Montgomery Magazine April/May 2017 : Page 30

For the of the By Charles Jeffries n Photography by Bill Kamenjar LOVE GAME W HEN RYAN JONES WAS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN 2000, HIS FAMILY MOVED TO EASTERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, where kids tended to play basketball, football and baseball. Lacrosse was a sport kids from these neighborhoods had little knowledge of and even less access to. “It’s a huge part of my life,” he says. “Honest to God I don’t know what I’d be doing if it weren’t for lacrosse. I used it as a tool to go to college. A lot of the connections I’ve made have been through lacrosse.” After that first exposure, Jones stuck with the game through the weekly clinics Rosemary Hills runs in an after-school program at the Coffield center. He went on to play club lacrosse, then for Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and then at Howard University. Now he coaches elementary and middle school-age kids through the Next Level Lacrosse program, and this spring got the head coaching job at Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda. And every Tuesday after-noon, he helps teach the game to a new generation of kids at the Coffield rec center. Like him, they are kids who otherwise would have little chance of being exposed to the sport. And that has been Wagner’s goal “I really didn’t know anything about lacrosse because I had never been exposed to it,” Jones says. It was during summer camp at the Gwendolyn Coffield Recreation Cen-ter in Silver Spring that Jones was in-troduced to lacrosse. Jeff Wagner’s Rosemary Hills Lacrosse Club spends two hours each day during the week-long camp showing kids the fundamentals. Jones tried it out one afternoon and the game has been part of his life ever since. 28 // April/May 2017 JEFF WAGNER • By Bill Kamenjar

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