Steamboat Springs The résumés were impressive, the camp was really one of a kind, and another staple appears to have made Steamboat Youth Lacrosse one of the premier programs in the state.
The inaugural Steamboat Lacrosse Camp debuted Monday through Thursday at Steamboat Springs High School, with more than 70 lacrosse players of all ages taking part amidst impressive company.
“I’ve been to a lot of camps, but not this small with this type of staff,” said Chazz Woodson, who was a 2008 Major League Lacrosse all-star and should instantly be YouTubed by anyone who likes brilliant displays of athleticism. Camp director “Neill (Redfern) did a great job of putting the staff together.”
Coaches at the camp included Woodson; Tom Duquette, four-time All-American at the University of Virginia; Sam Lane, Washington College attackman; Sean Delaney, two-time All-American at North Carolina and current Denver Outlaw; Greg Paradine, two-time All-American at North Carolina; Greg Vetter, three-time All-American at Washington College; and recent University of Notre Dame graduate and goalie Scott Rodgers, a two-time All-American who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Redfern said he’d thought about trying to put on a camp since 2003. With the addition of Lane to the Steamboat Youth Lacrosse program, they were able to run the summer leagues all at once. And with a chance to put together a camp in Steamboat for Steamboat players, Redfern decided it was time.
“Everybody would ask me what the best camp they should send their kids to was,” Redfern said. “I feel confident in the product we’ve given these guys. We brought in big names and knew they could coach.”
The camp broke up into attackmen, midfielders, defenders and goalies. At each position, players got lots of one-on-one instruction not only from coaches at their particular position, but also from instructors at other positions.
“It’s smaller than a lot of camps,” Rodgers said. “We got a lot done with a lot of details. I was able to have conversations with each of the kids. We want to teach them to play the game. I want them to get as much information as possible and then make their own identity.”
The ability to get so many high-caliber players was a testament to Redfern. Redfern played under Duquette at Norfolk Academy in Norfolk, Va. Woodson also played there, and Redfern got the impressive list through contacts.
Duquette said he came away impressed with the level of lacrosse in Steamboat, especially among younger players. Although he said it’s still behind programs on the East Coast, it’s not too far away. With the passion for lacrosse in Steamboat, Duquette said, it won’t be long until the program is competitive.
“My dad put a stick in my hands when I was 8,” Duquette said. “I’m 58 and still doing it. You want them to get that same sense of that love.”
That passion was evident Thursday, with a large younger group in the morning and a contingent of older players in the afternoon.
Maybe the best part of the camp was that of the 70 or so participating, only three were from out of town. Redfern didn’t really market the camp outside of Steamboat, meaning the four-day, intimate session also served as a team-building camp.
“It’s been great,” said David Robey, who will be a senior at Christian Heritage School but will play lacrosse for Steamboat. “I can’t imagine a camp better than this. You’re learning from the best of the best.”