Former MAU coach hosting local lax camp
BENNINGTON >> A familiar face to Mount Anthony boys lacrosse returned on Tuesday.
Former coach Paul Reif came back to Bennington this week from his assistant coaching gig at the University of Arizona and is hosting his first college-style camp at Willow Park for local lacrosse players.
"I'm extremely happy with the interest so far, about 20 guys, and it's going to grow next week," Reif said. "There's so many options for summer leagues in the area, so it's a testament to lacrosse in Vermont to have a lot of kids. It's nice to be able to give back to the community."
Reif coached the varsity Patriots for four seasons and went 46-25, including two Division I semifinal appearances in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, MAU went 15-3, the most wins in program history.
After the 2015 season at Mount Anthony, Reif moved west, getting a position as an assistant coach for the Wildcats. In his first season, the team was 7-5 and finished 10th in the country.
Many of the players at the camp on Tuesday have played for Reif, so drills were crisp as the sun set on the longest day of the year.
Reif is being helped out at the camp by former Cambridge star Skyler Saunders and former Mount Anthony star Nick Altland. Saunders finished his college career at New England College, while Altland played at DeSales University in Pennsylvania.
Saunders was second with 57 goals, 93 points and 36 assists in his senior season for the Pilgrims. Altland, a freshman long stick midfielder, was named as a second-team all-conference player.
"They bring back a lot of experience and they can show the guys what needs to be done to get to the next level," Reif said. "It's also a new way to love the sport that's so rooted in tradition in this country. It's phenomenal to see the kids you coached for 10 years and to have the opportunity to come back is awesome."
The camp is running today and Thursday and for three days next week, June 27-29, as well.
"It's not even so much about lacrosse as it is more about being role models for the kids so they grow to be positive members of the community," Reif said.
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