinic on Feb. 21 at Malibu High School’s (MHS) stadium. The 1 to 3 p.m. event is being hosted by Catch! Lacrosse — a lacrosse skill development program — and will feature lacrosse instructors and coaches teaching young athletes the nuances of the sport. The clinic is open to any youth wanting to give lacrosse a try. 

Catch! Lacrosse owner Skylar Hopkins said lacrosse clinic attendees will have fun and compete. 

“We try to design our drills and practices in an up and down game style,” the coach said. “In doing that, it makes the game more fun because you are playing against your friends and scoring goals, not just standing around.” 

Hopkins said youth at the clinic will also get a lot of face time with lacrosse coaches. 

“We love the chance to work with every player individually,” he said. “We get the chance to know the kids.” 

Brock said participants will learn how to use lacrosse equipment, including the sticks, and learn to play with teammates.

“Instructors will give parents an overview of why lacrosse is growing so fast,” he said. 

This is the second consecutive year that lacrosse clinics will take place in Malibu. A previous clinic took place on Jan. 24. 

Hopkins said excitement about lacrosse has grown throughout Malibu’s youth community. 

“When we went to schools last year [for lacrosse demos], kids had never heard of lacrosse before, but now, a year later, the kids remember playing, having a lot of fun and even the ones that weren’t on the team last year remember how to pick up a stick and use it,” he said. 

The lacrosse season will begin around one week after the clinic. Last season, the number of lacrosse players jumped from 10 to 60. Lacrosse coaches are hoping even more kids will play this spring. 

“We are trying to build the program as much as we can,” Brock said. 

Hopkins is hoping more kids try lacrosse this spring — especially on the U9 level — so that the players will have a chance to grow from team to team with the Malibu program.

The coach of the U9 team is former MHS football and lacrosse player Brennan Cassone. The U11 coach is lacrosse enthusiast Kendall Raine, father of Colorado College lacrosse player Harrison Raine. Pepperdine student and former Georgetown Preparatory School lacrosse player Bagan Sullano is the coach of the U13 team. 

The Sharks’ squads will compete against teams from areas such as Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Granada Hills, Pasadena, Westlake Village and Simi. 

Brock said lacrosse is becoming a widely popular sport, and playing it offers another athletic route to young athletes who do not play baseball.

“Soccer has almost 600 kids per year, and baseball has about 170 per year, so there are a lot of kids out there that don’t have any spring sports,” he said. “The sport of lacrosse has done wonders for my son’s soccer game — his field sense is better, plus the fitness aspect is huge.” 

To sign up for a practice session, register at malibucity.org/register. For questions, contact Skylar Hopkins at 443.362.9492 or email coaches@catchlacrosse.com.