Lacrosse camp makes its point City youngsters get chance at Loyola

August 06, 1993|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Staff Writer

Five days can make a difference.

That's the philosophy of Al Harvey, Loyola College's first-year director of community relations.

After seeing many kids playing lacrosse near his home in Pimlico, Harvey initiated the process in May to include players from the Baltimore City Middle School lacrosse program in the annual Loyola College Resident Lacrosse camp.

"We're hoping these five days give them some type of a dream," said Harvey, who was a campus police officer for six years. "By allowing them to stay on campus, we want them to set a course to go to college."

Harvey lived in the same dormitory as the players and gave them a feel for college life with a tour of the Greyhounds' lacrosse locker room.

As the camp wound down, the evidence was strong that Harvey's goal was accomplished.

"I hope to come to Loyola College and play lacrosse now," said Tiger Hunt, who is a member of the American Indian team.

"When they said that we would be staying on campus, that's when I got interested," said Aaron Brown, who plays for Lombard Middle School. "I want to get through college by playing football and lacrosse."

A Lacrosse Foundation committee chooses 20 middle school players for the resident lacrosse camp.

Loyola head coach Dave Cottle provides them with scholarships, while the college gives dormitory space and the Marriott Corp. provides food.

Thirteen middle schools are represented with no more than two players selected from each team.

The scholarship players, along with about 100 other camp residents, got instruction from 32 college and area high school coaches and former Greyhounds players.

"My focus is that Loyola is a city school, and this allows us to get in touch with the kids in the city," Cottle said.

"This is for most their first time on a college campus, and they get to learn about being a student-athlete. And by living together, they get to see that there are good people on different sides of the economic barrier."

Most of the players have been playing lacrosse for only a couple of years. They became interested in the sport after urging from their middle school program coaches.

According to the scholarship players, the physical nature of lacrosse separates it from the more popular inner city sports of baseball and basketball.

"I enjoy playing lacrosse because of the contact," said Lakeishia Pointer, the sole female in the program, who plays attack for Diggs Johnson Middle School. "Rather than wasting time, I am playing lacrosse."

Brown said, "The game can be rough, but with technique it can be a game of finesse."

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