The first Bozeman lacrosse camp was held today with two former Major League Lacrosse players hosting the camp.
Former Syracuse stars Michael and Ryan Powell, brothers who have also played internationally for the United States during the Lacrosse World Championships are in town hosting the camp at the Adam Bronken Memorial Sports Complex. There were over 100 players at the camp coming from Bozeman, Billings, Missoula, Helena, Flat Head and even Arkansas. Bozeman Lacrosse coach Rich Searle says the brothers have such a draw that players have been coming from everywhere to attend this first camp and laughed at how it all camp together.
"I was attending a Bozeman High School reunion and I brought a bunch of lacrosse sticks for the kids to play with and Shawn Maierle, a BHS alum introduced herself to me and asked me if I knew who Ryan Powell was. She told me she works for Ryan at his Rhino Lacrosse company in Portland, OR. I immediately asked her when can we get him to come to Bozeman? She had been trying to get them to come to Montana but didn't know if it even existed in Bozeman, so she and I started our relationship from there."
The camp runs through Thursday with players working on transition drill today followed by a scrimmage. Each day there is a break with a fun skills competition to keep the mood fun as well. There has been a surge in the number of players the last few years in Montana from 50 to 250 players this past spring, which is a big reason Ryan wanted to get this camp created in Bozeman.
"Lacrosse is the fastest growing team sport in the country," said Ryan Powell. "My company, Rhino, focuses on the emerging markets in the game and we decided to add a camp here in Bozeman because the area is so excited about the game."
His brother Mike laughed and said, "when you look around at this place it's a perfect setting for the sport. To play it out here among the mountains is something special."
Ryan and Mike both said they are happy to be in Bozeman with the beautiful weather and surroundings and are hoping that they can pass down some of the knowledge they've attained over the years.
"You know growing up in New York with the Adirondack mountains it's nice to get out here and be surrounded by some big dogs," said Mike. "Lacrosse has propelled both our lives so we want to share that. These kids are very lucky to be in Bozeman and we are to."
"I played 4 years at Syracuse and won a National Championship which was cool and then a 12 year pro career, " said Ryan. "Now I give back to the game and instill that passion and love for the game I've had for so many years."