Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Canton Continues Elite Coaching Tradition

Every old dog needs to learn some new tricks now and then. The Canton Maddogs are taking active steps to expose high school players to different styles of and philosophies on play. In February, Canton Area High School Rugby will hold the third iteration of its Indoor Elite-Level Guest Coach Series.

Throughout the month of February, the men's team will welcome some accomplished and diverse rugby minds to come and impart some knowledge on the club's members. In the past, coaches like Brandon Sparks, from the University of Michigan; Mike Hidgins, from the University of Buffalo, and players from Notre Dame College led clinics for coaches as well as players involved with Canton's club. These men took the time to spread the knowledge they have because they know the importance of supporting up-and-coming clubs.

"These coaches understand that USA Rugby is almost entirely a grassroots community," said Chad Everitt, the event's organizer. "They have committed countless hours to the sport and to developing young men and women as the young players grow into adult roles."

This year's slate of guest coaches certainly have the pedigree necessary to continue that trend.The 2018 docket includes Jason Fox, Donnie Harbert and Stoney Brooks. Fox and Brooks have their roots in the realm of coaching collegiate men's rugby, while Harbert has foud success on the senior level in the men's and women's leagues. Though their experiences are diverse, what unites them is the time each has dedicated to honing the craft of coaching and bringing the best out of each player.

"We greatly appreciate their time and efforts," Everitt said. "These coaches are leaders, who I gladly invite to work with the student-athletes I coach. They are examples of what an American-born rugby player can become with dedication and hard work."

The sessions are open to everyone from the Canton rugby community - youth to senior, player and coach alike. Fox's session is tentatively set to kick off this year's sessions on February 11, followed by Harbert on February 18 and Brooks on February 25. All sessions will be held at the Hall of Fame Fitness Center. Times may vary. For details, head over to the Canton Area High School Rugby Facebook page.

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