Local “laxers” coached at holiday lacrosse camp

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Major League Lacrosse Rochester Rattlers attack man and back-to-back NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Champion, Jordan Wolf, recently gave stick skill tips, coached technique, and met with area youth lacrosse players at a holiday youth lacrosse camp in Delray Beach. Over 40 youth lacrosse players from across South Florida visited Delray Beach and the Seacrest Soccer Complex, 2505 Seacrest Blvd., over the holiday break to participate in the 20th Anniversary Coach Finn Holiday Day Camp featuring instruction from local high school lacrosse coaches, college and pro lacrosse players and a University of Michigan Wolverines Lacrosse assistant coach. Harrison Roth, 14, and teammate David Dradvany, 14, two youth laxers (a name for a lacrosse player) playing for the Pine Crest School, 2700 St. Andrews Blvd., Boca Raton, attended the camp to further develop their lacrosse skills. “I think it was an awesome camp! The different types of lacrosse dodges we learned were great and I really enjoyed learning new passing and fielding skills too…” said Dradvany. Both Roth and Dradvany, players on the Panthers Boys Lacrosse team at Pine Crest, also got some on-on-one time to meet Wolf and get a prized photo with the lacrosse legend. In honor, and to emulate their lacrosse hero Jordan Wolf, all of the laxers at the camp wore no. 31 blue and white jerseys with Wolf’s name across the top of the back of the jerseys. Wolf won back-to-back NCAA Men’s Lacrosse national championships playing attack for Duke University Men’s Lacrosse in both 2013 and 2014, and started 77 out of 81 games for the Blue Devils (2011-2014). Jacob Goodwin, 15, a long stick midfielder (LSM), came over to the camp with his father, Todd Goodwin, all the way from Naples. Todd Goodwin, a fish guide and fishing charter captain, said his son Jacob attended a Coach Finn Lacrosse Camp in Naples and liked it so much he decided to make the trip across the peninsula to Delray Beach. The Goodwin’s stayed in a local hotel in Boynton Beach during the trip, as many of the campers were from out of town and trips like the Goodwin’s was a score for the local economy. Holiday camp coach Wolf and camp founder and coach Kevin Finneran, a Delray Beach resident who has helped over 100 players to NCAA Division I, II, and III scholarships to college programs, has 22-years as a lacrosse professional and as a youth, high school, college coach and in the front office of pro lacrosse. He’s known around the lacrosse community as “Coach Finn.” Coach Wolf attended one of Coach Finn’s camps while he played professionally in Major League Lacrosse for the Long Island Lizards and Philadelphia Barrage and for the National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings. “I’m from Philadelphia and I went to Coach Finn’s camp back when I was eight and nine years-old when he was playing professional lacrosse in Philly. That was the first lacrosse camp I ever went to… I had a blast and we stayed in touch for awhile. I’m just getting into the lacrosse camp scene a little bit. I love doing lacrosse camps with the kids and being outside. This is what I love to do, Coach Finn does a great job with the camp and he’s an awesome guy so I wanted to come down to the holiday camp here in Florida,” said Wolf. The last time Wolf was here for lacrosse was when he played professionally this past summer on June 20, 2014 in a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) game against the Florida Launch at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton as a member of the Rochester Rattlers. In that game, Wolf, an attack man for the Rattlers scored two goals, five assists for seven total points in a 17-13 win over the Launch. Wolf will return to Boca Raton again on July 25, 2015 when the Launch hosts the Rattlers in an MLL matchup at FAU Stadium. Wolf will return to South Florida on January 18 when he travels over to Naples to participate in scrimmage as part of Team USA Lacrosse in the Blue/White scrimmage game. The 20th Anniversary Coach Finn Holiday Day Camp also featured Michigan University Wolverines Men’s Lacrosse assistant coach, Conor Ford, the recruiting coordinator for “Big-Blue,” who is in his eighth year of coaching NCAA Division I Lacrosse. Ford is also a former college player as a four-year starter at Johns Hopkins University. “I have some family in the Highland Beach area and Coach Finn had the holiday camp going on down here so this worked out really well for me. I love coming down to Florida and Michigan Lacrosse will be back in Florida when we play Jacksonville this spring. We got three distinct age groups here at the camp, grade school kids, middle school kids and high school kids. During the camp we tried to hit on some fundamental stick work stuff progressively moving slowly to live lacrosse play. Lots of ground ball technique, just trying to hit the basics because there aren’t a lot of teaching camps clinics like this where you’re trying to work on skills much these days,” said Ford. “In Delray Beach, with having Coach Finn, Casey Powell (2014 MLL MVP) and Coach Jeff Goldberg living in this city (Delray Beach), the kids are really getting high quality coaching from guys who can back it up with the careers they’ve had themselves.” American Heritage School, 6200 Linton Blvd., boys lacrosse coach Jeff Goldberg coached at the camp giving the younger laxers a perspective in South Florida high school lacrosse. “I think in the off season it’s important for these players to do anything they can do to get better. It’s holiday break and instead of being at the beach, sitting on the couch or playing video games, these kids are out here dedicating three days with a stick in their hand in a structured environment just competing, capitalizing and taking advantage of a lacrosse camp with great coaches,” said coach Goldberg. “You can be a great athlete but if you don’t have the skill set of the sport and the IQ of the game, you have nothing.” As for Coach Wolf, he played in a lacrosse tournament in eighth grade at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando and is in Palm Bach County from time to time to visit family. Wolf’s grandmother lives in West Palm Beach.