PITTSBURGH, PA (September 5, 2012) – Professional Lacrosse Champion Paul Rabil will be inspiring and giving wings to the University of Pittsburgh lacrosse team during a unique shooting clinic at the Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena. The program, called Under My Wing, will take place on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 at 7 PM. Along with Rabil, each collegiate hopeful will participate in 3 skill sections; endurance, speed and accuracy. Top performers of each section will receive gear from Warrior Lacrosse including a head from Paul’s signature Rabil Collection.
After the clinic, Paul will select the top performing athlete from the Panthers squad to keep “Under his Wing” by offering guidance and advice throughout the rest of the year.
“This is a great opportunity not just for Pitt Lacrosse, but hopefully it will raise general lacrosse awareness in Pittsburgh and even Western PA,” commented U Pitt Defenseman and club president Eric Bulgarelli. “But I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re just excited to work with a player of Paul Rabil’s caliber.”
Many of Rabil’s accomplishments are attributed to having an innate knack for the fastest game on two feet, but perhaps more important is the lacrosse star’s awe-inspiring work ethic. Rabil credits his success to relentless hard work and unwavering dedication to personal improvement. This desire for constant growth is evident in all aspects of Rabil’s game.
“Kids usually ask me how hard it is to shoot the ball a hundred and eleven miles per hour,” says Rabil. “What they should be asking is, how hard is it to shoot a hundred and eleven balls before and after every practice?”
It is this same inherent drive for success that connects this unlikely pair: Paul Rabil—“the LeBron James of lacrosse” says a 2009 NY Times article—to the MCLA Division I, nonvarsity sponsored Panthers Lacrosse Club.
MORE ON U PITT PANTHER LACROSSE
Three years ago, the Panthers were a middle-of-the-road MCLA team with zero playoff experience; their post-season hopes were perennially crushed by a now NCAA D1 Michigan Wolverine squad. Fast-forward to the beginning of the 2011 season and the Panthers were unranked, unnoticed, and unaccounted for. However, several key changes took place that would soon put Pitt Lacrosse on the map.
Head Coach Sean Buzzard and then Assistant Alex Perry successfully employed a system of hard work, discipline and accountability, which resulted in an 11-3 season. Since the Men’s Lacrosse Club is required to defer field time to varsity athletics and share the remaining hours with other club teams, it is not uncommon for a two and a half hour practice to start at midnight. It is a true love for the game of lacrosse and an unquenchable desire for success that keeps players coming back and attending practice. Although the Panthers did not reach the playoffs, they definitely made a step in the right direction.
In 2012—under the guidance of Co-Head Coaches Buzzard and Perry—the Panthers finally had a breakout season. Pitt picked off perennially top ranked teams such as Buffalo, Boston College, and Northeastern. The Panthers only suffered one regular season loss, falling to Michigan State by a single goal in an overtime thriller.
Impressive victories on the road and at home bumped the previously unranked Panthers steadily up the MCLA Nike/Inside Lacrosse Coaches Polls, and eventually solidified an atlarge bid to the National Tournament in Greenville, SC. The originally unranked Pitt squad finished the season as the no. 12 team in the MCLA after a playoff loss to UC-Santa Barbara.
“It was a combination of hard work and determination that led us deep into the postseason,” acknowledged Sophomore Midfielder Matt Wolfe. “We’re going to have to maintain this culture in order to push for that MCLA Championship.”
The Panthers will undoubtedly draw helpful knowledge, skills, and most importantly motivation from Paul Rabil as a mentor this season. The simple formula of hard work plus dedication has yielded results for Rabil, and will hopefully do the same for the Pitt Panthers.