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wall-e-and-ericBy Eric Martin

What’s up Stealth Land?!?! Hope everything is good and well down in the valley. The weather in San Francisco is in the high 50’s,to low 60’s on the regular, summer is here! Not really.

I haven’t played too much lacrosse over the past few weeks due to a nagging hamstring injury. Missing the second, third and forth games of the Major League Lacrosse season were not how I envisioned beginning my new season with my new team THE Denver Outlaws. Nothing to sulk about, it’s not major - my placement on the IR will give me time to rehabilitate and heal. I can’t wait to play in my first game back against the Toronto Nationals. I’ll “tee off” on winter time Stealth teammates; Jeff Zywicki and Colin Doyle – they will be running scared.

That’s about all I have to report for now…Oh yeah I got a dog named Wally – check out pic’s at www.ifoundfivedollars.blogspot.com and am gearing up for my summer camps with surf pal and good friend Chris Rotelli. Check our site www.gs-lax.com if you want to come!

Hey All Laxers!

Sorry for the long gap since I last blogged but times are a little crazy with the high school season down here in Florida in full swing. Just for a quick update Pine Crest is 7-5 and really starting to shown signs of a higher level of consistent play.

Consistency is something we have struggled with all year, but last Friday we had our first big win of the season beating St. Thomas Aquinas 13-9. I was really proud of the effort the kids gave.

The MLL season is just weeks away a preseason training is going well. I have begun conditioning and lifting as this year will prove to be a tough training camp with the revamped rosters. It will be really exciting to see the level of play the MLL puts on the field this year. Every team is an all star team.

Hofstra Lax, as an alum I feel it necessary to point out the HOT start the Pride are having this year. The last two years of losing close games, seems to have turned into winning 1 goal games this year. I wish Seth Tierney and Joe Amplo the best of luck the rest of the way. Good job guys!!!!!

Anyone dominating the NCAA brackets? 13 out of the SWEET 16…not bad

It’s the first day of March and its snowing down here in MD. Where is the warm weather?

I’m sitting in bed right now writing up a bunch of clinics for the upcoming ’09 year for Performance Lacrosse and also because I can’t move my legs right now. I worked out with my trainer Collin from E.A.T.S yesterday at 10am and he is a mad man. I lift legs with him once a week and once a week upper body. I am sore for the next three days after each workout. I got my roommate, Kip Turner, to go to my Wednesday for an upper body session with me and he is still sore and aching. I tried to get him to come with me yesterday, Saturday morning, but he refused to move from his bed due to his soreness and running in boxers on Friday (Bad Move).

As for this past week… I had a blast boarding up in Vermont with my brother and sister, but did not have so much fun driving from Vermont to NJ (to drop them off) then back down to MD. I definitely need more vacation days from work. Did the usual this week… worked, worked out at lunch time, coached some clinics after work, played some lax in the night league a few of us are entered in.

I went boarding last night up in North West MD at Ski Liberty. It was really icy but at least they had something. I am always amazed at the kids in the terrain park. They are just nasty. I saw one kid do a misty flip practically off this small little jump. I could barely pull a 360 on it and he was landing misty flips.. ridiculous!! The best part of the trip was on the ride home when we stopped at the Waffle House and stuffed our faces around 11:30pm. I went for it all; waffles, omelet, biscuit gravy, bacon, hash browns, and of course toast. That meal was awesome, but I can’t go run it off today because my legs are too sore to walk.

wafflehouse

Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll get some of our workouts on video and ill post them with my blogs so you can see the crazy stuff he puts Kip (when he comes) and I through.

Lastly… Go TERPS!! Good win yesterday over the Blue Devils!!

bio-photoTo start off this first blog I would like to tell you a little bit about myself.  I played defense for the University of Maryland from ’03 to ’07 and my major was mechanical engineering.  Yes… mechanical engineering… some people thought I was crazy for picking that as my major, but it was well worth it. My thoughts were if you are going to get a scholarship for school, or have the opportunity to make it to college, you might as well get the most out of the education. Although I had to put a little more time into my schoolwork than others, I really learned how to balance lacrosse, social life, and academics. It may seem like a tough task balancing all three, but it’s really not that bad and the experience is well worth it.

Ok, Ok enough with the boring stuff.  Lets see…currently I am on my way up to Vermont to go snowboarding with my bro, sis, and mom. I left work around 1 today (which was a good thing because Maryland traffic is awful) and drove home to NJ to pick them up.

O yea forgot to mention I have a full time job for a mechanical contracting company in Rockville, MD and I have my own little lacrosse company called Performance Lacrosse Training. In addition, I play in the MLL for the Boston Cannons. I guess you can literally say I’m always running around. Some people tell me I’m a workaholic but I truly enjoy what I do and every hour of work that I put in.

Remaining MLL Teams

MLL News

Hey All Laxers, Well the news has finally been made public as we all have been hearing rumors for weeks upon weeks. With the MLL contracting from 10 teams back to the original number of 6, the 6 remaining are not all original teams. Chicago and Denver have survived expansion and now contraction, the remaining four are Boston, Long Island, Washington and newly relocated Rattlers from Rochester to Toronto. Toronto should be a really interesting location for lacrosse since the Rattlers already have so many Canadians on their roster. Hopefully Toronto will prove to have a better fan base then Philly, LA, San Fran, and NJ who all had to fold. It still astonishes me that LI and Baltimore who everyone calls the two meccas of the sport can’t get fans to their games, come on lacrosse fans!

Have you seen the rosters, one word, SICK! Every team is an All Star team. Lacrosse should be amazing this summer. Chemistry will as always be a huge factor. I am looking forward to the upcoming season, it should be a blast.

Coaching

Down here in South Florida, we find ourselves at 2-0 and winning ugly but a win is a win. We have lost some seniors to injury and academics this year. Leadership has been somewhat of an issue but I am hoping that our younger players will assume bigger roles as we move along. Tonight and tomorrow should prove to be a great learning experience for our team. North Broward Prep, a district opponent, comes to our house tonight at 6pm and St. Andrews tomorrow at 11am at their place. Just in case you have been living under a rock St. Andrews has grown to super star status and is currently ranked 12th in the country according to inside lacrosse. Wish us luck!

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 10/31/2008

Whats up ladies and Gentleman!

OK so it has been what seems like AGES since I posted a blog…mostly because my MLL season took a FAST downward spiral…Apparently I was right all alone . . .I tore my laberum (some crap in my shoulder) in my second game of the season against Denver…played the rest of the season with it like that and needless to say I was less than allstar material!…I did have a few great moments and had a blast playing in the league, but to add insult to injury I tore my groin in the first Philly game…I actually tried to play through that sucker and ended up completely tearing it…not the way I wanted to end my career in the MLL, especially since the last three games were going to be the ones where I boosted my F/O percentage (Philly and washington would have been much easier games)….

Anyway I really enjoyed this season, I was the starter until I got hurt at the end and I learned that I still had it in me…I think that it is a good lesson for any young player…that if a man puching 30yrs old can get back in to shape and play in the MLL than certainly ANY young person with the right drive and work ethic can achieve any goal!

I am officially signing off as a MLL player, and retiring for good this time…but please look forward to my blogs in the future…I plan on reporting on alot of the Towson and Washington College seasons as well as many of the other teams acrosse the nation!

I leave you all with a picture of the next Towson All American in my family, my nephew andrew…please do not tell him that he is holding a womens stick…

Good luck to all

JB

aka  “AT30MYHANDSARESTILLFASTERTHANMOST”

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 07/14/2008

Whats up ladies and gentleman?!…OK so some of you were probably thinking I killed myself, after getting dominated by Peter Vlahakis TWICE!…but I didnt.  I spent most of the week trying to forget that those games ever even happened.  In fact, WHO IS PETER VLAHAKIS?

anyway We played Philly this past week and I am happy to say I was MUCH better at the X.  I was 11 of 21 and I have to say it should have been more like 13 or 14 of 21, I pulled like three of them off the X and he was able to stand up and hold me until one of his wings would come in and take my GB…I was begging for some hold calls but apparently the refs did not think it was the case.  Anyway I was still real happy with my performance at the X.  I did make two mental mistakes after picking up the GB, but what else is new?!

As far as the game was concerned we lost, and I am not usually one who likes to blame refs, and I will not start now but I think it was awefull interesting that Philly had 6 EMO oportunities and we had NONE, and according to the refs I held/tripped andy corno twice and when he literally would put his hands on my chest and grab me if I pulled the ball out it is not a hold…(by the way I dont falt corno, he did what he had to do to win face-offs, and it is only cheating if they call it)…either way at the end of the day just as Peter Jacobs said, “you have to make your own luck”  and we did not on this day.

This week is Alex Smith again, and I presume I will be in the lineup, although it is inevitable that one of these weeks they will give this brennan kid another shot, I just dont think they will throw him to the wolf, named alex smith, I just dont see how that would benefit him.  Assuming I am in the lineup I plan on getting off the X quickly as I did with Corno.  If I let Smith tie it up at the X we are in trouble, his wings are too good and he is too crafty in a scrum, I must not let that happen.

So in the meantime I am going to do exactly what I did last week…I will watch no film of my upcoming opponent, I will not create some detailed scouting report and I will not overthink anything.  It is all about me this week and how Alex Smith is going to need to change for ME.

Until next time

JB
A.K.A.  ”THE WILEY VETERAN” (as our GM says!)

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 06/27/2008

Whats happening ladies and gentleman?  Last time I wrote you I was telling you abouthow I did against alex smith and that I was gearing up for San Fran.  As most of you know we won that game and I probably played the best I have yet.  I must say howeer that Guerenlian from San Fran also gave me a few free ones, since he was almost incapable of NOT getting called for some sort of proceedure…either way I will take it!

now on to Long Island…just like every week  I have been getting butchered in the media…lax United says that vlahakis will destroy me, major league lacrosse (website) says the same and I am actually getting used to it…even when I play well they seem to find something to talk about, but hey, i guess not everyone is always going to like you!  Its cool though, its humbling, and I am feeding off of it.  My goal is to win games, not have the best face-off percentage, and right now we are winning games…and if I might say so myself I am right there in the hunt with the rest of the face-off men, I have only had ONE bad game statistically and my coach was actually pretty happy with my performance even though the numbers were bad.  If you look at the rest of the league I am far from the worste in the league (but for some reason I am the only one who seems to get called out every week) and there are really only two guys who’s numbers stand out…SMITH and, well, VLAHAKIS.

I have watched more film on this kid that I did for most of my opponents in college, and I must say his wing play is realy good, but I actually think it is his wing play that comes through for him every week, it is really not him winning a tone of draws clean to himself.  If we can contain Cocchi(my old college wing man) and this Orsen Character I think we can win alot of face-offs.  Over the last couple of games I have noticed our team starting to “gell” , they are starting to understand how I play and what my tendencies are…it is a real shame that we  had to play half a season to get used to eachother, but I guess you just cant hlep some things.

Anyway I feel good about this weekends game, I am not sure why or what exactly I feel good about (whether it be winning the game or the face-off battle) but I feel good.  I will be taking SOFletes musical suggestions into consideration tonight when i make my playlist for pre game, although I already have some of those songs on my IPOD.  Wish me luck this weekend, Im looking to shock the lacrosse world…and show them the ol’guy still has some fire in him!

JB

aka “olderbutwiser”

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 06/19/2008

Whats up folks?!?!?!?

OK so some of you have already started asking about last weeks game, and whether or not I am ready to hang myself, and the answer is NO, I am actually OK with my performance from last week.

Early in the game things looked good.  On the first draw I hit the whistle just right and pulled it out the front, except that the ball did not go very far and I over ran it.  the next two were violations on Alex Smith.  Then I left  the ball on the X twice and started to worry that I was not getting enough of the ball.  And for anyone who faces off they know that when you start to worry, you start to lose.  Because Alex was immediately diving down on my stick, I could not tell how much if any of the ball I had in my stick.  He was apparently doing this intentionally (we spoke after the game).  Accourding to Alex I was winning the draw but since he was able to dive down and cover my stick fast enough, I was unable to trust that I had enough of the ball to get it off the X.  he was then using his forearm to push my stick back and remove the ball from my stick (crafty, I know).  At this point I was actually abandoning my clamp and reverting to a swim move that would tie him up making it a 50/50 with the wings.  This was my ultimate goal anyway as the last thing we wanted to do was allow Alex to create offense with his fast breaks.

By the fourth quarter I was spent, I mean almost every face off was like a wrestling match, with his wings showing no signs of letting up (note his wings play is rediculous, they picked up at least 12 of  Smiths 17 wins).  This is when we brought in the fresh meat, and I mean MEAT.  As many of you already know NJ selected Stephen Peyser the Middie from Hopkins, and he is no slouch at the X.  In college he was able to win like 56% percent of his draws WHILE he was playing two way middie…that is rediculous.  SOOOOO when we asked him to spell me in the Fourth quarter, he was way more fresh than he usually is, and definately more fresh than Alex Smith (I seriously beat him in to the ground physically).  When Stephen went in we were starting a run and leading the game, 5 out of 6 face-off wins later we were up by 4 and looking prime to win this game.  I went back in completely refreshed and won the last couple of draws, and we won the game….SWEEEET.

Anyway although this was a tough one for my ego, I learned that you dont always have to have a great day statistically to help your team win…I had a job to do, and I did it for the most part, and as Peter Jacobs said, my numbers do not reflect how I played AT ALL.

This week I take on Greg Geurenlian and the San Francisco Dragons (oh and Lax Spots own Hunter Lochte)…Geurenlian is quite an interesting character…he is a complete steak and paints his face (HUMMMMM, I WONDER WHO HE LEARNED THAT FROM) yeah a face-off man who paints his face with eye black . . .WIERD!  and original

I’ve added a few pics, one is of Alex and I after the game last weekend and the others speak for themselves…I wonder if Mr. Geirenlian is a lax spot member???

Justin Berry & Alex Smith

Justin Berry & Alex Smith

Justin Berry on Inside Lacrosse

Justin Berry on Inside Lacrosse

Justin Berry on Inside Lacrosse

Justin Berry on Inside Lacrosse

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 06/13/2008

Whats up folks?!

OK I am a day away from the rochester game and I feel like I did in college going into the final four…WHY?  Well like I said this is a big match up for me this week, not just because I want to play well and I want the team to win.  Alex Smith is more than just another oponnent to me, he is a friend and many people call him my protege.  As complimentary as that is, it is also a bit on the nerve wracking side.  There are high expectations for both of us in this game.  My coach and team knows that I have a detailed scouting report on Alex and should be able to couter everything he does.  His Coaches expect him to beat up on his OLD coach, having youth on his side.  Well which one of us has the advantage??? I sure dont know, I would like to believe it is me though!

Alex and I have been talking and texting eachother all week…we have said anything from “who do you think will win the NBA championship?”  to “Justin, are you going to take your wheelchair out to take the first draw?”…yeah its been like that.  Anyway last night after a series of texts back and forth about how he is now and always will be my &!%@#, I finally told him I had to stop talking trash and start focusing on this weeks match up.  I do not like to get too caught up in the talk, it makes me forget my goal, and this week my goal is to kick the crap out of “The Alex Smith”.

We usually trade scouting reports on who we are playing from week to week but this week he did not respond to me when I asked him for a detailed report on Alex Smith…WIERD.  As I said before I actually have more information on Alex than anyone in the league, I coached him for two years and taught him everything I could (yet not everything that I know).  He sure has evolved into a great X man, but I am not sure I am buying all of it.  I just cant stop thinking about him as the 17 year old that I used to beat up on in 2001-3.  I mean he was pretty good then, and was better than most College guys in high school, so can he really have gotten THAT much better?  I like to believe I have evolved a good bit as well over the years, my Face off I.Q. is off the charts and im in pretty good shape.

Anyway like Rage says “Know your enemy” and I believe I do, problem is so does he!

For those of you who have CN8 check out the game this weekend at 7:30p or if you are near a computer it will be live on ESPN 360, Check it out!

Thanks again for reading(and as always sorry about the spelling and grammer!)

JB           a.k.a. MIAGISON

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