Welcome back to “A Lacrosse Weekend” my weekly compilation of thoughts, ideas, history, stories, myths/truths about the great game of lacrosse! I hope you find it interesting!
A New Beginning and an End of an Era
Spring brings renewed life, flowers, warm weather and a feeling of “It’s great to be alive” like none other. And as the we get deeper into spring, it also brings the end of a season, the end of a school year, graduations and goodbyes to seniors. We are all so lucky to have spring, lacrosse and our teams in our lives!
Yale - UMass
In a rematch from an early season Yale victory, this is going to be a street fight of a game. Greg Canella’s Minutemen have won 12 games this year and are averaging 12 goals/game. Yale is the favorite for good reason - they have Ben Reeves, Tewaaraton Finalist (who is also “wicked Smaht”) leading their offense which is averaging 14 goals per game.Yale head coach Andy Shay has done it all in the regular season, but has yet to have the kind of post season success that he deserves.
My Pick: Yale
Duke - Villanova
“Nova” got into the dance ahead of several teams that would have been a tougher match up for Duke… hard to believe the Big 10 only has 2 teams in this NCAA Tourney and the Big East has 3! I’m not sure if Duke is good enough to win it all, but today they will win big and Tewaaraton Finalist Justin Gutterding will have a big day……Forecast for today: 75 degrees, sunny and a 90% chance of leaners!
My Pick: Duke
Loyola - Virginia
This is the game of the day! A rematch from a February Virginia comeback win. Pat Spencer is a Tewaaraton finalist and for good reason! He is the ultimate X guy and has such an amazing combination of size, feel, quickness, moves, vision, and physicality. Spencer is a text book on how to play the attack position! Lars Tiffany, as I’ve said before, is a great game plan coach and a great in in game adjustment coach, but Loyola head coach Charlie Toomey won a national championship 6 years ago and it’s tough to beat a team twice … UVA did shut off Spencer in the regular season… Loyola purposely misses shots when that happens and Spencer picks it up off the end line.
My Pick: UVA
Albany - Richmond
Albany’s face-off guy, TD Ierlan is winning 84% of his face-offs! WHAT?! Are you kidding me?! That is absurd! Albany has been slowed down with star attackman Connor Fields’s knee injury, but if he gets healthy in this NCAA Tourney, look for Albany to make it to Championship weekend. Congrats to Richmond Head coach Dan Chemotti on getting back to the dance! Dan is an all around great guy and a pretty sick basketball player too!
My Pick: Albany
Richmond Part II
A couple summers ago I was at an IWLCA lacrosse event with my daughter Emily in Richmond so I called Chemotts to see if he wanted to play some hoops. Dan Chemotti travels with his sneakers and a b-ball all summer so I knew he’d be interested. The Richmond lacrosse office is in an old “Hoosiers” style gym with no AC. Dan and I decided to play full court 1v1, 2’s and 3’s, to 100! It was SO HOT! Thankfully Dan was cold that day or it would have been a blow out (I’m 15 years older than he is!). Dan won in OT… I tied it at 100 with a 3 pointer and it was win by 4. My undoing was in OT Chemotts applied full court pressure…. I was so tired by the time I got the ball over half court I was done.
Maryland - Robert Morris
Bobby Mo’ has had a great run and got the shaft by the NCAA Seeding Committee in having to play Canisius Wednesday in the play-in game. Richmond should have been in that game. Loaded with Canadians, RMU has some athletes that can defend and run the field too! Jared Bernhardt will be the X factor in this year’s tourney… Connor Kelly is a Tewaaraton finalist, but Bernhardt, similar to Pontrello for UNC 2 years ago, will be the difference maker. His ability to win his 1v1 match up, distribute, break pressure AND score will open up the offense for the Terps against anybody!
My pick: Maryland
Notre Dame - Denver
The Pioneers losing to Georgetown in the conference finals had a few ripple effects. No home game for Denver, no first round game for me, as I was slated to to be the analyst for DU’s first round home game :( and Notre Dame gets to play Denver again in the playoffs. Last year DU crushed ND and you have to imagine the Irish are hungry for this one! ND averages 2 penalties per game for the past 10 years, except when they play Denver where they average 6 penalties. Bill Tierney is the greatest lacrosse coach in modern times and he can put a spell on refs to boot!
My Pick: Notre Dame
Johns Hopkins - Georgetown
First, congrats to Kevin Warne at Georgetown in turning his program around and winning the Big East title!Hopkins lost to North Carolina on February 23rd (I was there) and it looked like two programs going in different directions.In fact that would be the case and the Blue Jays have played great lacrosse ever since!Making saves, winning face-offs, playing great team defense and running a smart, slick off ball cutting / Big-little type offense has been JHU’s signature.
My Pick: JHU
Cornell - Syracuse
Is there any way Syracuse doesn’t shut off Jeff Teat? It seems obvious that this strategy works and with a week to prepare, I wouldn’t be surprised to see SU do what Brown did and play at least some zone behind a shut off because a shut in man would allow Teat to play 2 man games out of their base man offense. Jeff Teat is not a Tewaaraton finalist this year, which is kind of a joke because he’s frankly a once in a generation talent who is averaging 6 points per game. Anyway, I hope Cuse doesn’t shut him off! #FreeTeat
My Pick: Cornell
A Big Loss in Coquitlam
Today is the memorial service and life celebration of Les Wingrove, a Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Famer, a true builder of the game, a great family man and a great friend to many. Les passed away last week suddenly and a true staple of the Coquitlam lacrosse community was lost. RIP Les, you will be missed.
How to get Recruited
I created a video that is a MUST watch if you have kids interested in playing college lacrosse.Go to www.JM3GetRecruited.com and watch with your son or daughter. This video is the most practical recruiting “How to” video you’ll find because it teaches you the answer to the most important question: What do coaches want? If you can figure this out as it relates to you and your strengths as a player, you can get to work being good enough! Make sure to watch all the way to the end because I have created a great tool for your recruiting process!
Do something Special!
If you are focusing on the right things in the recruiting process, you will be focusing on getting better at lacrosse this summer, not just focusing on getting looks. Come up with a development plan that is special, unique, thoughtful, and exciting! Find a Guru to work with, train with college players or pros (and film it!), play box lacrosse this summer! Think out of the box and try to take your training to a new level! Differentiate yourself not only with your play, but in your training!
Summer in Canada
I’m spending this summer with my daughter Lucy and a few friends in Niagara On The Lake, Ontario. Lucy and her buddies are playing box this summer in St Catharines! How cool is that? I live the “Laptop Life” now, so I can live anywhere. Our plan is to “Rent” a box goalie most days and go shoot/play pick up games! I can tell you that I’m planning on becoming a better finisher! Can you think of a better summer?
Box Lacrosse in Canada
My son’s first summer playing box in St Catherines was when he was a pee wee (12 years old) in the summer of 2010. He lived with Grandma and Grandpa and didn’t have a team to play on when he got there, so he tried out with a bunch of different teams until finally the Pee Wee 1 team took him on. Little did we know at the time, this team was loaded with future stars! Latrell Harris, Toronto Rock, Carter Zavitz, Princeton, Alex Simmons, Culver Academy/Denver recruit, Brett Erskine Detroit, Owen Friessen, Canisius to name a few.
Colin fit right in socially and lax wise, but couldn’t score for the life of him! He scored 1 goal in 20+ games in that first summer, so I decided to start a camp: the Box Immersion Camp in the summer of 2011….. needed to get the boy a few reps!
3d Box Immersion Camp
The concept was to run a camp where US kids come up to Niagara On the Lake, which is a beautiful summer vacation spot, and have them play with and against Canadian kids, shoot on Canadian goalies, and be coached by real box lacrosse coaches.This camp immediately became the best camp of all time! To this day it’s a camp you should seriously consider. You will literally shoot more that week than the entire rest of your summer combined! Here’s a link: https://3dlacrosse.com/signup/box-immersion-camp-2...
Jr A Game
All of the campers and their families get to attend a Jr A game as the kids are fully immersing themselves in the box lacrosse culture.One year we watched Mark Matthews play for Whitby, another year we traveled up to Brampton and watched a young Jeff Teat. It is a great experience for aspiring young players to see lacrosse north of the border!And the speed, skill, and violence of Jr A box is something to behold.
One of the things US player miss out on is hanging out in the dressing room. In hockey and in box lacrosse, it is in the dressing room where friendships are made, stories are told, maybe a little Lord of the Flies democracy…..it’s a rite of passage!
Airing out your Equipment
In box lacrosse you sweat SO much that your equipment is regularly drenched with sweat and you can’t just put it back in your bag or it will be a science project the next time you put it on. You have to air it out! If you’ve ever been to Provincials in Whitby, where thousands of box teams compete for gold each summer, you will see equipment strewn all over the parking lot and grass!
In 2006 we won the GWLL Championship and made our first appearance in the NCAA Tourney that season. It was a great team with a great senior class, but had some pranksters. Late one Saturday night I started receiving texts from my star sophomore attackman Todd Rupport... “I’m sorry” “I don’t know what’s happening in my head” “Please forgive me” were the texts I was receiving. I’m thinking “Oh my god, is he ok? What is he talking about?” Well, it turns out senior captain Billy McKinney, who currently runs one of the best club programs in the nation in Philly called HHH, had gotten ahold of Todd’s cell phone and inserted my cell number under Todd’s girlfriends contact info. Dirty trick!