NATIONALS PAST AND PRESENT TO HOST CLINIC FOR SPINAL INJURY TOURNAMENT
2/21/12 12:00 AM
(Hamilton, February 21)… Total Sports Experience in Rochester, NY, has become a destination for some of the best lacrosse players in the world, serving as the training site for the National Lacrosse League’s Rochester Knighthawks, and hosting countless high school, college and youth practices, games and tournaments.
On Wednesday, February 22nd, three field lacrosse stars will host a boys & girls lacrosse clinic from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at TSE to benefit the Ricky Palermo spinal injury tournament. Current Hamilton Nationals Stephen Keogh and Brodie Merrill, and former Nationals star Merrick Thompson will work with the kids from grades 7-12.
The Ricky Palermo spinal injury tournament is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money and awareness for The Miami Project, which is researching a cure for paralysis. The fundraising effort also benefits the United Memorial Medical Center's Emergency Room, to stabilize patients; the Strong Memorial Hospital's Spinal Unit, to help patients recuperate from surgery if needed; and the Genesee County YMCA's Bike Program: to help patients rebuild muscles and stay in shape.
“We want to do things for people in our community,” said Batavia’s Palermo, whose mission is to bring more bikes to the area. The ERGYS 2 is a “stationary bike that features straps for patients' legs and feet. Electrodes trigger muscles in the patient's thigh and seat to contract and relax.” The Batavia YMCA is the only one of its kind in the country to offer the ERGYS 2.
The organization, which began 15 years ago, is dedicated to helping local community members deal with their paralysis. What started out as a golf tournament has since branched out into three different sports clinics, soccer/basketball/lacrosse. To date, Palermo has raised over $710,000. To learn more about Ricky Palermo and his mission, click here
On Wednesday, Merrill headlines the lacrosse stars that will attend the clinic. He is one of the greatest defensemen to ever play the game. In 2011, he was named the Warrior Major League Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Year for the sixth straight season. With 77 ground balls in 12 games, he led the MLL for the third time in his career. He scored 17 points in 12 games with the Nationals and was the team’s eighth-leading scorer (he led all MLL defenders). The Georgetown product is a seven-time MLL All-Star and has been named to the All-MLL Team six times. Merrill ranks second in MLL history with 524 career ground balls and will enter the 2012 season needing 12 ground balls to become the league’s all-time leader. He also currently plays in the NLL with the Philadelphia Wings.
Keogh plays indoor lacrosse for the Knighthawks and was a member of the 2011 Nationals team that advanced to the league championship game. He scored seven goals in three games in his rookie MLL season. Keogh was Hamilton’s fifth-round selection (25th overall) in the 2011 MLL Collegiate Draft. The Toronto native is a former three-time All-American and a two-time National Champion at Syracuse University.
Thomson played one season with the Nationals and helped the team win the 2009 championship. He still holds the team’s single-season record for goals (44) and points (50). He was an All-American at the University at Albany and finished his career fifth on the all-time NCAA scoring list. His was a Team Canada national team member and a former NLL and MLL all-star.
The Nationals will open the 2012 season against the Denver Outlaws, on Saturday, May 5th at 9:00 p.m. at INVESCO Field at Mile High. Hamilton makes its home debut on Friday, May 18th with an 11:00 a.m. contest against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University. For ticket information, contact the Nationals Ticket Office at (905) 768-2225.