The old saying goes "If you're going to learn something, learn from the best."
Over two dozen local lacrosse players are taking that to heart at the Blue Ridge School's summer lacrosse camp.
The camp is being co-directed by Barons head coach Kyle Gardner and former Johns Hopkins great Kyle Harrison.
Harrison's accomplishments read like a novel.
He led the Blue Jays to the 2005 NCAA Championship, the same season he was named the Tewaaraton Award winner for college lacrosse's best player.
The following spring he was drafted No. 1 overall in the Major League Lacrosse draft and was the first lacrosse player to be sponsored by Nike.
Now he spends his summers traveling the country, passing on what he's learned.
"When I was (camper's age) growing up I never would have expected to sign with STX and Nike, play professionally and travel the world doing this so it's important for me to get in front of these kids and let them know, one, I'm no different than them," Harrison explained. "I was literally the exact same way, trying to learn, coming to camp to get better."
Harrison and Gardner say the camp's low number of attendees is by design.
"I'm a huge fan of smaller camps where kids get repetitions, a lot of 1-on-1 instruction from the coaches and I feel kids leave a camp like that saying 'Ok, not only did I get better but I also have the tools and know what to I have to do to continue to get better,'" he explained.
"With the low numbers we have here we're able to talk to the kids on an individual basis and critique them individually instead of a group so much," Gardner added.
Meanwhile the players themselves enjoy learning from one of the game's best.
"I just started playing my sophomore year so learning all these new ways to play is really helpful," Blue Ridge senior Dima Ferreira said. "Kyle is a great guy to learn from."
Fellow Barons' senior Clayton Turner agrees.
"He teaches us that fundamentals are very key in lacrosse. You can't go without them so we're working on that and that's just coming out well."
The only thing that hasn't gone over so well? The locale of the camp.
Blue Ridge is right in UVa's backyard, a school Harrison knows all too well.
"It's funny man, it's a little uncomfortable," Harrison said with a laugh. "I don't wear orange because in college I was fortunate enough to only lose to three teams: Virginia, Syracuse and Princeton. So I hate orange. And I'm certainly not a huge fan of Charlottesville but I think this camp has changed my opinion of the area."
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