Lacrosse pros visit Park City
As the sport of lacrosse continues to boom in Utah, the Park City Lacrosse Organization (PCLO) is doing its part to get that noticed nationwide.
Nick Seifert, head coach of the Park City junior division boys’ team and board member of the PCLO, said the organization was looking to do some sort of fundraiser this year for local Park City lacrosse teams and he began looking into how to get some of the bigger pro names in the sport to come to town.
Geordy Bishop, an assistant coach with the PCLO last season, played collegiate lacrosse at the University of Denver one of the most prestigious lacrosse programs in the country. Bishop’s familiarity with Jesse Schwartzman, who now is one of the better goalies in Major League Lacrosse (MLL), proved to be vital for what lay ahead.
"(Geordy) was the one who got it going," Seifert said. "He got in touch with Jesse at first and we worked it out. He’s awesome. He reached out to a couple of his buddies as well to help get this deal going."
Today, Schwartzman, along with fellow lacrosse pros Stephen Peyser and Matt Bocklet, are participating in a "Legends of Lacrosse" clinic at the Basin Fieldhouse. There are two sessions: a 2:30 to 4 p.m. session for first through sixth graders and a 4:30 to 6 p.m. session for seventh through twelfth graders.
"It’s really pretty awesome," Seifert said. "For us, we’re just blown away. Utah doesn’t get this kind of talent. It’s a budding lacrosse state."
Each member of the visiting trio has a laundry list of lacrosse accolades to his name.
Schwartzman was named MLL Goalie of the Year in 2009 as a member of the Denver Outlaws and has been named All-Pro three times by the league. He is a two-time NCAA All-American and won the NCAA National Championship in 2005 and 2007 at Johns Hopkins University.
Both Peyser and Bocklet were Schwartzman’s teammates in college. Peyser, a midfielder, currently stars for the Orlando Titans and was a member of a Team USA squad which won a gold medal at the Lacrosse World Games. Bocklet is Schwartzman’s teammate on the Outlaws and is also a member of Team USA Devo squad.
Seifert said he hopes athletes of this stature and prominence can help convince local lacrosse players that anything can be possible.
"We’re just really thrilled to have these guys here," he said. "We’re hoping these guys emphasize what we, as an organization, emphasize. They are the best of the best. Yes, a lot of it is work and dedication and there is always a pretty steep learning curve, but we’re hoping kids can see what it’s like to be at that next level.
"Ultimately, we want them to know everyone can do it."
While the clinic will be primarily devoted to Park City lacrosse athletes, Seifert has reached out to surrounding lacrosse communities throughout the state. He said, so far, there are about 35 registered participants in each clinic and hopes that number will rise before the three stars take center stage.
"It’s a nice shot in the arm in terms of credibility," said Seifert of securing such high-level athletes in such a small community. "We feel like this is the first step in having it every year."
According to Seifert, lacrosse is the second-largest team sport in Park City with 300 youths participating this year.
"It’s exciting," he said.
Summit County and Park City’s elected leaders celebrated Earth Day by attending the signing of the Community Renewable Energy Act.