Rhino University wrapped up yesterday in McMinneville, Oregon, with a resounding feeling of success. The Rhino Staff did a great job running the show from top to bottom and the kids had an incredible time. I saw lots of talented players and plenty of real lax rats. The majority of kids were genuinely interested in improving their game and they asked a lot of great questions.
The Saturday activities at Rhino University were unreal. Following two sessions of games, the campers broke out into some serious afternoon and evening fun. The main feature was an American Gladiators obstacle course – a full field set up that replicated “Assault” and had the Rhino Deans (Mike Powell, Brett Hughes, Sean Lindsay, and Alex Smith) launching tennis balls from their hay bale platforms, Rhino Staff manning giant water guns and absolutely soaking competitors, and RP guarding the gong at the finish with a tennis ball launcher from the roof of Big Sexy (a van… but so much more). I was heading up the “Smash It Station” – where players got two shots at a wall full of awesome breakables. We smashed some TV’s, some vases, some melons, and a bunch of plates… just some boys being boys.
Saturday evening featured the camp All-Star Game (which was competitive and fun), a pie eating contest (always a winning idea), and another amazing Powell Hour. It really is a special treat to see these guys put on a show for the kids, and even more amazing to talk to Ryan later on our drive about how he is still in awe at some of the stuff that Mike can pull out of his bag of tricks.
There was a great group of Missoula boys who made the trip and played with the Boise River team. Eric Ipsen, Max Triepke, and Justin Lane all played really well throughout the camp and Eric and Justin were selected to the camp All-Star Game. I wasn’t able to watch them much, but I got a lot of great feedback about them from other coaches and yesterday morning I reffed their last game and could see a lot of improvement since the spring season.
I think all the players at Rhino University really came away with something special. They learned some drills, had some fun, but ultimately they saw the passion that it takes to become great at this game. You have to have a good stick, you have to work hard, and most of all be a good person.
Pumped for Bend to start today! CHARGE ON!