There are lacrosse camps to the north, up in the Cape region. And there are camps to the south, down in Ocean City and Berlin, Md.
Starting July 19, however, local laxers will have one right in their back yard, when coaches Dave Spencer and Jim Dietsch launch Sharp Shooter Lax Shooting Camp at Indian River High School in Dagsboro.
While the camp will not be directly affiliated with IR and will be open to players of all skill levels and ages ranging from grades 6 to 11, it will focus specifically on shooting skills, which both Spencer and Dietsch have honed during their collective 80-plus years of experience in the sport.
“It’s something that’s very specific,” Spencer said of the concept. “There’s a lot of mechanics and a lot of technique that go into shooting.”
The head coach for the Indians, Dietsch has coached at all levels, including 11 years as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland, where he helped the Terrapins to five NCAA national championship finals appearances and two NCAA title victories, in 1973 and 1975.
Spencer brings lifelong experience as both a player and coach, playing attack in high school and midfield at both Division I Towson University and professionally for the Baltimore Thunder.
“Coach Dietsch is 40-plus years of coaching experience, from youth all the way up to Division I. His background is unbelievable,” said IR Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann.
“Coach Spencer played high-level Division I, played professional, was known as a shooter and is just an unbelievable coach. He knows the game inside and out, but his specialty is attack and shooting. Anyone that takes part in this camp is going to learn a lot. They’re going to be getting a lot of knowledge from two very experienced coaches.”
While the camp will put the focus on attackmen and midfielders, Spencer said that defensemen are welcome as well — especially long-stick midfielders, who often find themselves with opportunities to put shots on goal after fast breaks.
“Shooting can really be the difference,” said Spencer. “It really took my game to the next level.
“Some of the drills that we’re going to do put the kids through are some of the same ones that Jim has done as a college coach and that I’ve gone through as a college player and as a professional player.”
The three-day, non-contact camp will be broken up into two sessions. The first will span from Tuesday, July 19, through Thursday, July 21, from 9 to 11 a.m., and the following week’s session will be held from Tuesday, July 26, through Thursday, July 28, from 9 to 11 a.m. as well.
For safety reasons, players will be asked to wear both helmets and gloves while they learn both basic and advanced shooting techniques, such as feet setting, shooting in close, shooting from outside and shooting on the run.
With lacrosse on the rise not only in the area, but nationally as well, both Spencer and Fuhrmann agreed that giving local players an outlet to take their game to the next level, or just to get involved with the sport for the first time, was the next step for Sussex County lacrosse.
“Locally, there’s a lot of kids who are hungry for the sport,” said Spencer. “This is something that I’ve spoken with Jim and Todd about at great length, and we really think that there’s potential for growth right here in the central part of Sussex County.”
“For our area — ever since we added the boys’ lacrosse [at IR], you can see it’s just growing. We’ve now added women’s lacrosse. More and more kids are taking the opportunity to try a new sport,” Fuhrmann added. “With the growth and with the popularity of the sport, it’s just a great avenue for us to be able to get our local kids involved in the game.”
Registration for the camp costs $50. Players can register before either session’s first camp starts, at the lacrosse practice field at Indian River High School in Dagsboro. For more information, or to request a registration form, call Dave Spencer at (410) 790-1406 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.