Friday, February 27, 2009

Weekend UPSET predictions!

So, here goes nothing! I'm going to pick one Division 1 game and one Division 2 or 3 game as my upset special of the week and this week I've picked...

Princeton over Hopkins, 9-7. I like Princeton's D, they have a new goalie with a limited amount of scouting available on him, have a healthy midfield and still have Coach Tierney prowling the sidelines. Hopkins is still very good and could easily make a NC run this season but it is early and they are replacing some serious firepower on offense in Rabil, Peyser and Huntley.

On the Division three side of things I'm going out on a real limb with a Sunday tilt between Colorado College and Lynchburg. Lburg is still highly rated but I think this may be the season Where CC really makes an impact... plus they have fantastic helmets. It is a real risk considering CC play Washington & Lee the day before but maybe that will just get them ready to roll even more so... like I said, I'm out on a limb here.

PotD - Weekend Preview Cuse-UVA

This PotD comes from:

The image really sums up the intensity of 'Cuse-UVA tilts and this weekend is shaping up to be another classic. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Best Lax Player in the WORLD!

You always get an interesting response from laxheads when you ask them who the best player in the world is. Right now, my answer would be Mark Steenhuis of the Buffalo Bandits. He plays forward and transition in the NLL and is a point scoring machine. He had 17 points against the Toronto Rock last week on 4 goals and 13 assists. Both the 17 point mark and the 13 assists are NLL records for a single game. He is leading the league in points at this point in the season as well.

The 28 year old Canadian is not that tall [5'8"], not that big, but he runs hard and he can do it all day. He takes a lot of punishment and can dish it out. He's a shifty righty who can flat out fly and wants it more than the other guys. On top of all that, he has some of the best hair in the entire NLL since Tom Ryan cut his dreads.

Although I cover outdoor lacrosse primarily, I really do like the NLL and think Steenhuis represents the best they have to offer.

Great success in Boston for new NLL franchise

Gone are the days of the Green, Black and Orange, gone are the days of spandex shorts and huge hockey jerseys yet the Boston Blazers are back and showing the rest of the league how to do things right. Considering the economy and their expansion status, the Blazers are drawing good numbers and winning games. They are doing so by asking their players to make a real commitment. A lot of players in the NLL and MLL don't live where they play, show up for games and are on the first plane out of town after the game is over. Not so in Beantown. The players live near one another, hang out off the field, play a lot of lax and are really trying to get the larger Boston community interested. Read the whole article to hear the whole story:

An approving nod of the head to NESCAC legend, NLL legend and Dreadlock legend[even if he eventually cut them off], Tom Ryan, for leading this team to success both on and off the "box".

You know Lacrosse is booming when...

British soccer articles even mention the sport. Lacrosse is still a relative unknown in England compared to Rugby or even American Football yet Henry Winter decided to include a lacrosse reference to highlight the physical nature of one player's actions:

"Chelsea had known they would not have it all their own way in midfield when little Mauro Camoranesi began flying into challenges, flattening Ashley Cole and Michael Ballack in quick succession. With a short ponytail straight out of St Trinian’s, Camoranesi needed only a lacrosse stick to complete the image."

St. Trinian's is a made-up private school for girls in the UK. Evidently, they play lacrosse, are violent, spoiled and cheat like crazy. Basically, this writer is calling Camoranesi a lacrosse playing girl, which must be a compliment since in actuality, he is a soccer playing man.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Re-birth of the bag!

Earlier this week, I said that the bagged out lacrosse pockets were dead. This picture of Boston Blazer Dan Dawson says, "we aren't done with bags in the NLL, homes!"

Hood's first win in FIVE YEARS... that much sweeter!

Check out this article from Lacrosse Magazine about Hood's first win in 5 years:

HeyLaxMan's most sincere well wishes go out to Dan Rocker, his family and the entire Hood lacrosse program in hopes of a full recovery and return to action for the Junior LSM.

PotD - lax down under

Wembley Wolves and East Fremantle Blues match up in Western Australia.

Bryant proving they belong immediately

Bryant has done a great job early on this season after making the jump from Division 2 to Division 1. They have started the season at 2-1 by losing to UVA, crushing Sacred Heart and with a win over Dartmouth in NH. Mike Pressler has obviously done a great job at Bryant and he is an outstanding coach but the real man behind Bryant's early success is Zach Greer. He will only play there for one year but it is the most important; the first year as a Division 1 team.

Now, Pressler will lead the team for years to come and is leading the team now but the impact that a player like Greer can have on a team can not be underestimated. When Greer practices, he practices hard and sets an example as to what a Division 1 practice should look like and how high the intensity level has to be. He showcases what kind of athlete you need to be, he has experienced the best the college lacrosse world has to offer and knows what it takes to reach that level. Coaches always say to lead by example and Pressler has to be thrilled to have a guy like Greer doing just that.

ZG is putting up points when the team needs them most [as evidenced by his run-squelching goals against Dartmouth], keeping Bryant competitive in big games while being unselfish [against Virginia] or lighting it up [against Sacred Heart] when playing an opponent Bryant feels it should best.

Bryant won't make the tourney this year no matter what because of their D1 probationary period but Greer has to be in the running for PoY regardless because without him, I sincerely doubt Bryant would be doing nearly as well as they are now. On a side note, it seems like Greer is still using the Gait Triton even with Bryant Lacrosse being sponsored by Brine.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oglethorpe to add lacrosse!

No, Oggie Oglethorpe is not quitting hockey and moving to lacrosse. Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA is adding lacrosse in 2010 for the 2011 season. They will join Colorado College, Hendrix, Sewannee, Southwestern [2010 season] and Birmingham Southern in the SCAC [Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference]. One more team and the conference will start receiving an AQ at some point! It is an exciting moment in time when our great sport is expanding so quickly to areas that 10 years ago had never even heard of lacrosse.
For now, the coach will be the schools's Athletic Director, Jay Gardiner, who played lacrosse at McDaniel College and graduated in 1979.
Oglethorpe's mascot is the Stormy Petrel. That's almost as cool as the Power Gulls of Endicott or the Polar Bears of Bowdoin!

the death of the Bag.

In recent years there was an epidemic hitting lacrosse fields all over the country: bagged out pockets [as a d-man, I actually used one myself for a little while! it is a little embarrassing but I wasn't exactly a "finesse" guy...].

The use of draw strings had become prevalent in the club, college and high school levels. The college game in particular was really suffering because [more so than high school or club] the college game is one of possession evidenced best by Princeton and Hopkins' respective styles of play. Obvious exceptions that jump to mind are UVA and 'Cuse who like to run n' gun, however, the majority of teams outside the top tier will slow it down when they play competitive games. The drawstring-aided bags and pinched heads came together with this slow-down style of play and when combined with the refs' inability to check for violations to create a perfect storm involving REALLY deep pockets and lots of them.

The rules were changed and now refs do a lot of stick checks throughout the course of the game. Drawstrings were made illegal and touching your pocket after a ref asks to see it is being watched carefully as well and will result in an infraction. These new rules have really improved the quality of the game.

I have seen better passing, more takeaway checks dislodging the ball, more turnovers, more excitement and better shooting and I give all of the credit to the new rules and the refs as well as the Rules Committee for making the changes. Next year, the pinched heads will fall by the wayside [to a certain extent, at least] and I think we can expect to again see even better passing, more accurate shooting, great takeaway checks and a lot of up and down due to turnovers. This will increase the pace of the game as possession is never assured.

Will these moves increase scoring? I don't know that yet and think it could go either way but I would much rather see an up and down style of play that results in a 8-6 game than a 13-10 game where a couple of the top players just held the ball until they weaved through 4 players and scored from 7 yards out because no one could knock the ball out of their stick.

We don't need to get back to the days of wooden sticks and short shorts but we have gone too far away from what made the game great: passing, lots of running, back and forth battles, ground balls and a certain amount of uncertainty. The rules will reward the better players the most by allowing the game to be one of creativity and not technology but we will all reap the benefits because the product on the field will be that much sweeter.

MUSIC! why not?

Below you can find what I have been listening to lately. Does this have anything to do with lacrosse? Not really, unless you want to make a sweet, sweet warm-up tape and you're a risk taker. Here is the list:

Eagles of Death Metal - Cherry cola
Yelle - Je veux te voir [trust me, it is awesome]
The Ting Tings - We started nothing
The Presets - Yippiyo-ay
Le Tigre - Deceptacon
The Dandy Warhols - Minnesoter
Daft Punk - High life
Buju Banton - 6 million ways to die
Hot Chip - Over and over
Spoon - Jonathon Fisk
The Sounds - Hurt you

Monday, February 23, 2009

weekend review

Duke's blue helmets are simple as are the 'Gate's jerseys but I'm a big fan:
as you can see, Colgate seems to be here to stay and while Brandon Corp is the real deal, he has some work to do in order to be in the running for PoY.

I watched the Maryland-Georgetown game and I must say that I was not that impressed with Maryland even though statistically the game was pretty even. Maryland's offense seems a little stagnant as they take too long to set up dodges and then dodge slowly allowing the defense to adjust. Georgetown did an excellent job of not forcing slides. Defensively, the Terps looked a little slow and Brian Farell had an awful day for someone who is supposed to be a top level d-man. I guess I'll reserve judgement though, seeing as only a tenth of the season has been played. Barney Ehrmann looked really good down low after a season at LPM and could be the best defender in the country based on what he did against ND transfer and current Terp Yeatman.

Hopkins-Siena was fun to watch for the first half but JHU showed they were simply the better team in the 2nd... which is fun to see if you are a Hop fan! Also, I liked the Captains' "C" on the Hop jersey... like I said, they will do something classic with their uniforms. Their helmets were all traditional but well-designed.

Surprise of the weekend: HAS to be Harvard over Duke IN DURHAM, NC. Harvard was the kind of team that people thought could be a top 20 team but the jury was still out. Definitely expect to see them ranked this week. Congrats to my buddy, Charlie Congleton, the goalie coach at Harvard!

Then again, the surprise win of the weekend could also go to a Division 2 squad as Belmony Abbey [a recent addition to the lax world] bested perenial power Limestone 9-8 in OT. Jedd Gardner had 4 goals, including the OT game winner.

Big Scorers: Bryant won their first D1 game 22-8 over Sacred Heart. Zach Greer finished up 11 points as 6 of those 11 came on goals and 5 on assists. Also dropping 11 points was UVA's Garret Billings who did so on 8 goals and 3 assists in a 20-10 thumping of Stony Brook.

The D2/D3 side of things: Whittier lost to D2 NDNU 7-6 in the battle of Cali. You can be assured it was a tough, hard-hitting game. Salisbury keeps rolling with ease, 'Noke and OWU won convincingly. Stevenson was picked to be a real contender this year but they only bested Widener by 1.

Friday, February 20, 2009

MCLA: AZ State season is suspended

Arizona State's club lacrosse team has been suspended until August 2009. All of this info could change as the investigation seems to be ongoing and the appeals process is not finished but there are some very interesting issues that this case brings back up, much like the somewhat similar cases in the past at Hartwick and St. Lawrence.

-Student-Athletes need to be more careful and stick to the rules more so than non-student-athletes. Their sport depends on it!

-ASU's lacrosse team has been suspended. Has ASU ever suspended a fully funded athletic program for a similar violation? After all, it's ASU we are talking about here, you know this isn't the first time something like this has happened.

-What can we do as lacrosse players to dispell the notion that we are all just a bunch of party animals? Do we need to follow Petro's code of conduct for his Hopkins boys?

-Has college become too much about partying and activities and not enough about academics? I'm an elitist NESCAC guy so you know my personal answer is "yes".

Sorry to leave Hey Lax Man! at such a low point on a Friday but that's reality!

Tewaaraton Watch List

When the Tewaaraton Watch List comes out at the beginning of the season I always look down the list to see who from Divisions 2 and 3 is mentioned purely out of interest. I know they will never win the award but it is always interesting to see who is regarded as one of the best in the country. Doug McIver of LeMoyne is listed as the sole D2 representative and that makes sense considering the Dolphins recent success. One the D3 side of things I was not at all surprised to see Kylor Berkman listed considering he plays for Salisbury, they won the NC last year and he was the D3 Player of the Year.

Joining Berkman were Eric Hagarty and Nick Cosco who BOTH play for Endicott. Now I know that Endicott is a really good team that has improved year after year but I find it hard to believe that they have 2 of the 3 best players in the entire Division yet they have never made a final 4 or even beaten a TRULY top tier team. This last point could be argued but the fact is they haven't won anything truly meaningful and neither of these guys even has an outside shot of winning the Tewaaraton unless Endicott goes undefeated and wins the NC game by 10. I don't think that is going to happen.

I'm not REALLY complaining about these selections because both Hagarty and Cosco are outstanding players on an excellent team but I do think they should spread the wealth a little more or just don't include D3 players on the watch list, especially kids who would never win the award in a million years. It seems silly and arbitrary and does nothing to lend any sort of credibility to the award.

Hopkins 2009

Check out this article on the Hopkins squad for 2009:
It focuses less on individual players' abilities and more on the team as a whole. I think that it is interesting to note that players do not wear hats inside, have to hold doors open for others, must sit in the front row of their classes, have dinners together and none of them are in fraternities. It seems like Petro is really grooming these kids to be upstanding men but the following one section gave me pause,

"Pietramala also does not hesitate to throw a player out of practice if he feels he's not playing up to standard, and he has no qualms whatsoever about using whatever language necessary to convey his point."

I don't have any problem with kicking kids out of practice for not performing, especially at a school like Hopkins where lacrosse is clearly a top priority for everyone involved. However, the use of "whatever language necessary" does not match up with Petro's expectation that these young men hold themselves to the highest standard in all aspects of life. When I hear a coach [at any level] constantly spewing cuss words, I instantly lose respect for them because they are relying on the lowest common denominator to get their point across instead of doing so eloquently and intelligently and thereby setting a good example. There may be a time and place for F bombs but if you use them constantly you are doing yourself a disservice by taking the easy way out, you are doing your kids a disservice by acting in a hypocritical manner and you are doing our great sport a disservice because you resemble a baseball manager kicking around the dirt instead of a lacrosse coach molding our next generation of great men.
This is not a Hopkins diss or a slant aimed at Petro in any way shape or form. No one is perfect and everyone gets angry from time to time but Hopkins is the top example of academic, high-character players and winning traditions and because of this we expect more from them. I would like to applaud coach Pietramala and the Hopkins program for putting academics first, instilling good character in all of its players and for doing so all while being a top flight program... now if they could only clean up their language!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Division 3 Poll thoughts...

The preseason poll has been published on for over a week and it is now time to start working on the 1st regular season poll. As a pollster and commenter on I go by the online handle: Wheniwasakid...

Salisbury won their opener against Scranton convincingly, even though they were down 3-0 at the beggining of the game. I know it is still very early but if a team like Scranton can go up 3-0 on the Gulls then this may be one of those years where Salisbury isn't the hands down favorite... just the most predicted to win the NC.

Whittier put up 2 solid wins but did so against teams that aren't exactly considered contenders.

In the only other d3 game as of 2/19, Mary Wash doubled up on VA Wesleyan, 16-8. MW could definitely pick up some top 20 votes for that early season win but my feeling is that we will need to see more from them if they really want to cement their spot as a top 20 team.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dyed Heads

There is a real lack of color out on lacrosse fields and I'm not talking about the uniforms; they are as colorful, bright and good as they have ever been. Every other team's shoelaces are neon green, the helmets of today come in 20 different colors and our modern gloves are a far cry from the all black L-33 days but there is one aspect of the game that just isn't as colorful as it could be: heads.

So many of today's great players have white heads with white mesh and white shooters. I understand the argument of trying to hide the ball and its point of release up until the last second but I honestly don't think that seeing a white ball come out of a pink head or a white head is going to make much of a difference much when it is moving at 99 mph. I also understand that heads break and kids don't want to put any more effort into getting yet another head ready for game action than they have to but it looks awesome and really gives each kid the chance to be their own person while still adhering to that all-important team mentality.

So to all you HS/College/Club laxers out there: Dye your heads! Be an original! Take a risk! Be a team player but have a little swagger. Attackmen, D-men, Goalies, middies, D-mids; it doesn't matter what position you play but bring some color back to the game and if your coach doesn't mind, do it with some flair! Extra points for neon pink heads a la 2003 Panarelli.

electrical tape is your friend!

PotD - String it up with style II...

new Gait Triton with Neon Yellow mesh and sidewalls.

Syracuse and the White on Whites

Cuse rocked the All-White gear and uniform look against Providence in their home opener. Over the course of the entire season I expect to see a bunch of different helmets, jerseys and shorts from 'Cuse as we usually do but the White on White look certainly makes a statement and is dividing lacrosse fashion afficionados right down the middle. Personally, I'm not all that impressed with it and I'm looking forward to what Cuse and Nike come up with next. My opinion on white clothing clearly doesn't matter as much as this guy's though...

I was a huge fan of the all-orange uniforms they wore a few years back in the National Championship game but the All-Whites just aren't the same. check out the link below:

On the Souther fashion tip: can't wait to see what Hopkins unveils next week... expect standard Hop colors and traditional uniform styles/choices with a little tweak here and there to spice things up... kind of like the basic white and black helmet they rocked last year. All of a sudden, the basic helmet didn't look so bad, well at least not when it said "Jays" on the side and I'm not even a Hop fan!

Friday, February 13, 2009

PotD - Death becomes him

Glenn Adams of Wesleyan and now the LI Lizards in Miami taking a break in between games. Notice how as players get older, they tend to sit on pretty blankets and stretch a lot more.

Team Chill-lax's Matt "Schommy" Schomburg trying not to die at the Miami Bump & Grind Tourney put on by Bo Lamon's South Florida gear company Lacrossewear []

MLL Craziness! Part III

follow the link below to a more detailed explanation of the MLL's impending contraction:

I like the move to Toronto. Rochester was given their shot and couldn't make it work. Toronto did well with the NLL's Toronto Rock franchise so I sincerely hope the MLL team sees the same successes.

Seems like Boston, LI and the Bayhawks will all be fine. Chicago seems to be sticking it out but the fortunes of the Chicago Shamrox do not bode well for the Machine's future, nor do the Machine's past attendance numbers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

PotD - String it up with style...

The Shook Shakedown string job.
To learn how to do it yourself go to: and check out all of their fantastic stringing and dyeing tutorials.

MLL Craziness! Part II

So the MLL is improving its social networking but reducing the number of teams in the league from 10 to 6? Wow.

Now I know that facebook is the biggest thing ever right now in terms of popularity. Supposedly it is even worth a lot of money. However, that money is not real money in the sense that the revenues minus the costs simply do not add up to the purported net present value of the asset[the asset being facebook]. The asset's value is SO high that there is even the potential to see a second DotCom style recession where many websites are simply not creating substantial returns [AGAIN!]and then just like the early 2000s we will see a major drop in values.

Back to the lax side of things...

The MLL needs to focus less on gimicks, less on social networking, less on dance teams and more on the actual products that relate to lacrosse. If they want to be successful they should also work on their website BASICS such as: updating scores quickly, supplying photos and game recaps for more than one game a week, streaming games online for a small fee or something along those lines. Facebook is great but why would someone sign up for the MLL's network when they can't even get the lacrosse and business part right first? There really isn't any one place to get good info on the MLL and the fact that the league itself is not providing this much needed info will not help them in the long run. It seems like the league doesn't even believe in its product enough to feature it on its own website!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

MLL Craziness!

Looks like the MLL franchise in Philly is folding. Sad considering that they won the whole shabang a couple of times and were the closest thing the MLL had to a dynasty. LA and San Fran are also going down the drain... or you can place Chi-town on the list and remove one of the Cali squads. Seems like it is still up in the air. The Rochester to Toronto move seems to be real though.

On a side note: If 4 MLL teams actually fold this spring/summer the talent on those teams is going to be dispersed among the 6 teams left over. With Rochester moving to Toronoto, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rattlers [Toronoto Rattlers? that makes about as much sense as the Utah Jazz!] add even more Canadian talent. This means that summer club tournaments may be getting back to the days where they were loaded with Div 1 All-Americans and you could see some of the best lacrosse players in the world for free... and maybe even play against them!

I remember playing with Billy Daye, Bill Edell and a bunch of other Cannons players before the MLL ever started and that opportunity made me a much better player. I remember playing against Paul Gait at Lake Placid and thinking to myself after the game, "I just threw a kayak covering one of the absolute best ever". These were terrific experiences and while I am sad to see the MLL shrink, I will try to look at it as an opportunity for a whole new generation to play against the best of the best in great summer places like Glastonbury, Lake Placid, Vail and all of the other summer club tourneys.

above: Glastonbury action from 2008

New PotD - this time: Idiots

Making good use of old lax helmets right here... remove the facemask and they become idiot helmets.

much respect to the Class of '02 for being who they are... unabashedly.

1 lacrosse - New guy on the block

1lacrosse is a new lacrosse company that so far produces shafts, stringing kits and a head called the Aon. they have been featured on e-lacrosse [] and while they are similar to some of the big boy manufacturers, there are also many differences.

1lacrosse was not started by one of the Powells or Gaits. It was not started by an All-American who played at Princeton, Syracuse or Hopkins. It was started by a guynamed Brian DeSpain from Texas A&M's MCLA club team and the company seems to be more about spreading the game of lacrosse than making butt loads of money. I'm sure they are looking to turn a profit at 1lacrosse but it doesn't seem to be their sole motivation.

They are similar to the big boys like Warrior and STX in that they have their equipment produced in China. Beyond that, they are VERY different. Their head retails for about $60 strung as opposed to the $90+ many other companies charge. The offset is minimal and the head is strong and stiff. The plastic they use seems to be a little different than the shiny plastic many other munfacturers employ. I have one of their sticks and to me, it seems like a great wand for either a top-level FOGO or a feeder type player to use.

Check out the e-lacrosse article [as usual, they do a great job covering new lax gear!] and go to 1lacrosse's website:

Best Deals 2009!

Every year lacrosse heads and shafts seem to get more and more expensive. Considering that many people's pockets are running on empty right now and the fact that lacrosse sticks tend to break eventually, a cheap, high-quality lacrosse head has to be in high demand.

The best deal I have found so far is the Gait Triton. Gait has discontinued the head and that is the reason for its very modest prices, which hovers between $30 and $40 depending on where you go. I just ordered two of them and 2 new pieces of mesh from [] and it totalled [w/ shipping!] around $100.

The head is great in my opinion for the following reasons: it is lightweight, strong, provides endless stringing options, relatively narrow face and it is fully offset. It is a great stick for box lacrosse as well as being the weapon of choice for Bryant's Zach Greer when he was playing with Duke... so you know its good... and now its cheap!
On a side note, it will be interesting to see what kind of stick Greer uses this season as Bryant was sponsored by Gait but now seems to be sponsored by Brine. You often see players use heads from non-sponsoring companies like Greer did at Duke.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Picture of the Day [not every day though!]

A new feature is the picture of the day.
There will not be a picture every day but anytime I come across something good enough I will post it.

MLL in Canada? Possibly...

An investment group in Toronto is looking to lure Rochester's MLL franchise up to the great white North.

With a considerable amount of Canadian talent already on the team, the Rattlers would be primed for success in Toronto, where lacrosse is a relatively well known sport [albeit the indoor version]. The NLL franchise, the Toronto Rock, does quite well over the winter so it makes sense that fans would come out for lacrosse outdoors once the weather warms up a little.

It is interesting that while one team in the MLL is entertaining a move to another country, 5 others teams are still owned by the league... seems like all of these teams need to get on the same page because a fragmented league in an economic situation like our current one spells disaster.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Colorado Lax

So MCLA Colorado State beat NCAA Division 3 Colorado College 10-9 in a scrimmage this February. Unfortunately, it is most likely that this will only add to the raging debate regarding how good Club ball at the College level really is. My take on the situation is... as long as the lax is good, who really cares?

All I want to see is good lacrosse and if it means that Division 1 Denver has to play MCLA BYU to get a good game in without travelling on a plane then I'm all for it. They are not representing their entire conference or division, they are representing themselves, their team and their institution, that is all.

The lacrosse world deserves much better than to succumb to these silly chest thumping competitions and should focus less on which division is the real deal. I have seen debates regarding this very topic on quickly spiral out of control. The truth is, you would not be able to find a college scrimmage of this caliber very often in Colorado ten years ago but now we see great games of lacrosse being played all over the country in places like Colorado, Idaho, Detroit and South Florida just to name a few. If nothing else, this shows great strides made by the game of Lacrosse that show dramatic and sustainable growth. So to all the guys out there arguing about Club ball vs. Division 3 or Division 3 vs. Division 2 lacrosse, you need to get over yourselves and focus on the positive!

Tip of the hat to IL for not making this into the Div 3/MCLA showdown that others try to make it out to be from time to time:

South Australia Fires!

Lacrosse is big in Western Australia [6 teams], Victoria [12 teams] and South Australia [10 teams]. It is not as big as AFL or Rugby or Cricket but there is quite a bit of interest in the sport.

The most newsworthy item surrounding Australia at this moment are the huge and deadly fires burning across much of the Southern part of the country and we send out our best wishes to all the laxers down under who may be struggling to deal with these tough and dangerous conditions.

For more info on lacrosse in Australia please visit:

In the photo above Tim Forbes of Caulfield trys to stop a Surrey Park attackman from scoring in action from the Victorian State League.

Whittier Lax

Wow wow wow.

It seems as if Nate Watkins is out as the Head Coach of NCAA Division 3, Whittier College, in LA.

He is still listed as their Head Coach as of 2/9/09 at 1:03pm.

There is no real scandal here so far and he seems to have just taken a better job in Colorado, which makes sense given the current economic conditions but for this move to take place now between the Poets' last scrimmage and their first game [which they still won 15-5 vs. Div 2 Grand Canyon. The game was played in nearby AZ...] is tough timing.

Standout player, Defensive Coordinator and Whittier alum, Brian Kelly, has been named the interim head coach for the 2009 season and could be a great candidate to take over the reins for Whittier in the long-term although I would strongly suspect that the topic will not to be breached before the end of the season as there are a lot of talented coaches out there that may be interested in relocating to Cali.

Just when Whittier seems poised to make the return to contender status they lose a big name in Watkins. They retain Kelly who could turn out to be the stabilizing force the Poets REALLY need as well as James Morgan, the offensive coordinator from Hofstra [and before that, the Annapolis Area in MD].

Whittier still has the players , recruits, transfers and potential to be a good team but radical changes every year or two will do nothing to help the program, the players or the coaches who stay on. This is not a criticism of Coach Watkins but the reality of the landscape and competitiveness of Division 3 lacrosse.

Keep your eyes on Whittier to see what they can accomplish and how they fight through these changes. The Poets return to action on February 18th when Malcolm Chase's U. Southern Maine team [] comes to town for a 4pm tilt.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Florida Southern and the Wick!

Today is the Florida Southern College lacrosse team's first NCAA game as a varsity team. They defeated SCAD, the Svannah College of Art and Design which is an NAIA school [with possibly the coolest team bus ever], in a scrimmage but this will be there first official test ever. It could be a tough test as they face Hartwick College from New York state. Hartwick has been around for a long time, has seen some amazing players come and go through its doors and has a roster filled with kids who can really play, including their keeper, John Meade who originally played at Division 1 Sacred Heart. I don't expect FSC to actually win this game but I wish them the best of luck and applaud the school for sponsoring a lacrosse team and applaud their coach, Rory Whipple [yes, THE Rory Whipple] for seeking out good competition. For more info, see below:

UPDATE: Hartwick won the scrimmage/game/whatever it was [it appears on FSC's Div 2 schedule but not D3 Hartwick's] 7-6. Johnny Meade did not play as many of the 'wick Vets sat this one out. Congrats to FSC for making it through their first NCAA game. next up? their first win! Good luck Mocs!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

the Gait Nuclear head

If you click on the following link you can see a new Gait head for 2009 called the Nuclear [or Nuke-u-lar if you are our 43rd President]:

At first it just looks like a newfangled Gait knock off inspired by the old STX Proton sidewall design but then I noticed the throat extension piece that extends down the shaft 2-3 inches with finger grooves on it. The intent is CLEARLY to have players grab the plastic for extra grip but that does not mesh with the rules as currently laid out by the NCAA:

Withholding Ball from Play SECTION 13.
When a loose ball is on the ground, a player may not lie on the ball, trap it with his crosse longer than is necessary for him to control the ball and pick it up with one continuous motion, or withhold the ball from play in any other manner. A player, players or team may not deliberately withhold the ball from play. Repeated actions of this nature may be ruled unsportsmanlike conduct. (See Rule 5-10-d.) Note: A player in possession of the ball who holds his crosse against any part of his body, thus preventing the normal dislodgment of the ball, is illegally withholding the ball from play. The glove hand cannot grasp any portionof the head of the crosse. This is intended to cover faceoffs and a player inpossession of the ball who is “thumbing” the ball or choking up and graspingthe plastic portion of the crosse.

I would love to try this stick out and see if the plastic extension makes any difference or is just another gimmick stick like these that came before it:

I have my doubts that this new "technology" would really help anyone's game, regardless of the fact that it seems to openly flaunt existing NCAA rules. Refs almost never make the call [hand touching the plastic] but it is technically in the rule book. Is this a moot point? Most likely yes. Do I still find it interesting? Yes, so I wrote about it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Neon Green & Hofstra: A Love Affair.

I love that Division 1, 2, and 3 Men's Lacrosse teams have been wearing ugly neon green shoe laces in honor of Nick Colleluori and the Headstrong Foundation. I love that Hofstra rocked the full neon green ugly look for the 2nd annual Nick Colleluori Headstrong Tournament at Ridley HS in PA[]. I loved it all so much, in fact, that I think Hofstra should make it a permanent part of their uniform.

I know that the Pride has a traditional set of colors and they have worn the blue, gold and white forever but then again they did change their name from the Flying Dutchmen so it is obvious that the school does not object to change or feel overly rooted in tradition. If they were willing to downgrade their mascot [it was a downgrade in my opinion anyway!], why wouldn't they be willing to UPgrade their colors for a great cause?

While Neon Green is a trendy color and it would certainly be something to set the school apart, neither of those issues are what truly matter. What truly matters is that Hofstra is doing what it does everyday but by wearing Neon Green they are helping others, setting a good example of service and giving all while making the world a better place. Now, I am sure that there is a rule where all of the teams at a school have to wear the same colors but the either the NCAA should grant Hofstra an exemption [and Hofstra should apply for it!] or Hofstra University as a whole should include Neon Green in ALL of their uniforms. This would not be a move made for good looks or a competitive edge, it would be a change made from the heart and for the benefit of many who struggle against Lymphoma.

Who knew Style and Substance could be the same thing?