Originally published by The Sentinel by Zach Rimkus
ROCKVILLE – Lacrosse players from different high schools, private and public around the county gear up for a game summer league game in the Upper 90 lacrosse league.
Upper 90 Lacrosse is a local league that holds clinics, camps, practices, club teams and youth program.
“The goal of upper 90 lacrosse is many things,” said Kevin Piroozmand, head coach of Upper 90 and he also run’s the league. “To improve players skills at an affordable rate and provide an opportunity for kids that I didn’t have when I was in high school.”
Piroozmand goes on to explain what Upper 90 gives now for kids who play in the league and what the difference was back when he was in high school.
“For example just the camp aspect of it and the coaches especially that we have out here, they were not out when I was in high school back then and also to start feeder programs.”
The main goal as Piroozmand explained is not just a local growth of the game [lacrosse] but also national growth. “The main goal of Upper 90 is to grow the game in the Montgomery County area and, not just the Montgomery County area but nation wide.”
Besides the faces of experienced college players as coaches for both teams, young faces of aspiring players and eager parents on the sidelines waiting for the game to start, one faced stood out from the crowd of players, coaches and parents.
Paul Rabil, Major League Lacrosse player and Montgomery County native stopped by to watch the games between the two teams. Rabil is a major sponsor for Upper 90.
Rabil talked about Upper 90 lacrosse in an interview “To give them a great opportunity to keep playing in the Montgomery County public school area, and for me my involvement is just being a part of it, just watching it, getting to enjoy it and sort of experience what I went through at their age.”
Rabil also talked about the growth of the game, but in a different way then Piroozmand.
“The number of participants keep going up, but I think the biggest growth factor is getting the coaches in there, because Maryland unlike New York focuses on getting kids to the private schools to play,” explained Rabil.
“So there’s always that stigma involved so I think right now the public schools are bringing in the right coaches, who have to almost convince the guys to come to public schools and play,” said Rabil.
Then day almost ended when a storm came in quickly and postponed the game with a downpour of rain. In that time Rabil talked to players on team Throwback Lacrosse, which had players from Watkins Mill, where he played his first year of high school lacrosse and then went on to DeMatha High School.
“I wanted to just tell them that I was in their shoes at some point. You know I didn’t start playing till I was in middle school at MVSA and then I went to Watkins Mill High School and, was acres behind everyone else but my freshman year then just got a lot of playing time I think by virtue of going to school like Watkins Mill, a upstart program, and because of that and opportunity to play at such a young age I really fell in love with the game and from there it was just no stop practice.”