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Catonsville lacrosse campers beat the heat as temps near 100

With temperatures approaching 90 degrees and not a single cloud in the sky to block the sun Wednesday morning, more than 100 youth lacrosse players at Catonsville High School sweat through their pads.

On one field, two dozen kids cradled balls in their sticks as defenders tried to stop them from firing on the goal.

Several instructors of Prime Time Lacrosse Camp stood on the field waiting to offer tips for improved play while looking for signs of heat exhaustion.

Nearby, about 20 players sat in the shade of a tree, dozens of water bottles scattered around them.

"One thing we do is a lot of water breaks," said Jeff Mohler, a co-founder of the 13-year-old camp. "We have a water station set in the shade and we have a pretty frequent schedule."

Mohler noted that an athletic trainer on staff also monitors the campers.

Just after 10 a.m., two hours into the three-hour session, a special guest provided the players a respite from the heat.

Gathered in a shaded corner of the field, the players listened to a speech about hard work and determination from Eric Lusby, an attackman on Loyola University's 2012 national men's lacrosse championship team.

Lusby, the 2012 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and a recent draftee of the Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse, received a standing ovation from the tired crew before and after he spoke.

From some of the younger players, though, louder squeals of delight came when they learned that a coach had brought chilled rags to wrap around their necks.

Following Lusby's talk and a brief question-and-answer session, the campers returned to their drills.

As the older campers practiced, the 5-and-6-year-olds took turns shooting a ball into a net and racing to a nearby sprinkler.

Coaches also set orange buckets filled with water along the track where players dunked their heads.

For the rest of the week, the lacrosse camp has plans to have a slip and slide and a dunk tank where campers can shoot lacrosse balls at a target in an attempt to dunk a counselor.

"We try to get creative and make sure they stay cool," Mohler said.

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