This week was a very successful first week of the Jr. Riptide Fall Box League as it was a great turnout all three nights! With over 350 boys and girls coming thru the rinks at the Kings Park Sportime, Tuesday night was the first night and featured the boys PeeWee division (grades 5 and 6) and the boys Bantam division (grades 7 and 8). Wednesday night was all girls which featured the Novice division (grades 3 and 4), the PeeWee division (grades 5 and 6), and the Bantam division (grades 7 and 8). Thursday night was the girls Bantam division (grades 7 and 8), the boys Novice division (grade 3 and 4) and boys Midget division (grades 9 and 10).
What’s pretty awesome of the Jr. Riptide Fall Box League is every athlete competing will get a 3-game flex pass to NY Riptide home games throughout the NLL Season. Long Island should be particularly excited for the home opener on Saturday, December 4th at the Nassau Coliseum. The LILJ will be on site covering the game, the players, and will be pushing the Long Island Lacrosse community to watch some of the best lacrosse players in the world compete for the NY Riptide.
Speaking of the best players in the world, each group at the Jr. Riptide Fall Box League got training and first hand knowledge about playing box lacrosse, and what the differences are between that and field lacrosse from three big time coaches. Coach Greg Miceli of Stony Brook, and current Riptide players Callum Crawford, Ryan Fourier, and . These three coaches work with all the age groups for both boys and girls each night.
Coach Miceli who grew up in Canada, has been an assistant coach for the Stony Brook Women’s lacrosse team since 2019 after spending time there as a volunteer assistant. Miceli went to Stony Brook University where he was a member of the men’s lacrosse team for four years. He’s also played lacrosse internationally, both for Team Canada and Team Italy. Miceli has coached both boys and girls of all ages throughout the Northeast, helping them develop their skills.
Callum Crawford is a 17 year veteran of the National Lacrosse League who grew up in Ontario Canada. He was the 18th overall draft pick in 2005 by the Calgary Roughnecks, and is now a member of the New York Riptide after signing a two year contract with them in August of 2020. Crawford also plays in the Premier Lacrosse League for Chrome Lacrosse Club and is the founder of the Ottawa Capitals Lacrosse club.
Ryan Fournier also currently plays for the New York Riptide. He is in his second season with the Riptide and his fifth season overall in the National Lacrosse League. Fournier played collegiately at Loyola University Maryland, and grew up in Ontario Canada.
The sessions began with some wall ball to get things started, working on improving skills such as catching off the boards, throwing proper ball fakes, behind the back fakes. It was then followed by working offensive drills such as 2-man ground balls and 2-on-1, 3-on-2, and 4-on-4 situations. Players worked on setting picks both on and off the ball to create scoring opportunities on offense. This taught the players to rely on each other for help and know when to hit the open man. They also worked on moving without the ball to create separation in order to get open and call for the ball. Everyone got an opportunity to be the pick setter, the ball handler, and play defense in these situations, except for lefties who were exclusively on offense, working to get to the proper side of the field to be a threat to score or pass. All of the drills had goalies that were fully padded with authentic box lacrosse padding and were anchoring the nets during each drill. Each session ended with everyone getting in line and having a shootout to wrap things up! The training will take place for another week, and then the following week is when all of the players from each group will be broken up into teams and the games will begin!
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