By Jean DePlacido
---- — Five years ago, former Peabody High and Bryant University lacrosse star Bryan Molk started the Next Level North Shore Lacrosse Clinic for boys ages 8-16.
This summer marks the fifth year for the clinic, which will run Monday through Thursday (July 22-25) at the Higgins Middle School field in Peabody, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“I wasn’t able to run it last year because of work commitments, but I’m happy my work situation allows me to do it again this summer,” said Molk, a former All-American at Bryant. “The whole purpose is to show kids from this area that you can get to the next level through lacrosse. I want to give back something to the community and show kids we’ve been there and done that. They can achieve the same things.
“We focus on all of the fundamentals of the game, and the clinic is also geared to improve the lacrosse IQ of each player. We aim to take the player’s current skill set to the next level and help them have a fun time, too.”
Molk will be assisted by his old Tanner teammate Greg Welch, who went on to star at Springfield College and was an assistant coach at Longmeadow High School before returning home to coach with current Peabody High head coach Tony O’Donnell. The Molk-Welch lacrosse combination was one of the best ever for the Tanners.
O’Donnell will also be an instructor while Jimmy Connolly of North Andover, who is now a professional lacrosse player with Ohio Machine, will spend a day offering tips on shooting skills. Other North Shore lacrosse standouts will make appearances as well.
“I’m still involved in the Peabody High program and arranged a trip to Bryant for the team this past season,” said Molk. “They met with coach Mike Pressler, and also played Smithfield while they were there. That team won back-to-back Rhode Island state championships, but Peabody destroyed them.”
Youngsters will be divided into three groups by age (8-to-10, 11-to-13 and 14-to-16). Each morning stations will be set up to work on ground balls, stickwork, shooting, defensive play, and speed and agility with coaches, concentrating on different skills required.
Molk was an assistant coach at Division 1 Wagner College, helped out at Peabody High, and for the past two years has coached in the Peabody Youth program.
The clinic is offered in conjunction with the Peabody Recreation Department; more information can be found at www.peabody-Ma.gov (click on Peabody Parks and Rec Department activities) or by contacting Bryan Molk at firstname.lastname@example.org.