Welcome back to another edition of “A Lacrosse Weekend,” a compilation of lacrosse thoughts, ideas, history, stories, myths and truths. I hope you enjoy it!
A great “Happy Hour” game last night, played in front of the biggest crowd ever for a Duke Lacrosse game. I wanted the Heels to win so badly! There’s something about a Friday night game that me so happy too! After a hard week of busting your butt, it’s so great to be able to sit down and watch a high level college lacrosse game to kick of “A Lacrosse Weekend!" The Heels probably did enough good things to win that game, but in the end they had a few too many give aways. Duke grinded out a good W, were opportunistic at times but also had the best player on the field in Justin Gutterding. How about that kid scoring his 300th point last night? And he still has a bunch more games in his career!
UNC-Duke Part 2
I thought Quint K and Anish were very good too. These guys are pros, genuinely love lacrosse, do their homework BIG-TIME, and know the game.
This didn’t happen last night, but it drives me crazy when a goal is scored and announcers chalk it up to, “he changed levels on his shot” or “He didn’t change levels” so that’s why the ball didn’t go in. They never say “I can’t believe that high to high shot could ever go in!” If it was as simple as changing levels to score, everybody would just score. As the great Darris Kilgour says, "You are telling a story to the goalie every time you get ready to shoot,” The goalie will (whether he wants to or not) believe your story, so tell him the diagonally opposite story!
A couple of my favorite players to watch right now
Jeff Teat This kid defies logic. Everyone talks about skill and IQ, but Teat takes it to a different level. If you have a chance to watch him, do it. He is a generational talent. Of course Teat is a sick athlete, but he’s not bigger, stronger, faster than the guy teams are putting on him. His shooting is just stupid it’s so good, he moves off the ball so intelligently, uses 2 man game as a distraction to get his hands free and get to the goal ...See Joe Keegan’s @joekeegs breakdowns on Twitter.. and his feeding is as good as it gets with touch and timing.
Austin Staats Plays for Onondaga Community College, younger brother of Randy Staats who did the OCC to Syracuse Path…. I hope Austin does the same. He plays for 6 Nations in the summers and has wind a National Championship 5 years in a row. Everyone knows his teammate Tehoka (who is also on this list) but what people don’t know is Staats was the MVP of the Minto Cup and it wasn’t a question. This kid’s skill, competitiveness, shooting ability, creativity is world class. Two years ago 6 Nations Arrows Jr A’s were knocked out of the playoffs by Orangeville in a massive upset (6 Nations had Staats, Cloutier, Zack Miller, Tehoka and Bomberry as a top 5) so he jumped on the 6 Nations Chiefs Sr A team and won a Mann Cup. The crazy thing was he was 18! And you could argue he was as good or better than anyone on the floor!
Ryder Garnsey The junior from ND does things than no one else can do! He plays in “No man’s land,” the space just outside of a defender’s ability to “Jack” you but inside of his stick length, but then he gets his much smaller body and sticks it right into the jaws of his man. Creative, tough, clutch, and skillful are great words to describe this Brewster Academy product! (Yes, Andover played a role too haha Steve!)
Is it interesting?
When I was recruiting in Division I lacrosse, which I loved to do, I would say one of my guiding principles was answering this question: Is this player/game/lacrosse interesting? Lacrosse can be incredibly interesting, or incredibly boring… I choose interesting! Some of the “Interesting” players I recruited: Matt Brown, Geoff Snider, Illija Gajic, Jamie Lincoln, Mark Matthews, Jeremy Noble, Chase Carraro to name a few. I think interesting means to me they have a repertoire of what they do and how they do it. Interesting means creative, skilled and smart. Interesting and Box Lacrosse go together hand in hand!
The last time Easter Sunday was also April Fools Day was 1956. The Terps were the National Champs that year. A lot has changed since the year after Mary McFly went back in time, but some things have stayed the same.
On April 1, 2000 I was in my second season as HC of the University of Denver. I decided to play a prank on my team at practice. I pretended to be on the phone with our Associate AD talking about an episode involving the lacrosse team from the night before. I stood close enough to some players that they could hear me asking questions like,”How many guys was it?” At the conclusion of the call I put the guys on the end line and I said, “I just got off the phone with the AD, do guys know why you’re on the end line right now?” Before they could answer (thank God) I said, “April fools!” The guys went nuts and we ended practice. The funniest part: I found out years later that a bunch of guys were about to come clean on what they had actually done the night before.