My family has been part of Mike’s 212 program since he started his program in Park City. It was created here to fill a void in the club experience here in Utah. Previous attempts by other programs have come and gone, but 212 remains a steady presence for the youth players in Utah. Coaches with Mike’s credentials and connections are hard to find in this part of the country, and I feel we are lucky to have had Mike’s continued presence for so many years.
I have coached at the youth level for 10 years here, and helped run the boys program for almost as long. I am always asked about clubs, and more specifically how to navigate the sport given the many expensive options available these days. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but distinguishing between training and simply playing games is a good start. The summer training that has been taking place at Jeremy Ranch has definitely helped my son (Johns Hopkins commit) develop skills and field sense that simply cannot be learned playing only spring ball. Last night’s High School State Semi Final game between Park City and Juan Diego featured about 10 players that have spent significant time training through the summers with Mike. All were starters, and generally were the core of their respective teams. I feel it is good training and a good value when compared to the money you would spend to travel to a 3 day tournament with any other club.
Mike has also been invaluable in my son’s pursuit of playing college lacrosse. He has been a reliable advocate for Dylan, and has worked as a go between with interested schools. He is on a first name basis with many of the more well known D1 coaches in the sport, something you would not expect living in Utah.
With many national club coaches trying to place 50 or 100 players in colleges it is nice to have a local asset who is only working with a few kids at a time.
Mike’s focus on issues larger than the game has been an area I have long admired. He has brought health problems affecting former players to light, a reminder that there are bigger things than what is going on in a lacrosse game.
My son continues to benefit from the foundation he built in the 212 program.