To say Michael Ehrhardt loves lacrosse would be something of an understatement. The Westbury resident spends most of his waking hours involved with the sport and has made it his mission to help younger athletes improve their game.
Ehrhardt is currently in his third season playing Major League Lacrosse for the Charlotte Hounds, after graduating from the University of Maryland, a Division 1 school where he made four NCAA playoff appearances and played in two National Championship Games. He spends his weekends playing for the Hounds, in addition to being involved with CityLax, a nonprofit organization that promotes lacrosse in New York City public schools.
In September 2014, he also formed Ehrhardt Lacrosse, which provides lacrosse lessons and clinics. From June 27-30, he’ll be hosting his second annual lacrosse camp at Carle Place High School. The camp allows lacrosse players in second-to ninth-grade access to some of the best lacrosse players in the country, who will pass on their skills and expertise.
“I’d love to grow the sport in the area,” said Ehrhardt. “I feel like it’s the only thing I can do to give back to these kids, to teach them the correct way and give them lessons on what they need to do to reach the highest level.”
Last year, Division 1 players from notable colleges such as University of Virginia, Duke University, Villanova University and Stony Brook coached the camp. Players learn skills such as stick fundamentals, shooting, offense and defense, how to improve their goalie skills and more.
Ehrhardt is especially passionate about giving back to up-and-coming athletes because of the great coaches he had as a kid. Prior to playing lacrosse at Chaminade High School, he played with the Mineola Chiefs. He credits coaches such as Dave and Bobby Redmond, Mark Parendo, Steve Kalberer, Tommy Ritterbusch, Joe Gorry and Tom Granath for helping him improve his game.
“They had a great coaching staff there,” Ehrhardt said. “They taught me the true fundamentals of lacrosse and they did a good job of working with the kids and teaching them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
Ehrhardt notes that giving back to the community that helped shape his career is rewarding, and that ultimately, he hopes his camp can not only improve the game of local athletes but strengthen the local lacrosse program.
“There was never really a lacrosse program when I grew up,” Ehrhardt said. “This is a great opportunity to give back and help some of the younger kids and grow the sport.”
Find out more about the upcoming camp and Ehrhardt lacrosse at www.ehrhardtlacrosse.com.