Editor’s note: After the success of our “Growing the Program” series last year, we knew we had to follow up with another league-wide update. So, this Fall we’re hitting the streets in search of new information about teams around the MCLA. We’re asking questions about try-outs, players to watch, team promotion, coaching changes and everything this side of the Mississippi. With that, here come our Fall Ball Reports!
Each report will feature a different MCLA team, touching on the importance of Fall Ball and anticipation of the 2012 season – which is just a few months away!
Today we sit down with Coach Joel Kamstra of Calvin College.
MCLA Fan: How many players attended team tryouts this Fall?
Coach Kamstra: 35.
What is your team’s Fall practice schedule?
For the fall this year we are practicing for four weeks, three times a week.
What is your team’s Fall game/tournament schedule?
We will have an Intrasquad scrimmage Saturday, Oct 15 and an Alumni game Saturday, Oct 15.
What aspect(s) of your team do you hope to most improve upon from last year?
In the fall our focus is always on welcoming the freshman and laying the groundwork for our conventional season in the spring- we are heavily focused on building all aspects of our game.
We had a great group of guys last year but we struggled to put up the goals we’d like to see from our offense; so specifically, we are working on establishing a cohesive unit on attack that will work well with our midfield to create more scoring opportunities for us.
Who are the top 5 players we should be paying attention to this season?
Matt Medendorp/Freshmen/Defense/number undetermined at this point
Micah Ellis/Freshmen/Midfield/number undetermined at this point
Have there been any changes to your coaching staff? If so, please fill us in…
Two year head coach Nick Good has stepped down from the program to pursue a graduate degree. Assistant coach Joel Kamstra has stepped up to take on the head coaching role and has added Eric Kamstra to assist.
What are you doing to promote your program on campus and in the community?
We are very active within our campus to promote games through word of mouth and signage on campus, as well as relying on social media to promote our games. We have promoted our program outside of campus by encouraging our players to help out with youth programs both by coaching and reffing. This fits well with Calvin College’s focus on service learning and has the residual benefit of bringing awareness to the lacrosse we offer on campus. We have a strong lacrosse community in West Michigan and it has been good to connect with local high schoolers to expose them the quality of play the MCLA has to offer.
What are your program’s top 3 goals for the upcoming 2012 season?
Calvin College has recently announced that they will be adding Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse for the coming 2012-2013 season. As a result of the elevated status of our program we have lofty goals for ourselves this year. Our number one goal is always to build a strong team of men with character and integrity. Secondly, we are focused on building our lacrosse intelligence and skill to prepare our athletes for the highly competitive environment in the MCLA and our future move to an NCAA D3 Varsity program. Our final goal is to make an appearance at our CCLA conference tournament.
Thanks so much for speaking with us Coach Kamstra. Good luck this season!