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Doug Shanahan Lacrosse Blogs

These blog posts were originally published on LaxSpot in 2008

Thanksgiving

Hey All Laxers, Happy Thanksgiving. This is the time of year when families come together from all parts of the world to be with loved ones and celebrate the holidays. Thanksgiving to me is the celebration of all good things in your life past and present. The ability to recognize and be greatful for the people, experiences, family and friends that make your life what it is, is  important. So with that said I would like to say “Thank you” to my family, friends, and fans for being apart of my life and contributing to my happiness.
I am currently celebrating Thanksgiving in Key West, Florida, with my daughter Riley and my wife Jessica. We are enjoying the beautiful weather while we are staying with her parents and her brother Michael’s family. It is great because Michael and Sarah have two young daughters Riley’s age. The day should be great spending time with loved ones. I hope you all enjoy a happy and safe holiday.

OH, I almost forgot…..I am Thankful for being apart of a great close nit community of LACROSSE fans, coaches, teammates, and players who help make our sport what it is. THANKS

Dedication

Laxers, for those of you interested in paying your respects to Will Barrow the family has posted a website with information about the services.

http://williambarrow.tripod.com/

Barrow

Hey All Laxers, It is with a heavy heart I am writing to you on this Monday morning. Over the weekend the news circulated the lacrosse community like wild fire that Will Barrow had passed away. The news was of course  a shock to us all and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends, teammates and loved ones he leaves behind. For those of you who didn’t know Will, he was fun loving, energetic and played lacrosse with a great passion. I only briefly had the privilege of getting to know Will  and he is already deeply missed. I ask all of you to say a prayer for Will and his family as the coming time will be very difficult. Rest in Peace Will Barrow, you will be missed……Shanny

Flamingos…

Hey All Laxers, The holidays are quickly approaching and many fall sports are coming to an end, this past Friday was the final game of the year for Pine Crest. Less than 12 hours later I was in a car packet full of other laxrats headed for St. Petersburg, which is just south of Tampa. I was fortunate enough to find a solid club when I moved to Florida. The Fort Lauderdale Flamingos run Coach Rich Barba are a solid bunch of guys. The ride was long but was full of laughs. Once we reached the west side, we had only a few minutes since everyone knows when you take a group trip someone is always late to the rallying point. Thankfully it was me, when we arrived it was beautiful out a great day for lax. With two games on Saturday and one on Sunday it was fun filled weekend of lax. It was great to get out and move around and play with a new bunch of guys which is always interesting. The weekend finished with the Flamingos going 3-0 and finishing with a barn burner 23-22 victory over Hogstown.

Rules Changes

Hey All Laxers, I hope the fall season is treating you all well. With the latest release in rule changes by the MLL it will introduce the LSM back into the game. The LSM has long been missed by many goalies and coaches who routinely see middies run by short sticks. The rule change will bring about little change in my mind, there are so many talented middies in the game. On any given week a middie can light it up and each team has several middies who are worthy of drawing the pole. I do however believe it will increase the coaches role in the MLL by bringing so more defensive strategy into each weeks preparation, regarding slide packages and personelle decisions. It should be interesting to see how coaches and players adapt to the added LSM and an extra spot on the game day roster.

School Back in Session

Hey All Laxers, Congrats to Rochester on winning the Championship!

School has officially started down here in Florida, and our first football game is right around the corner.  In fact we have our first contact scrimmage versus another opponent tomorrow. Should be exciting to see how we do. I have been in Florida for over a month and experienced so new things already. I have even made it through my first tropical storm (FAY), which came right in the middle of our two a day football camp. I am looking forward to re-establishing my relationship with Kevin Finnernan who originally drafted me to Chicago, and by some strike of dumb luck we both moved to Fort Lauderdale in the same week, weird…

Post Season

Hey All Laxers, Congratulations to Philly, Rochester, LA, and Denver and good luck to those teams in the post season. The Machine finished 3-9 on the season, with many new faces throughout the year and improved rookies we were much more competitive this year than last year. We again will have the 1st overall pick in next years draft, with that we should become even more competitve.

With the MLL season over, I have already started my next season. I am living in Fort Lauderdale now and working at Pine Crest. In florida football is known as king, so two a days have already begun.  I can’t tell you how much I have missed football, which I truely didn’t realize until I started coaching. It has beens 6 years since I was with the Jets. Time truely does fly.

Last Game Preview

Hey All Laxers, entering the final week of the MLL season the Machine find ourselves out of the playoffs and with a 3-8 record. This week we face the best in the east, the Rochester Rattlers. Last year the Rattlers hammered us at their place, this game will be played on our home turf were we seem to play better. The Rattlers roster is full of All Stars and will pose many matchup problems for us. Personally this will be the first time I go against Smith at the “X’ for a full game. Everyone  seems to believe that he is the best, so I looking forward to the challenge of competing against him. He currently has the best face off % in the league that is over 60% which is pretty sick for the MLL. I had a chance to watch him go against Valhakis this past weekend, who is second in the league in %.  Both a very good so it was hard really to pick anything up, plus the coverage on tv often misses the face off. Wish the Machine Luck this week as we have a chance to effect the seedings for the playoff and get the most wins in our franchise history.

Bye Week

Hey All Laxers, In week 11 the Machine have a bye week, which is probably good since our next opponent in Rochester. Rochester is the best team in the East and it looks like there is a great chance of Denver and them meeting in Championship game in late August.  The Machine have a chance to get to 4 wins by winning which would be the most in any one season but it is going to take a serious effort to accomplish that.

In the past two weeks I have finally relocated to Fort Lauderdale where I am pretty much all moved in. The crazy thing is I have already starting doing the summer workout with the high school football team where I am teaching at. Everything starts a bit earlier down here than up North but I am looking forward to starting a new chapter. Thanks

Finally!

Hey All Laxers, We WOOOOOOOONNNNNN! and beat LA for the first time in our franchise history. We were getting killed in the first half by like 8 but managed to cut the lead to 4 by half. Then in the second half our D and Gabel shut it down.  Offensive began to feed of the defense. There were some crazy hits in this game, Bigas, Rob Smtih, and Whittenberg were laying the lumber all day.   As for me I did my part and played my role 17-30 against A train and 1 goal.

San Fran

Whats up Laxers, Well we now are 2-7 with 3 games left. At this point in the season we are playing for pride. The Machine are still without a road victory in our franchise history, I know not good. That was our motivational tool going into the San Fran game but it still wasn’t enough.  Looking ahead to LA this week, this team seems to be playing the best lax of late. They have the most athletic midfielders in the game and provide many difficult match ups for any team. With that said we have been competitive both times so maybe 3 times will be the one we break through.

LA to San Fran

Hey all Laxers, for those of you who didn’t follow the scoreboard the Machine managed to squander another game after being up late in the game. We are now 2-6 with 4 to play, playoff picture is looking real bleak. This year really seemed like it was going to be the year where we were going to make a push and change the moto of our franchise but it seems to be going totally opposite of what I had hoped.

Looking ahead to San Fran, this seems to be another great opportunity for us to get a “W”….the flight to San Jose where the Dragons now play is going to be brutal. I leave Islip NY, where I am for mly camp, thn make stops in Chicago and Las Vegas all before landing in San Jose. Wish us luck!

2nd Win

Laxers, Hope this July 4th holiday weekend finds everyone doing well. My brother is currently spending his first fourth of July in Afghanistan, so this is a special fourth for my family and I. He has been there since mid March of this year.

Getting back to the season we put another “W” in the win column. It is only our second win but it was a big one against league leading Denver. If we hope to get back in the mix of things we need to get another “W” this week against LA.  Should  be a good challenge for us and me personallly to go up against the West Respresentative in  the All Star Game at the Face off X, Anthony Kelly.

Congrats to Levielle, Gabel, and Brooks who all were announced to the All Star Team this week.

Update

Hey ALL, It been awhile since my last update with you all….I have since moved from Illinois and I am on my way to Fort Lauderdale Florida in July. I have made a pit stop back in Long Island for some family and Camp time until we complete the move.

The Machine, we find ourselves in familiar territory as a franchise….1-4 not good…we have had a few heart wrenching losses in OT this year and lost another 1 goal game earlier to LA.  I have been pretty much relagated to face offs duty this year…some time you gotta due whats best for the team and since Danny Kallaugher broke his hand last week, this were I am need most….should be a good battle this week against Denver if we hope to turn our season around we will need this one…..Wish us luck

Stupid Pipes

Hey, Hope everyone enjoyed the final four and championship game… I know I watched a total of 5 minutes of all the games. Between getting to the airport and flying back and forth to Los Angeles most of the Machine guys didn’t get to see much. Unless your name is Leveille who managed to fly in and out of LA all in one day from Boston and play in his own game after watching his brother beat Virginia in double OT. Not a bad weekend for that family…

The Machine game was another great battle this weekend we just fell a bit short, I know I hit 3 pipes on the day…..so annoying.  Our defense and Gabel in the net have been awesome this year we just need to find our swagger on “O”.

The draft tomorrow should be exciting for the Machine, with the #1 pick overall we have so many options that we could go with and plenty of talent to choose from, also heard about some possible trades for our # 1 pick so it should be interesting.

1st Game Review

Hey, Sorry for the late post report on the 1st game of the year but I was in Fort Lauderdale all week. I have taken a job down there and was looking for a place to live. I have already told the team at U of I that I would not be returning next season.

So by now everyone probably has checked the stats and win/loss column for the MLL. It was a great game that we pulled out in the fourth quarter. The scoreboard see sawed back and forth, I was 6-14 at the X with one assist. I look to improve those numbers this week at LA. This is a huge game for us to see where we are really at as a team. LA is loaded with talent but that doesn’t always translate to a great team. Chemistry is a huge factor in the MLL and everyone’s ego has to mesh. So far this year the Machine have seemed to have found a good balance but it is early and anything can happen. Plus the college draft is next week so there is a great chance that the roster will look tremendously different. My money is on us grabbing Danowski…but wouldn’ t be shocked if that changed to Rabil or Levielle.

Here we Go…

Well, its time to officially put down the coaching whistle and strap on the helmet and #26 jersey for another adventurous season in the MLL. The Machine open up this Sunday at home in Toyota Park  against the San Francisco Dragons, it should be an action packed game and hopefully an opening day win which the Machine have yet to accomplish in there short tenure in the MLL. Feels like a good weekend to get it done…..Wish us luck!

MLL Opening Weekend

Hey All Laxers, This past weekend the machine opened up our training camp for the season. It was a great first weekend, however the numbers were a little low because some players are still playing in the NLL. It was great to be back on the field with the team and getting after each other.

What a Weekend

First I must apologize for one of my earlier blogs in which I wrote we were playing two games down in Disney but in fact we only played one against DUKE.  Before I get to the weekend itself let me tell you about the horror show that went on while traveling to Disney.

This past Thursday morning my wife jess, my 18 month old daughter Riley and I all woke up at 3:30 am for a 6 am flight out of Bloomington Illinois. We arrived in plenty of time for check in but for some reason the line wasn’t moving at all, and we had only 3 people in front of us, a half an hour goes buy and we still haven’t moved. Now it is getting pretty close to the cut of time to check in luggage which is usually about 45 minutes before take off.  Finally the people in front of us moved, we get to the desk and they tell us that the cargo hold on the plane is sealing right so they can’t take any of our bags. The light bulb should have went off right there, but in our haste to get down to Disney especially traveling with a infant we decided to push on. The airline said our bags would be on the next flight. We get to the gate after all the trouble of getting checked in and another bomb shell the airline wants to take our stroller and send it down later, anyone who travels with kids knows a stroller is a necessity since we also had a lay over in Atlanta which is Delta’s hub, and is a huge airport. No way was this going to happen, after a few bloods cells popped in my wife’s brain they let us take the stroller directly on the plane since it wasn’t full.

Just when we thought it could not possible get any worse, I mean how could it. We almost missed the plane at check in, we don’t have our bags, almost lost the stroller and we are traveling with an infant who is not happy about waking up at 3:30 in the morning. So we take off with out a hitch, and get in the air but something doesn’t seem just right. We have been flying for like 15 minutes but not really gaining altitude. Finally the Captain gets on the PA and announces that our flaps are not working and that we needed to make a emergency landing…you have got to be kidding me! That is rated G version. Here is the kicker we can’t land at the same airport we took off from because the runway is not long enough, that right there should tell you everything you needed to know about how serious this was. I went on to later find out that the flaps control the airspeed after we had safely landed in Peoria.

We finally make it to Orlando after basically wasting a whole day in the airport, and the nightmare was over. We had two solid practices on Friday and Saturday, for our game on Sunday which US Lacrosse held a huge clinic for about 100 kids which turned out to be alot of fun.  Before the game I had a few minutes to catch up with Coach Danowski, and also talk to Matt about his injury. He is well on his road to recovery but felt it best not to play in the game.

The game itself was a blast and Duke has a great team, Matt Striebel played outstanding and had a great day shooting the ball.  We had a three goal lead going into the finally three minutes of the game but let is slip away. We managed to hold off their last push of the game and won 13-12.  Duke should be well on their way to competing for a National Championship.

Recruiting

Hey All, This upcoming weekend all of the U of I coaches will be attending the Chicago Machine high school recruiting combine.  This will give us a great opportunity to evaluate the Chicago land talent. The combine will be held at the McCook Center which is an exceptional facility, equipped with plenty of playing space.

The hard aspect of recruiting in the MCLA is the absence of scholarships, then thrown on top of that U of I is an extremely challenging school with high academic standards. So recruiting is not all peaches and creme.  I expect it is tough at any program trying to evaluate talent and then deal with admissions. The biggest thing we can sell as coaches, which is a great thing, is the education you receive at U of I, which many parents and athletes know and understand.

Feedback

Hey All, Thanks to those of you who have been reading my blogs, much appreciated. Also thanks to those of you who have been living feedback and asking questions.

I will do my best to be interactive as long as continue writing blogs, instead of writing several different responses back individually I have decided to do a general responses  in the blogs since other people may have the same questions. So here it goes, this question is from Glen:

Q: Doug - I’m curious who’s on the US roster for these games. Was an invitation extended to the entire 2006 US World team? Who’s filling in for guys that are playing in the NLL and not able to make it?

A: When a player makes the USA TEAM is commitment is not just for the year of the World Games, it actually last until the next team is picked. Each player is expected to be present at a certain amount of events whether it be clinics,games,etc, things of that nature. When tournaments are put together obviously the invitation is extended to the current team first, after players have decided if they are going to play or if they can play; then US Lacrosse sends out secondary invitations to players who were not on the USA TEAM in 2006 but are still held in the highest regard, such as MLL players or perhaps club players. Here is the roster for Florida:

U.S. Men’s Team Roster

Attack
Nicholas Bonacci (Long Island Lizards/Dartmouth ‘07)
John Christmas (Boston Cannons/Virginia ‘05)
Tim Goettelman (Long Island Lizards/Loyola ‘01)
Sean Morris (Chicago Machine/Massachusetts ‘06)
*Joe Walters (Rochester Rattlers/Maryland ‘06)
Midfield
Stephen Berger (Long Island Lizards/Washington College ‘04)
Ben DeFelice (Boston Cannons/Towson ‘04)
*Kyle Harrison (New Jersey Pride/Johns Hopkins ‘05)
Sean Lindsay (Los Angeles Riptide/Syracuse ‘04)
*Blake Miller (Long Island Lizards/Hofstra ‘96)
*Doug Shanahan (Chicago Machine/Hofstra ‘01)
*Matt Striebel (Philadelphia Barrage/Princeton ‘01)
Defense
*Christian Cook (Washington Bayhawks/Princeton ‘98)
*Ryan Curtis (Washington Bayhawks/Virginia ‘00)
*John Gagliardi (Long Island Lizards/Johns Hopkins ‘97)
Zac Jungers (Denver Outlaws/Princeton ‘07)
Brett Moyer (Philadelphia Barrage/Hofstra ‘07)
*Todd Rassas (Notre Dame ‘98)
Goal
*Chris Garrity (Washington Bayhawks/Penn State ‘03)
Michael Levin (Rochester Rattlers/Brown ‘04)

* Member of 2006 U.S. men’s team

Mark asked….
Q:
How do you guys look this year in the MCLA? Any predictions? Who will be your biggest opponents in the league?

A: Being that this is my first year of college coaching in the MCLA I was pleasantly surprised with the talent of our team. I believe that we have a very positive outlook this season. We have plenty of tough games on the schedule such as Michigan, Lindenwood, Simon Fraser, Arizona, and Arizona St. just to name a few. We will be battle tested come the end of the year, hopefully we will be on the upside our tough games. Our toughest league opponent is Lindenwood, there is no lose of love between these two programs as I quickly found out this fall during a tourney in St. Louis. Lindenwood beat Illinois last year in the league championship game in OT. Look for a rematch this year again come May. As for predictions, look for us to be competitive in everygame and to compete for a league championship. That is the most I can say without giving teams posterboard material.

USA TEAM ALL STAR CHALLENGE

Hey All, With the USA TEAM ALL STAR CHALLENGE a little more than a week away anticipation is beginning to build. After being out of the college for 7 years now I wonder how, if any the game has changed. Obviously I have been playing in the MLL and with TEAM USA since college, but the rules have changed some and I wonder if the athletes have continued to improve. I assume since we are playing Duke and Hopkins we will be playing by the NCAA rules, which right off the bat gives the college teams an advantage. Plus they have had all of fall ball to become a close knit group, and obviously the most important they all will be in shape. We as a team (USA ALLSTARS) arrive in Disney World next Friday were we will have two days to prepare as a team, then play that Sunday.

The challenge is clear, adapt to new rules, new teammates, new coaches, oh and use brand new equipment/sticks against the two top rated teams in Div. 1. I always like a good challenge, plus the chance to get to play alongside some of the games best is always a great experience in and of itself.

Entering the last week I have been preparing for the task ahead as I hope all of the team has been, with 2 games against the best they have to offer at the college level we all will need our legs. Most of you know it is much easier to train when you are in the team atmosphere, the challenge is being self motivating especially those of us who work on a daily basis, or have kids.

Only time will tell if we have all prepared enough for these tests ahead. Remember we are going out there as a representative of the best in America. It would be a shame if we went out looking flat and out of shape.

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