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2009 E-Lacrosse Feature: US Lacrosse National Convention on tap for the weekend

This is the big offseason weekend for many men's and women's lacrosse players, coaches and referees. It's a chance to learn from more experienced coaches and referees, catch up with old friends, check out the new gear for 2009 and get ready for the season which is not so far off.

This year, The Baltimore Sun sponsors a rare opportunity for the general public to experience the convention with Saturday's fan fest and Tommy Marechek shooting exhibition. The public will be able to walk through the convention's vendor exhibition at the Baltimore Convention Center from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Many times, during those years that it was closed to outsiders, I often thought that getting to see the vendor area would be a dream come true for the huge lacrosse fan. There are manufacturers showing all the new designs for 2009, retailers selling all kinds of lacrosse goods, new product vendors everywhere, free giveaways, contests and a ton of lacrosse celebrities just hanging out.

It always depends on each individual's schedule, but these events often feature the Gaits, the Powells, Tom Marechek, John Grant, Jen Adams, Amy Appelt, the entire US women's team and most other big lax coaching and playing stars as they represent companies, give exhibitions or just hang out with coaching friends. My good friend, Liam Banks, is coming in tonight and will be on hand for all you Syracuse junkies. It's an autograph bonanza if that's what you are into. If you're a coach of a kid's team in the Baltimore area, you could totally thrill your team by bringing them to this once in a lifetime experience. And to top it off, at 2:00 p.m. Hall of Famer and STX Lacrosse celebrity Tom Marechek will give his famous shooting clinic which is a priceless experience for kids. He is the best ball handler ever and a great teacher of skills. This is not to be missed.

The Baltimore Sun will have a booth in the Vendor area and you should stop on by. Introduce yourself if you see me around. People who sign up for a Sun subscription with EZ pay will receive two tickets to the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium on Feb. 28. That's a great bonus for subscribing to the nation's best lacrosse coverage! The Fanfest costs 10 dollars per person to attend but that goes to a great cause; the BRIDGE program that helps underprivileged youth play lacrosse. The fan entrance is in the Charles Street Lobby of the Baltimore Convention Center. You don't need to get a ticket beforehand. Just bring the ten bucks. There's plenty of parking down there near the convention center and Camden Yards.

I hope to see you down there!

January 14, 2009
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