From March 3 to 5, Casey Powell, Kylie Ohlmiller, and TJ DeMartino arrive to usher in a new era in Colorado lacrosse. It is the result of a fantastic voyage that only Coolio, himself, could appreciate or understand. It is proof that the power of intention and the laws of attraction are alive and well in the universe.

But let’s rewind a bit.

I am a lacrosse dad and my family is a lacrosse family. I grew up in upstate New York, specifically suburban Syracuse and then later Fayetteville, NY. As I was leaving Hobart in 1995, the Powell brothers were just starting their dominant reign at Syracuse University. In my senior year we played Syracuse and lost by one goal, the game-winner scored by frosh Casey Powell. The Powells went on to dominate the sport with passion and purpose, I went to law school, and that was that.

Fast forward 27 years. I find myself at a crossroads. My two daughters play lacrosse and have passion for the game. I built my law firm, Burnham Law, primarily using business principles I learned and adopted from Kobe Bryant. The athlete’s mindset, he would say, is transferable to any profession. Performance is everything. He was right. To this day, Burnham Law reflects the principles I learned from being raised by a single mom in Syracuse and playing Upstate lacrosse: work hard and never give up. The crossroads: my young daughters, 12 and 10 at the time, were losing confidence in their games. They weren’t having fun. They weren’t “feeling it.” It wasn’t from burnout. I didn’t see any joy.

So I did what any half-psychotic dad would do: I encouraged them to try out for the Long Island Yellow Jackets, the No. 3 girls lacrosse club team in the country. I believe that competition brings out the best in us, and my wife and I strive to teach our children to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Do different things. Get different results. They bought in. The idea took hold. The spark reappeared. Competition gets the energy going.

In August 2022 the Burnham girls flew into Long Island and tried out for the LIYJ. We spent three days in a hotel on Long Island “near the fields.” Long Island has some magnificent scenery, however, this wasn’t that. The goal was to see where they stacked up against the best.

They both made the YJ! Each was offered a spot on their travel teams, both on the second team. They both declined the invitations because they didn’t want to play against their club team, Urban Elite. I recall feeling bewildered, confused, and really proud. They are loyal. And I was scared. That path was a proven pathway to exposure to top-level schools. I was also anxious because there is an East Coast college recruiting bias. College coaches look to East Coast club players before looking out West. We live in Colorado. I saw it. Yes, I know the ages of my daughters. It isn’t too early to look ahead to see if there are any roadblocks to them achieving their goals. There is an East Coast bias. And until now it is arguably an earned bias.

I swear I’m sane. Just stay with me. Knowing this, and now with their YJ decision behind me, I had a burning desire to find a different solution. You have to be able to compete. To do that you have to have the best players. Or is it the coaching? Club teams playing to win with hero ball players – minimal development, but they win games – isn’t the answer. The problem is bigger. Lacrosse doesn’t have measurables. They don’t have the NFL Combine. They don’t have Wonderlic testing. They don’t have measurables. Players have to go to multiple tournaments with the hope of being seen, and the exposure on the East Coast is greater than out west. The better the club the better the exposure. There are no measurables. In my opinion, this is a broken system that hasn’t scaled alongside the growth and popularity of the sport.

I came to later understand the problem isn’t just a lack of measurables. It is also the lack of a cohesive and skills-based roadmap, with progressions, skills layered upon skills. Instead, we (as parents) are left to hodgepodge our way through random one-off trainings where we have our kids train and leave with nothing. They leave with no plan and without any progressions to work on. They can work hard, in the rain and snow, and be going in the wrong direction – rudderless.

So I researched. I read about Kylie Ohlmiller, a Stony Brook legend who was undersized, under recruited, overlooked and literally changed the game. ESPN refers to her as “a human highlight reel.” She made creativity the norm. She was a role model. Check! So I pestered her on Instagram. A few times. Then I started asking like-minded and trusted Long Island dads who they trained with. I got uncomfortable. I did what I did while building Burnham Law: I outworked my self-doubt. Sounds exaggerated? It’s not. I took this task seriously. I thought about my mom who recently passed, and I thought about all of her obstacles she overcame raising me. I was desperate.

Desperation is a catalyst for growth. We think differently. We get creative. But, Todd, this is just lacrosse, right? No. This is athletics. Lacrosse is just the sport I’m very familiar with. Sports is a metaphor for life, and business, and I know of nowhere else where we can learn life lessons that translate from the field to the classroom, relationships, self-motivation, competition, empathy, etc. It’s where kids learn the value of failure. I’m all-in for those reasons.

One thread I pulled led me to this one trainer. A young guy training players on Long Island. His name is TJ DeMartino. I found his number, asked to speak with him, and we eventually spoke. Within the first moments of speaking, he was outlining my problem (no measurables) and he outlined a plan that was based on progressions. He had a roadmap. I felt it. This was the trainer. He never played lacrosse. But he started his training business with an eighth grader years ago. Her name: Kylie Ohlmiller. Two days later my girls and I, along with one other brave fifth grader (Annie D.), traveled to Long Island to train with TJ and Kylie. The intentional movements, the creativity, the “how” and the “why” were on display. I was watching a trainer teach lacrosse the way Kyrie Irving plays with movement patterns.

Fast forward six months later. I believe in the laws of attraction. Like attracts like. Water seeks its own level. I believe in the universal flow if you’re dialed in. People find other like-minded people. Enter Casey Powell, my Upstate brother and lacrosse legend, who I encountered along my journey. CP is a rockstar who has done it all in lacrosse. More importantly, CP is an authentic human being whose passion for lacrosse is outmatched only by his love for his daughter. Like Lyle Thompson, the great Iroquois lacrosse player/sport ambassador and protector, CP is a lacrosse purist. He, too, saw the need for a revamping of how the system works. In order to spread the joy of lacrosse globally, which is his mission, he realized that players need a roadmap of progressions and not just randomized clinics. Lacrosse players with the “want” need a roadmap.

He created The Powell Process which integrates movement methodologies with the Powell lacrosse mastery. Kylie Ohlmiller has done the same.

That covers the leveling-up problem. Lacrosse also needs universal scoring/ranking of measurables and intangibles. It’s the only way to accurately compare two players. Apples to apples.

From March 3 to 5, with the unwavering support of Alivian Jorgensen and her Urban Elite Lacrosse Club (a grassroots club organized by a true leader of both men and women), Colorado players get first exposure to these new platforms which refocuses training to highlight individual expression, creativity, and work ethic with a measurable process for progression.

They will be analyzing the technical and tactical skills of each player, and delivering a systematic process of refining inefficiencies. CP and KO will be breaking down the different contexts related to offensive, defensive, and transitional game play while TJ will be dissecting body angles, patterns, and explosive elements of dodging and moving in space. Unlike most “clinics” or “camps”, the main objective of this workshop is to provide solutions to everyone on how to improve their game. Everyone will leave with a clear understanding of their deficiencies, along with a roadmap of how to achieve their peak performance and attain their athletic and lacrosse goals.


TBD Lacrosse Registration

Event schedule

Friday March 3
5:00pm-7:00pm: 5th-8th grade Co-Ed
7:00pm-9:00pm: 9th-12th grade Co-ed
Glory Star Athletic Center
5466 County Road 3, Erie, CO 80516
This is a combine event and will be open to anyone who is attending the event.

Saturday March 4
9:00am-11:00am: 9th-12th grade Co-ed
11:00am-1:00pm: 5th-8th grade Co-Ed
CU Boulder Indoor Facility
2150 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, CO
Skills and development camp with Guest Kylie Ohlmiller

Sunday March 5
Led by Alivian Jorgensen
Camp Experience with Casey Powell
Only 25-30 spots available, age range 8th grade and older
Glory Star Athletic Center
5466 County Road 3, Erie, CO 80516