First off let me just come clean and say this is my first time ever blogging. I could not even tell you what goes into a blog or what the term blogging even means.
I’ll start off introducing myself. My name is Mike Synek and I am currently the President for the Illinois State Club Lacrosse team. We are associated with the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference a part of the MCLA. We are strictly a club team that funds our entire program from individual dues. The school gives us minimal support financially which makes it quite hard to not be in the red at the end of the year. We have been around since 1988 and are still the oldest standing club here at the university. Illinois State is located in central Illinois in the wonderful city of Bloomington-Normal. Bloomington-Normal is the usual college town with our local drinking holes and house parties, usually ending up in poor decisions and a headache in the morning.
Back to the lacrosse though, this year we are really re-building as we lost a lot of seniors last year, most of which had been with the club for all 4 years of their college career. We took a hard blow late last year when we lost one of our closest and hardest working teammate. Jason Nash, our teammate, brother and friend passed away at the early age of 22. It really hit us older guys hard because we have been through thick and thin with Jason, and we are still trying to pick up the pieces. Our team is just like any other club team in the United States you come together more as brothers which makes you a stronger club, and losing a brother never comes without the emotional anguish. We will never forget Jason and if you knew him you would not either. We will be playing this year dedicated to him and will display a memorial patch for his remembrance on our jerseys this year.
Our club team has been working very hard this winter, working in the facilities that we can get. We were given the graces of having a very talented freshman class, and many of them will be filling the shoes of starters who graduated. I really enjoy playing club ball more than anything because it gives me the opportunity to see what it takes to run a team while also being able to be a “college” student. My brother plays division 3 lacrosse in Michigan and I know his schedule is brutal. As much as I love the game of lacrosse, and I have been playing since I was in 5th grade, I enjoy being a college student as well. I came from a high school where there was not much showcasing for our players and we did not have the opportunities to get noticed by colleges as much as my high school does now. I would have loved to be given the opportunity to play at a divisional level but by the time I was getting recruited it was too late.
Illinois State lacrosse has brought great joy to my life given the individuals that I get to step on the field with day in and day out. Those individuals are going to be the ones that I will forever be in contact with, and I can’t wait to come back in 5 years and get to play with them again. Illinois State really puts a lot of emphasis on getting to know one another through social events and those are the times you will never forget. More soon to come stay tuned…